The Alexander Technique was developed by actor F. Matthias Alexander, who created the method after concluding that bad posture was responsible for his chronic voice loss. An alternative therapy, Alexander Technique practitioners use gentle hands-on guidance and verbal instruction, teach simple, efficient ways of moving as a means of improving balance, posture, and co-ordination and to relieve tension and pain.
The Alexander Technique involves hands-on assistance in performing common movements, such as getting in and out of a chair, to increase awareness of poor postural habits and retrain the body to move in a relaxed way without strain. Sessions last thirty to sixty minutes and a series is required to complete the re-education process.
At the start it is beneficial to go to lessons fairly frequently, perhaps two or three times a week if possible. This is because the new approach to movement and to thinking about movement that you are learning will be unfamiliar at first and you may need a little extra help to become established. Later on in the process you can continue to progress quite well with lessons spaced a week or more apart.
This practise is especially popular with musicians and actors but can benefit anyone. It's particularly effective for treating stress, muscle tension, neck, back and joint pain, digestive disorders and anxiety. It helps to make you aware of balance, posture and co-ordination; three factors that have a major impact on the development of back pain. In this way, you can relearn the proper way to hold and move your body, putting less strain on your bones, joints and muscles; and most importantly, your back.