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What is the Alexander Technique?

BLOG POST by Natalie Gibellini Many people I speak to don’t know what the Alexander Technique is!

First it is important to say that like other Alexander teachers, I am not medically trained and so it does not replace medical advice. Alexander Technique is classed as a complementary therapy and I teach people practical self-care skills.

It can be used alongside other approaches.

Training to be an Alexander Teacher was one of the most enjoyable and liberating learning experiences I have ever had. I am so grateful for the wonderful hands-on Alexander Technique lessons I had from experienced and skilled teachers. But learning the Alexander Technique was not just about feeling better in my body, it also involved practising new ways of thinking in movement. I had to learn how to apply the postural lessons to myself first before I was allowed to use my hands to teach other people. After over 1600hours of classes on a 3year full-time course, at the Brighton Alexander Technique College, I completed a teacher training course approved by the largest professional teaching body (Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, STAT).

I discovered a love for teaching other people, partly because people tend to find Alexander lessons pleasant and relaxing. And because people can learn strategies and use them on their own without me, people find this quite empowering. Many people I have worked with have also experienced a reduction in persistent pain as well. I have learned to teach people in-person using my hands gently on people to give them feedback and guidance about the way they use their body (their posture). People generally find the in-person individualised lessons are most beneficial.

But why have lessons?

Well, stress, anxiety and injury can create physical tension. And hypermobility can also interfere with our sense of where we are in space (proprioception) and the way we use our joints. Then to add to that, if we get injured, we might adapt our movement patterns which can create another strain on our bodies. Alexander Technique lessons are really about learning to use our bodies as best we can, with the least amount of effort and the most efficiency. Usually, I teach this by looking at regular daily activities such as sitting, standing, walking and lying down. Due to the pandemic I have adapted my teaching and do also offer some online lessons.

I hope to share more about the Alexander Technique with the SEDS community over the coming months. I am also happy to work with SEDS members (and non-members) in person and online.

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