Alexander Technique offers us so much!
Would you like a way to release tension, gain more energy and well-being, and improve the quality of your work and daily activities? Then Alexander Technique is for you.
My goal is to teach Alexander Technique in such a way that adults and children alike gain their own skill in changing how they move, in releasing tension patterns, and in accessing the balance, support and freedom of movement we all had as young children. My goal is also to help students practice their Alexander skills so they can use them in the midst of activities, enhancing performance and well-being.
"Not only has Alexander Technique changed my cello playing drastically, but it has made a remarkable difference in my everyday life as well… my experience is undeniable proof that Alexander Technique is a valid tool and I cannot be grateful enough for having been led to Alice." Nancy
About Alexander Technique
“It (Alexander Technique) bears the same relation to education that education itself bears to all other human activities.” John Dewy, education innovator, professor, and philosopher
After taking a series of Alexander lessons, John Dewey felt Alexander Technique was so basic to the success and well being of school children that it should be in every grade school curriculum. Alexander Technique is part of Julliard’s curriculum, helping the musicians, dancers, and actors release tension patterns, avoid injury, and maximize their skills and creativity.
My first Alexander lessons at an International String Workshop in Exeter England amazed me! I had never thought of myself as being a tense person yet I was experiencing a delicious increase of freedom and ease that was new to me. As I got less tension and more support through my body, my cello, in its twenty-pound travel case, got lighter and lighter as I carried it up and down Exeter’s big hills. At my first rehearsal back in Ann Arbor, my cello’s tone sounded so beautiful that a friend asked me if I had a new cello. “No,” I answered, “I just have a new body!”
In classes and workshops that I have taught, it’s been so rewarding to see students light up as Alexander Technique gave them more physical ease and better results in everything from quiet activities like sitting and working at a computer, to more complex activities like running, sports, and musical performance. Alexander can be taught and used within any activity; even Israeli fighter pilots are trained in it so they can have their best reflexes and coordination in emergencies. Alexander Technique helps with injury prevention and recovery from such injuries as repetitive stress injuries, tendonitis, and injuries from falls. It also helps extend and maintain the benefits of Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy, and Chiropractic.
Here's a link to an excellent video (9 mins.) about the British Medical Journal's 600 patient study validating the effectiveness of Alexander Technique:
How can Alexander Technique help in so many different situations?
Alexander is a process of changing how we move. Since how we move and coordinate ourselves is the medium for everything we do and experience, Alexander can benefit any activity. The concepts of Alexander Technique are inherent in our body’s design for movement, and before the age of three or four we all moved freely according to our design. Picture a young child running and playing. That ease, balance, and joy in movement is our birthright! The patterns of slumping and holding ourselves in some kind of posture; the experience of stiff neck, shoulders, and back; feelings of malcoordination, stress, and fatigue, are waiting to be replaced with our earlier ways of moving.
One of my Alexander students said, “Oh, Alexander Technique is ergonomics for the body! We learn how to use our body in the easiest most efficient way.”
What is an Alexander Technique lesson like?
Alexander Technique is a learning process not a medical treatment or a therapy, yet some students feel such relief from tension and discomfort that they say they feel as if they have had a massage! I teach Alexander within cello and violin lessons, and to students who have full length Alexander lessons focusing on many different activities and concerns. Within music lessons I’ve created cello and violin routines that build freedom of movement as part of the student’s music lesson, and if an instrumental technique or musical phrasing is not working, Alexander often is what untangles the block. If one of my music students, or Alexander students, comes to their lesson in pain or discomfort, a combination of gentle guided movement to release the contracted area and some Reiki to speed the body’s healing process are available.
Whether students are experiencing Alexander as part of their cello or violin lesson, or they are having a full length Alexander lesson, the ingredients of Alexander learning are the same. After doing an activity such as playing an instrument, walking, working at a computer, or a sport, in their usual way, with a very gentle touch of my hands I guide them into more freedom of movement and balance, and they do their activity again. The contrast between the two experiences makes students more aware of their tension habits. This awareness of how one’s body feels, the quality and organization of its movement, while in activity, is part of how we change our tension habits. Body mapping, learning an accurate map of our anatomy for movement, is another part. I can mold a student’s bow hand, or guide freer movement, and the learning won’t “stick” if the person has an inaccurate body map. Another lesson ingredient is looking at how one thinks while in activity. Changing concentration, a narrowing of mind and body, into a bigger awareness with many possible areas of focus, frees movement and performance. Lessons also often include table work, in which the student lies down while the teacher guides releasing movements. Being out of an upright relationship to gravity helps release tension patterns in a deep way.
Alexander Technique is unique in the bodywork field in that students do learn how to do Alexander Technique themselves, and Alexander becomes their own tool to use whenever they want, in the midst of any activity. Alexander is both very practical and transformative.
My Alexander Technique Program
I teach individual lessons, classes, and workshops in the Alexander Technique. The best way to find out if Alexander Technique will be helpful to you is to experience it. I offer a discounted trial lesson without obligation, to help you explore it’s potential in your life.