- feel taller, stronger and more confident
- calm your nervous system and decrease stress
- quickly and significantly reduce pain
- improve posture and increase energy with healthy movement patterns
I thought I had tried everything—physical therapy, biofeedback, medication, exercise, positive thinking, transformational seminars… but I didn’t know how to stop being down on myself. It wasn’t until I took lessons in the Alexander Technique that I learned how to really lighten up, how to inhabit my body with kindness, de-pressurize my thinking, stop being in pain, and tune into my senses in a way that supported the joyful life I knew I was meant to have.
The Alexander Technique is an approach to living that insists upon the indivisibility of body-mind. How we sit and stand is a direct result of and influence on our mental-emotional state, and vice versa. Luckily this means that change in either realm yields improvements in the other! As an educator of coordination, I delight in delivering insight and information that transforms how you move, and in conveying an experience of movement that expands your experience of capability and joy.
Individual Instruction While you are likely to feel lighter in mind and body from your first lesson, a commitment to real change takes time and focus. The British Medical Journal reported an 86% reduction of days in pain, measured one year after subjects with persistent back pain received 24 lessons in Alexander Technique. Subjects receiving six lessons got three-quarters the benefit.
The Primer Course of 6 hours introduces you to healthy movement patterns to relieve pain and decrease stress. The Proficiency Course of 24 hours deepens your ability to teach yourself, continually improving your baseline of poise to think and move elegantly in all situations.
If you are serious about recovering natural poise, being free from pain, and changing the way you react to stress, I recommend The Proficiency Course: twice-weekly half-hour lessons for 4 weeks, followed by weekly lessons for 4-6 months. For an investment of $2150, you receive 24 hours worth of lessons that will change how you stand, sit, move, think, and feel in every area of your life. Package includes the option of 3 home or office visits, up to 20 miles from Asheville.
The Primer Course of 6 hours can be undertaken with hour or half-hour lessons twice a week, within six weeks, for $560. Try it and see: You may take three weeks from your first lesson to decide if you’d like to credit payments for single lessons or The Primer into The Proficiency Course.
Once you have a foundation with The Proficiency Course, you may continue with hour or half-hour lessons for as long as you like. The skills you’ll learn translate to every activity, and there is no end to how much you can improve your effectiveness, performance, and enjoyment of life! You may discover and recover interests and abilities that eluded you for years, or simply find that everyday activities become an endless source of pleasure.
Group Classes provide valuable insights about the myriad ways we interfere with efficiency and ease, and students often find these helpful in maintaining the changes effected in private lessons. I teach seasonally at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute on the campus of UNC Asheville, and at other locations around Asheville, NC (see sidebar).
In the Workplace
I offer workplace presentations to businesses that wish to support employee well-being for greater productivity and morale. I always customize these talks to the needs and interests of a given company, but the general outline follows:
Anatomy for the Workplace (1-3 hours)
Understanding your physical structure with accuracy means you can forego gadgets, fidgeting, and muscle strain to find real support. Transfer this knowledge everywhere in your life: driving, walking, working out.
Constructive Rest (30 minutes per 6 attendees, requires floor space and yoga mats)
Periodic breaks improve productivity by relieving mental and physical tension. Beyond stretching, re-set your body and mind with a portable, effective practice that leaves you clear of mind, breathing deeply, and taller too.
Address the questions and needs of individuals at workstations, in the car, on the phone, public speaking, managing stress. Assess presentation and work patterns that prevent all aspects of peak performance. Structure and implement a re-training program to improve poise, coordination, confidence, receptivity, endurance, decision-making skills.
These three segments can be offered within a single half-day, or spread over the course of a week or even a month, with private coaching available the day of an event or subsequent and repeating. Repeat presentations deepen employee understanding and application for long-lasting improvement.
Please let me know if you’d be interested in supporting your employees with Alexander Technique’s documented, practical solutions for pain and stress. The Links tab above lists scientific research on the benefits of Alexander Technique, as documented by the British Medical Journal, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the French École Polytechnique, and more.
Who was F.M. Alexander?
“The real solution … lies in the wide acceptance of the principle of prevention instead of ‘cure’, and the realization at long last, that the most valuable knowledge we can possess is that of the use and functioning of the self, and of the means whereby the human individual may progressively raise the standard of his health and general well-being.” —Preface to the 1941 edition of The Use of the Self
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was a Shakespearean actor challenged by severe, recurrent hoarseness while performing. Because doctors found nothing wrong with his vocal mechanism, he reasoned that the cause might be related to how he was using his voice. After years of rigorous self-observation and experimentation, he recognized what he was doing that was causing the problem and figured out how to prevent the patterns of tension he had inadvertently practiced throughout his career. He regained a full, rich voice and returned to the stage, with improved posture and overall coordination as well as freedom from the breathing problems he had experienced since childhood.
Alexander continued to develop his technique, exploring the relationship of tension habits, thought and perception to human movement and functioning. He taught his discoveries to other actors with such success that doctors began referring to him patients with various breathing and coordination problems. As word of his success spread, people came from around the world to study with him.
With more people interested in studying than he alone could teach, F.M. developed a program to train teachers in his technique. Over 100 years later, there are now thousands of certified teachers across the world.
Alexander’s discoveries evolved into core principles, the basis of his practical educational method. Students of the Technique today are as varied as the disciplines that have been influenced by this work: education, medical rehabilitation, skill development, stress management, the performing arts and athletic skill enhancement.
Watch a brief video of this lively man.