The Alexander technique is more a ‘learning process’ than a therapy, with the teacher offering guidance on how to move and use your body more efficiently, which in turn may improve your posture and general health and well-being.
Many of us adopt poor postural habits, often from a very early age, which we then repeat over and over on a daily basis. Years of poor posture, and the muscular tension and imbalances this causes, can potentially have a negative impact on the body and mind. The aim of the Alexander technique is to make you more aware of your body, so that you can ‘un-learn’ bad postural habits and ‘learn’ good ones, which will then help to restore balance and release tension in the body.
What to expect
While some teachers run group introductory courses, the Alexander technique is usually taught on a one to one basis, over a number of sessions. During the first lesson, the teacher will observe the way you sit, stand, walk and carry out other daily activities. He or she will then give instructions and make very gentle adjustments to your body, both while you rest and move. This is to make you aware of how you are using your body, and to help you adopt better posture. In order to see improvement, it is important that you continue assessing and adjusting your body yourself, in between sessions.
Benefits of the Alexander technique
By improving posture and releasing tension within the body, people who learn the technique often notice significant improvements to their general health and well-being. One to one lessons can also have long term benefits for people with chronic back pain.
The Alexander technique should not be used in place of conventional medical care. Always consult a GP or other health professional for medical attention and advice.
Choosing a therapist
It is important to choose a qualified Alexander technique teacher who has undertaken the necessary training to understand the theory and practice of this technique.
In order for a qualification to be accepted for FHT membership and to the FHT Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, it must meet the following criteria:
Skills for Health National Occupational Standards:
- CNH1 Explore and establish the client’s needs for complementary and natural healthcare
- CNH2 Develop and agree plans for complementary and natural healthcare with clients
- CNH3 Deliver Alexander Technique to clients
Practical led and observed training. This will ensure the course is mapped to the above standards.
By choosing an Alexander technique teacher who is an FHT member, you can be confident that they are professionally trained, qualified and insured. They will also be listed on our Complementary Healthcare Therapist Register, as the Alexander technique is considered a form of complementary healthcare.