Can anyone learn Alexander Technique?
Anyone can learn to practise the Alexander Technique at almost any age from childhood onwards. It can be very helpful in pregnancy, during labour, in recovery from injury or health difficulties. It is very gentle and involves hands-on & verbal guidance rather than manipulation.
Many people with age-related conditions such as Parkinson's Disease find enormous relief from their symptoms through learning and practising Alexander Technique.
Is it easy to learn the Alexander Technique?
Learning the Alexander Technique is simple but it does take a little time & practice. When you learn Alexander Technique, you are retraining your brain to create new pathways & develop new habits of thinking & moving. To do that successfully requires you to reinforce the new mindfulness practice you are learning over time & in different activities.
There are lots of great books and online videos which can help you to learn about the Alexander Technique but you do need to actually experience it in order to learn it for yourself: there is no substitute for patient practice with the help of a qualified teacher.
How long does it take to learn Alexander Technique?
As with any new skill, the more you practise, the better you will get at using it!
One lesson, class or workshop will introduce you to some of the principles of the technique and give you some ideas to try out for yourself.
Ten lessons will give you a good understanding of the principles & the experience of practising AT in simple activities.
After thirty lessons most people will feel confident to apply AT to all their daily activities.
Many people love learning AT - it's fascinating & lots of fun - so they continue taking lessons on and off throughout their lives, or come for a 'top-up' lesson every so often.
Qualified AT teachers have completed a minimum of 1600hrs training over 3 years, & any of them will tell you that the learning in AT never ends - as you & your circumstances change from day to day, there is always something new to discover!
Is Alexander Technique a type of therapy?
AT is a skill or a self-discipline which anyone can learn.
It is not a therapy, although it certainly has therapeutic outcomes as well as helping to improve performance.
AT works on a principle of prevention: you learn to prevent yourself from doing the 'wrong things' which interfere with your own optimal functioning so that you can then allow the 'right things' to happen easily without unnecessary tension.
What scientific studies have been done on the Alexander Technique?
The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) website has a list of published research here; the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT) has another useful list of research papers here.
The website www.alexandertechniquescience.com is a hub for researchers, teachers, pupils, medics and anyone interested in the science of AT. The recently published paper entitled 'The Beginning of Understanding: A New Scientific Model of the Alexander Technique' is highly recommended if you are interested in current scientific thinking on AT.
For more information about AT for hypermobility, chronic pain, Parkinson's Disease and breathing, please see the Health page or get in touch.
Can I have Alexander Technique lessons through the NHS?
AT is recommended by the National Institute for Care & Health Excellence (NICE) for Parkinson's Disease management.
Some GP practices will refer to qualified AT teachers as part of their pain clinic services. Ask your GP whether they would consider referring you or visit the NHS Alexander Technique web page for more information.
Can I have Alexander Technique lessons through my private healthcare provider?
Some private healthcare providers will cover lessons in AT. Check with your particular insurer.