Center for Conscious Learning and Movement
Alexander Technique with Wes Howard
The Alexander Technique is a mind/body method for developing more body awareness and movement skill, healing chronic pain, and promoting general health and well being.
As children we all had a natural ease and lightness of movement, but over time we slowly lose this wonderful poise. The Alexander Technique is a practical method for learning to restore this natural coordination, balance and posture.
In today’s world, hours of computer use, cell phone use, repetitive work and largely sedentary tasks have caused conditions of chronic pain, stress and tension. Poor habits of movement and posture, developed over many years, are often the real underlying problem and cause.
The pupil usually has a dramatic experience of lightness, relaxation and effortlessness. Because it promotes more natural use of the body, it is particularly effective in managing musculoskeletal pain - back and neck pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, etc. The improved balance and coordination heightens performance in work and any skillful activity.
It sounds so simple, but the depth of the work usually amazes new students. They have no idea changing these mal-coordinations would feel so different. Over time our body awareness has suffered and we became less sensitive to ourselves. Also, we are accustomed to our bad habits, so we are unaware of how badly we use our body. Hence it can be a rather mind-blowing experience to feel your self get unraveled out of these bodily distortions.
The Alexander Technique is over a century old and is quite well known among performing artists who use it for enhanced performance and injury prevention. Performers such as: Paul McCartney, Sting, John Cleese, Paul Newman and Christopher Reeve and many others. How does a method both improve performance and help us heal physical problems? The answer is that bad habits of movement and posture interfere with both our physical abilities and the health of our muscular and skeletal systems.
At the core of the technique is enhanced mind/body awareness, consciousness and mindfulness. Many Alexander students feel a surge of aliveness, more confidence in their abilities, and improved focus and concentration. All this contributes to a more free, natural and energetic approach to life.
“My family and I notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures, and also in such a refined skill as playing a stringed instrument."
Professor Nikolaas Tinbergen, 1973 Nobel Prize Winner for Physiology and Medicine (Tinbergen, his wife and daughter studied the Alexander Technique)
The Alexander Technique is taught in classes or private lessons. This body work technique requires no removal of clothing and the teacher uses gentle hands-on guidance and verbal instruction. Using tools as simple as a chair and a mirror, the Alexander teacher can help you fine tune the most simple acts of standing, sitting, bending over, walking and other movement skills. And then teach you how to apply that knowledge to any activity - guitar playing, dancing, sitting at a computer, shoveling snow, lifting heavy objects, yoga, sitting meditation, etc.
The Alexander teacher helps you become more aware of habits of movement and tension that interfere with your natural postural reflexes. In the process you will learn to stop the bad, destructive habits and to promote a more natural use of your body. The Alexander teacher can take you very far in your lessons, but over time the pupil learns to achieve these results on their own.