“Stand up straight.” “Stop slouching.” “Hold your head up.” Do you remember your parents scolding you about your posture? Or maybe you caution your child about her posture. We grow up learning that posture is important; however after years of wearing backpacks, standing for long hours, and typing at traditional desks, our postural habits deteriorate. Poor posture can have a tremendously negative effect on our health.
The Alexander Technique is a combination of gentle manual guidance and verbal instruction that was developed over 100 years ago to correct poor posture and improve lives of those suffering from its side effects. Could this non-invasive, natural remedy improve your life? Here are five signs that you could benefit from the Alexander Technique.
1. You suffer from chronic pain.
This is one of the most common reasons people turn to the Alexander Technique. A common response to pain is holding excess tension. This often worsens musculoskeletal pain and can even cause further injury. Learning proper posture and stress relief techniques can help you recognize these habits and stop the painful cycle. A medical study conducted in the UK found that more than half of adults who received the Alexander Technique training were able to stop or reduce their pain medication within 3 months. It is especially helpful for easing neck, back, and joint pain.
2. You work at a desk most of the day.
If you work at a computer five days a week, eight hours a day, there’s a good chance you suffer from pain caused by repetitive strain. Whether it’s carpal tunnel syndrome or headaches, improving your posture and office ergonomics can reduce your painful symptoms. It’s not always possible to change your office setting. The Alexander Technique can teach you simple skills that will have a dramatic impact on your overall health. You’ll be able to walk away from your desk pain free.
3. You are a mother or mother-to-be.
It’s no secret that the body changes considerably during a pregnancy. If you’re early in your pregnancy, the Alexander Technique can prepare you to handle the body stressors coming within the upcoming months. Learning proper posture techniques can reverse the common discomforts experienced during pregnancy, such as: back pain, digestive problems, and reduced mobility. It can even help with strengthening muscles and coordinating breathing to prepare for an easier delivery.
4. You want to feel more confident.
If you haven’t seen Amy Cuddy’s famous TedTalk on power posing, then you may not be aware of the positive effects of posture on confidence levels. In Cuddy’s talk, she explains that better posture can promote testosterone production (a hormone linked to assertiveness) and cortisol reduction (a chemical linked to increased stress and anxiety). The Alexander Technique teaches you how to carry yourself to increase confidence, vocal projection, voice quality, coordination, and oxygenation.
5. You want to improve your overall health and wellbeing.
It’s obvious that the Alexander Technique can help with injury recovery and improve body coordination; however, it has benefits that go far beyond specific needs. The Alexander Technique is a natural and ongoing tool that can lead to a healthier life.
Want to know more?
Check out The American Society for the Alexander Technique. AMSAT is the largest professional organization of Alexander Technique Teachers in North America. Their website includes more information, resources, and a directory of teachers and classes in your area!
If you live in Cincinnati…
Local Alexander Technique Teachers host a mini workshop every Second Sunday of the month. Stop by the Lloyd House in Clifton at 3:45 and learn more! It’s free, open to all, and does not require registration. Donations are also accepted.
Local Alexander Technique Teacher, Claire Rechnitzer of Alexander Technique Cincinnati, will be at Healthwell Enterprises’ April event: Dimensions of Wellness Workshop. Local practitioners specializing in Alexander Technique, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy, and Therapeutic Message will present options to achieve balance through a hands-on workshop. Tickets are on sale at: www.healthwell.eventbrite.com.