Stand Straight! The Alexander Technique

Imagine this: You are in a profession in which you regularly use your voice. Overtime, it begins to be strained, which, unfortunately, effects your work. Looking in the mirror one day, you notice that your posture is not the best, and upon correcting it, you suddenly hear and see improvements in your speaking as well as in your overall health.

This is exactly what happened to Shakespearean actor Frederick Alexander. His technique, now know as the Alexander Technique, can be used not only to improve voice quality, but also to relieve back pain, improve posture, treat depression and anxiety, deal with stress-related illnesses, enhance performance capabilities for actors and dancers, and prevent strains from repeated activities. Other conditions, most in the mental and physical realms, can also be treated with the Alexander Technique.

An alternative medical treatment, the true effect of the Alexander Technique is still being studied and will be sure to attract skeptics for decades to come, as do other forms of alternative medicine, such as acupuncture, meditations, light therapy, and prayer. Studies have shown, however, that the Alexander Technique can work, so it is an option you should be sure to research and consider if you are looking for new treatment methods. Your doctor can teach you more about this technique.

The Alexander Technique is usually taught to clients who are treated with a series of half-hour- to hour-long classes. First, the patient is asked to lie on a table with knees bent, and the professional adjusts posture so that everything is correctly aligned. The treatment is then continued as the patient stands. A number of movements are preformed and the practitioner continues adjusting the client's posture so that eventually it seems like second nature. The goal of these sessions is to make movement free and as minimal and effortless as possible so that these techniques can then be employed in everyday life. It corrects your posture as you stand, sit, and lie down and can help you with everything from general posture to more specific alignment, such as the way you hold your head.

Of course, the Alexander Technique is not for everyone, and it depends on your current health condition. If your doctor believes that this technique will work for you, seek a licensed professional to help you learn the technique. He or she will teach you the skills you need to improve specific problems as well as your overall health, with posture.

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