What is the alexander technique?

Chronic Pain, Fibromyalgia, Pain Management

The Alexander Technique. Sounds impressive, but what does it mean?

If you’ve come across the Alexander Technique while researching chronic pain, your symptoms or conditions, you may have guessed it has something to do with the way your body works. And it does! But it’s slightly different to other physical therapies you might have tried in the past.

Instead, the Alexander Technique is an educational tool that teaches us how to be more aware of our bodies and how we’re using them.

Think posture, think mindset, think breathing – they all come together in the Alexander Technique as a holistic approach to managing pain, musculoskeletal issues or muscle tension, and improving spinal alignment.

The technique is based on the following principles…

The Alexander Technique – Key Principles 

1. Awareness 

First things first, lower your shoulders.

See? I bet you didn’t even realise they were raised. Much like we don’t always realise when we’re slouching or standing with all our weight on one hip. Which is why this first principle is so important.

The Alexander technique helps us to become more aware of what our body is doing so that we can rectify issues. For example, lowering your shoulders just then will have reduced some tension. Your spine will be better aligned, and your head no longer in that forward position that can cause pain.

Recognising your body positions and altering them accordingly can help improve posture overall, thus supporting the management of chronic pain symptoms.

2. Inhibition 

Pause. Think about your body. Sit up straight and breathe deeply. Now, make your next move.

This principle teaches us the importance of conscious pause. Rather than allowing our bodies to react habitually, it forces us to think about weight placement, posture, breathing and positioning.

A brief moment of pause before movement means you move your body in the right way, avoiding issues that come with poor posture or ill-distributed weight. This is particularly beneficial for those with chronic pain that affects weight-bearing joints like the hips and knees.

Direction 

Brains in gear for this one!

This principle focuses on your mind and your ability to give your body clear direction. It requires you to think about your body’s alignment and coordination so that you can move in a way that is optimal for both.

This supports you in breaking some of those bad postural habits you may have gotten into, helping manage both chronic pain conditions or pain caused by poor posture and alignment.

The Benefits of the Alexander Technique 

Learning and implementing the Alexander Technique can have the following benefits:

  • Improved posture
  • Reduced pain
  • Enhanced movement
  • Stress reduction
  • Better breathing

Chronic Pain Management with Rolling with the Glen

So, there you have it! The Alexander Technique in a nutshell. There’s so much I could say about this fantastic tool, and it has made a huge difference to me since I became a fully trained practitioner and started utilising it in my day-to-day life.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Alexander Technique or require some support in your pain management journey, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

References 

https://alexandertechnique.com/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/alexander-technique/

https://alexandertechnique.co.uk/

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