What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique (AT) is a technique for learning to move, stand, sit, walk, run, sit at a computer, play an instrument, without harmful habits of tension. Unnecessary tension will compress joints and cause more wear and tear in the spine, knees, wrists etc. Tension round the ribs and diaphragm adversely affects breathing and can restrict blood flow leading to other health issues. Patterns of tension can become established at a young age or later in life, perhaps after injury or trauma. They are usually so engrained that we are not aware of them, or that we can do without them. With the technique you can unlearn harmful patterns so that a new freedom of movement and natural poise emerges. Alexander developed the technique around 1900 to help his acting performance and it is widely used by performing artists and sportsmen. It has also been proven to bring a wide range of health benefits (see below).
Our Alexander Technique Teacher
Hours at the Clinic
Thursday: 8.30am – 1.30pm
To make an appointment, please call 0161 446 2533.
£40 per lesson
First lesson £10
Course of 6 lessons £175
What happens during a lesson?
The teacher will use a combination of verbal instructions and hands-on guidance to help you learn new ways of standing, sitting, lying, breathing, speaking and any other activity of interest, like typing or using tools. AT is not something that is done to you but a skill that you learn. You become a student rather than a patient. The emphasis is on learning
to recognise harmful habitual patterns and applying specific techniques to loosen their control. Muscles, joints and breathing are freed up to resume their natural functioning.
Is there clinical evidence for its effectiveness?
The health benefits of AT are becoming increasingly recognised. A major clinical trial, completed in 2008 by the Universities of Southampton and Bristol, showed that AT lessons have long term benefits for sufferers of chronic back pain. Trial patients reported a very significant reduction in the number of days of pain, even 12 months after the course of lessons was
complete. The fact that the benefits are long term is consistent with the idea that AT provides a sort of neuromuscular education which is applied in everyday life. Several other clinical trials have been conducted. In a trial of pain clinic patients more than half stopped or reduced their medication after lessons (SEAT trial, 2012). There is also evidence that lessons in the Alexander Technique are likely to lead to sustained benefit for people with Parkinson’s disease. A major trial of benefits of AT for neck pain is currently being conducted by York University, funded by Arthritis Research UK.
How do I know I am in safe hands?
The Society of the Teachers of the Alexander (STAT) is the oldest and largest professional society of the teachers of the Alexander Technique. Membership to this Society guarantees training to an approved standard and adherence to the Society’s Code of Professional Conduct and Competence. More information on STAT can be found at their website www.stat.org.uk.