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The Lying Down Work in Alexander Sessions (‘Constructive Rest’) Part I

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

During an Alexander Technique session, usually I offer the option to lie on my teaching table. Although it is not essential to participate in the lying down work, often people can find this restorative, providing a chance to re-set and integrate. People with pain and fatigue have spoken about its value as it offers a practical and empowering new way to manage these challenges.

The table has a padded but relatively firm surface to rest upon which is designed to give both support and feedback.

People with hypermobility and pain often benefit from individualised tips and tweaks to ensure the greatest level of comfort.

I help my clients organise themselves in a way that will allow them to make the most use out of the support available with their joints in a neutral arrangement.

This is typically, lying down on the back with the knees bent, hands resting on abdomen, as pictured.

The head usually rests on a pile of paperback books and I assess the suitable height for the books.

Developing a Constructive Rest practice helps to quieten the nervous system.

When people take this forward into developing their own regular Constructive Rest practice, they can begin to notice habits of muscular contraction that they were previously unaware of and our sessions introduce new helpful ways of responding to this.

The specialised hands-on method gives people proprioceptive feedback about where parts of the body are in space.

This can improve people’s awareness of how they habitually use their bodies.

Proprioception (our sense of where our bodies and joints are in space) can be off kilter, but it is something people often have scope to improve and this is where the hands-on work is very beneficial.

Alexander Technique sessions can help to improve body awareness

The specialised hands-on method allows me to give people proprioceptive feedback about where they are in space which can improve people’s awareness of how they use their bodies habitually.”

Lying down in this semi supine arrangement, is a low demand physical activity as people aren’t dealing with any pressures or balancing associated with being upright.

This enables people to practise a new mindset of coordination in a reduced stimulus activity first which can later be carried over into more demanding physical activities.

Read more in Part 2... coming soon.

Natalie Gibellini, MSTAT

SEDSConnective Alexander Technique Teacher

Did you know… The Alexander Technique teaches people self-care skills to manage difficulties with fatigue and pain.

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