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Mystified by your tweaky low back pain after years of trying to figure it out? Frustrated by nagging neck and shoulder tension that won’t seem to go away? Want to feel more comfortable in your body? Yet, getting older seems to go hand in hand with increased discomfort?

Do you work out at a gym, have a stretching routine, or practice yoga? Have you visited a massage therapist, PT, or chiropractor—all in an effort to feel better in your body? Yet, nothing is really changing?

Is your life just going to be more of the same? It doesn’t have to be. Maybe it’s time to stop trying. At least in the way you’ve been trying. And start trying differently. The Alexander Technique can show you what that differently is all about.

Remember when your mom told you to stop slumping and stand up straight? She might have been annoying, but her advice wasn’t all that off track. She knew your posture affects not only how you look, but also how you feel, and move. The problem is, there was more you needed to know. Some basic common sense for your body. The Alexander Technique can teach you that common sense.

The Alexander Technique: Posture Redefined

The Alexander Technique is often associated with helping people improve their posture. The problem is you often think of posture simply as your alignment. But it’s not the whole story. There’s another aspect of posture that’s often overlooked—your patterns of tension or postural tone. The Alexander Technique focuses more on teaching you about your patterns of tension than finding some ideal shape to assume.

Your habitual tension patterns are intertwined with things like how you think, react, and focus your attention, as well as your emotions. These patterns can be deep and subtle, and it takes time to wake up to them. But it can be an interesting, fascinating, and rewarding journey of self-discovery—if you decide to take it.

The Alexander Technique started in the late 1800s with one actor’s vocal problem. As a young man, F.M. Alexander was an aspiring actor who had problems losing his voice while on stage. Search for help with his chronic vocal problem led him to make some very important observations about human behavior, posture, and the connection between mind and body.

Today the main reasons that people search out Alexander teachers fall into two broad categories:

Pain: back pain is one of the major reasons that people seek out the help of an Alexander teacher. But people also come for help with chronic neck and shoulder tension, headaches, and repetitive strain injuries. People who deal with chronic conditions such as arthritis, osteoporosis, or scoliosis can also benefit from learning tools to better manage their conditions on a day-to-day basis. In 2008 a large randomized control study showed the effectiveness of Alexander lessons for people with low back pain.

Performance: People will come to get help performing better at a favorite activity, such as theater, music, dance, or athletics; or to simply do their everyday activities with more ease. The Alexander Technique is frequently offered in many acting programs and music conservatories. Many famous actors have studied the Alexander Technique such as Annette Benning, Juliette Binoche, John Cleese, and Lynn Redgrave.

What your body wants you to know

The Alexander Technique is what your body wants you to know. And what you were never taught in school. It’ll show you how to find balance and ease within yourself. To understand how your postural and movement habits are getting in the way—and how to change them. And why how you think is instrumental to how you move. Most importantly, it will help you develop the self-care skills you need for a lifetime. So you can be more comfortable in your body.

Is it for me?

The Alexander Technique can benefit anybody who has a body and is tired of always relying on others to solve their problems. But don’t take my word for it. Check out what students have to say. Maybe you will see yourself in one of their stories.

Ready to try a step in a new direction?

Most Alexander teachers have a private practice where they will work with you one-on-one. To find a certified teacher in your area visit the American Society for the Alexander Technique’s website. You’ll find a teacher search function on the homepage. Teachers are specially trained to work with you in person and give hands-on help. However, in the last few years, some teachers have been exploring teaching virtual lessons over the Internet. If you don’t live near a certified teacher, you may want to try a virtual lesson.

Many teachers offer group classes, especially introductory level, through local community education programs. Check out universities in your area for classes as well, particularly in music and theater departments. Often classes allow a certain number of community members to enroll.

Another fun option is to attend a multi-day intensive workshop. Alexander Technique Retreats International offers an annual retreat in Malibu, CA in December. Balance Arts Center in NYC offers a large variety of programs—in-person, virtual, and hybrid.

Although I am not currently available for private one-on-one instruction I can do customized workshops, classes, and presentations for your group upon request.