Frederick Matthias Alexander’s technique is not a solution for everything.
The Alexander method IS NOT:
- a treatment
- a massage
- a training program
- holistic medicine
- a kind of healing technique (however it can activate the natural healing process of the body)
False Beliefs about the Alexander technique
When the topic of Alexander technique arises in conversation I realize that many people have the wrong idea about what it really is. This is not surprising because it is about how and in what quality our body works in a culture that emphasizes what we do instead of how we do it. The Alexander Technique is not about "good posture for bad backs".
Here, you can read a few false beliefs about the Alexander technique - by Rober Rickover
Wrong idea 1.: Alexander technique is a type of physiotherapy which recovers people from bad conditions like backache, stiff neck and shoulders etc.
It is right that many people take Alexander lessons because they have pain and have been told that Alexander technique can help, and it has helped many people already. However, Alexander technique teachers describe their work carefully as natural teaching work. We teach people how to be more sensitive to signs of our body and how to react on an improving way. In other words, we show precisely to our pupils what they can easily do against natural functioning and how they can sit, stand and move without causing harmful tension.
Often, the pain stops when we stop extreme muscle tension, but an Alexander technique teacher can’t tell when and how it will happen. As a matter a fact, there is no guarantee that it will happen at all. Some people come to lessons because of backache and after a while they realize that their asthmatic symptoms have decreased.
Wrong idea 2.: The Alexander technique is something that the elderly must seriously reconsider because habits are too deeply ingrained to be able to change after a certain age.
It’s true that it is easier to get rid of bad habits at a younger age. Actually F.M. Alexander himself thought that the best place for teaching his technique was elementary school. On the other hand most children are not interested in posture and coordination as bad habits are not causing problems yet at that age.
Considering these facts, many Alexander technique teachers are not so young. Professor John Dewey (philosopher) was almost 60 years old when he took his first lesson. George Bernard Shaw (writer) was 88!
Wrong idea 3.: To learn the Alexander technique takes a long time and is expensive and difficult.
Truly, some people (like myself) who are deeply interested in Alexander technique are continually studying and learning over many years, moreover it takes the 3 years of intensive training to become a qualified teacher.
Although, the technique requires such a way of thinking about yourself that you are not used to, the principles of the technique are simple indeed.
The cost of a lesson is reasonable and similar to that of a massage.