The Alexander Technique & Mental Health
Over the years in practice as a teacher of the Alexander Technique I have become increasingly interested in the benefits of Alexander work for those suffering with stress, depression, anxiety and other psychological distress.
…The Alexander Technique is essentially a means of coping with whatever change may put in your way…
Tension and stress are perhaps the most common problems of our daily life. But I believe that most people’s problems stem from habitual and unrecognised misuse of themselves. The Alexander Technique is uniquely placed to address this.
Mind & Body Unity
The link between mind and body is increasingly acknowledged these days. However, it is still not well understood and few ‘treatments’ or ‘therapies’ really reflect this truth in practice; often merely treating the individual as a passive recipient of bodily treatments.
F M Alexander was in fact way ahead of his time in recognising that the mind and body are inseparable. He developed his Technique over 100 years ago based on individuals’ psycho-physical use of themselves. So when we talk about ‘use of the self’, we do not just mean the use of the body and limbs in activity and movement; but comprehensively including the brain, mind, thought, feeling and emotion.
People suffering with stress, depression and anxiety quite frequently get stuck looking for a solution in the mind alone; sometimes also seeking relief from physical symptoms through bodily treatments and/or medication. But Alexander ‘discovered’ that how we use our bodies has an extraordinary effect on our ability to accurately perceive the world around us, as well as our emotional and physical health.
..Actually, better posture, relief from pain and physical ailments are only by-products of practising the Alexander Technique. Not, as most people think, the end in itself…
Working with the Alexander Technique allows people to change unwanted behaviour patterns; attitudes and outlooks tend to change; and it frequently results in more balanced moods and a better capacity to deal with the challenges that life throws at us.