The Alexander Technique

Angelique Swallow MSTAT  
Child Development with the #Alexander Technique   Schools teaching the #Alexander Technique
Awareness with the #Alexander Technique   Good coordination with the #Alexander Technique
Lying in semi-supine with the #Alexander Technique   Well being with the #Alexander Technique
With the #Alexander Technique you find out what are your beliefs   Good and harmful #posture
 

Course: 5 weeks - 2 hour per week
Location: Barnet Church House, Wood Street, Barnet
Times available: Thursday from 13.00 to 18.00

Testimonial: I have benefited greatly from learning the Alexander Technique. To start with it seemed rather strange... but it works. I no longer have backache. My body moves in a much more comfortable way and my arms swing to the side rather than being joined to the side of my body. A strange side effect for me is that in crowds people don’t seem to bump into me so often as I walk straighter, more confidently and with more presence.
It is fantastic to be able to move in a more springy way in my late fifties.
I was not aware of how posture affects speaking too. Although I always thought I stood up straight, with subtle changes to the position of my head, in my Alexander Technique lessons, I could speak much more clearly.
But how I wish that I had learned these skills years ago. Having taught for thirty five years I could have incorporated the Alexander Technique into my lessons to support  my pupils and I think I would have felt and looked much more confident in all I did. Better late than never. Ros B.
Contact: Angelique Swallow

Neural Pathways  

Image: Neural Pathways

Recent brain science illustrates how good or harmful habits build up neural pathways, which can grow in size from a footpath to a highway when repeated hundreds of times a day.

Learning the Alexander Technique will help you to recognise your harmful habits, which contribute towards hadaches, back and neck pain, etc and conciously replace these with good habits so you can again experience the freedom of movements and thinking nature intended you to have.

 

 

Pictures:

I really enjoyed giving a lecture about Alexander's work and discoveries to U3A Members in Barnet.

It was a lovely group of people and I look forward teaching some of the members in the next round of workshops.

Should you be interested to enrol please email for details and location.

PDF of Leaflet to download

 

 

It is a great joy watching children move effortless and with ease. Their eyes lead their heads and their heads lead their bodies, but during the development stages, they start gradually developing habitual harmful habits of movement and thinking, either through imitation or instruction. These harmful habits may lead later in life to general ill health, particularly back, neck and muscles/joint pains, breathing difficulties and psychological problems. In order to avoid all these pitfalls, we should incorporate an Alexander Technique Department in every School, as this would make a real difference to all our lifes. It is ignorant for us to believe that we have a natural ability to use tools, i.e pens, instruments, etc. All learned skills require attention to the 'means whereby', avoiding unnecessary tension'. Back, neck and RSI costs the economy £4BN a year in lost revenue and this does not include the costs to the NHS.

 

 

FM Alexander rarely mentioned specific skeletal muscles in his writings but he made an exception to the latissimus dorsi muscles, a flat, fan-like muscles just under your skin. In fact, you can easily locate it by using your fingers and thumb to pinch the widest part of your back behind your armpit. But why would Alexander specifically mention these muscles? Well, firstly because he was always interested in anything involved with breathing. Although the latissimus dorsi muscles are not primary breathing muscles, they do assist with the contraction and expansion of your rib cage. The second reason he was interested is because the muscles are the only ones in the body that connect the pelvis to the arms as each muscle runs from the lower back, travelling up around the outside of the rib cage to pass through the armpit and then attaches to the inner side of the upper arm bone, just below the shoulder joint. These muscles play a hugely important role in any number of everyday movements in which you use your hands to manipulate objects. For example, you employ the latissimus dorsi muscles to open a fridge door, remove clothes from a washing machine, pull weeds out of the ground. The La\tissimus dorsi muscle also has the ability to lengthen and wide and this helps to release of your legs.

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mage 1: A curved back and Image 2: Acurved neck

Dr James Carter who has an alarming increase in teenage patients. These shocking X-ray show teenagers and children as young as seven developing hunchbacks and abnormally curved spines because of an addiction to smartphones.  The leading Australian chiropractor has warned that 'text neck' - a condition often brought on by bending over phones and tablets for several hours at a time - is becoming an epidemic. Dr James Carter, based in Niagara Park, on the NSW Central Coast, said the relatively new condition can lead to anxiety and ­depression as well as spinal damage. Research suggests that smartphones users spent an average of four hours a day staring at their device - resulting in up to 1,400 hours a year of excess stresses on the cervical spine.  The posture we adopt as we stare at our phones causes excessive wear and tear. Dr Carter said the spine can shift by up to 4cm after repeated head tilts. The condition can also result in emotional and behavioural changes as the stress can affect the release of 'happy hormones'. These images confirm the importance of introducing the Alexander Technique in every School. Applying the technique will teach children how to sit, stand and walk with ease and how to use any tools and equipment including their mobile phones without undue tension in their neck and back. Unfortunately most children have no knowledge of the mechanics of movement and basic body mapping will give them an understanding of our design and how to move to our best advantage.

Testimonial - Public talk @ the Enfield Cemtre for Natural Health

Extracts from an Article Changing Ourselves by Changing the Brain by Patty de Llosa, syndicated from Parabola, Dec 10, 2015

The full article can be read here:

Both interpersonal neurobiology and neurotherapy are on their way to become important branches of the science of the future. Even a cursory glance at the new brain science, with its use of functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) feedback to see what’s going on in our brains in real time, illustrates how good or bad habits build up neural pathways, which can grow in size from a footpath to a highway when repeated hundreds of times a day. But not all of us who want to exchange our bad habits for good ones need a neurotherapist. The best bottom-up approach I know of is the Alexander Technique, a form of neuromuscular re-education that invites us to return to the coordination and freedom we felt as small children, before our parents told us endlessly to sit up straight, our teachers insisted we stay in our chairs all day, or various physical accidents, ailments, and emotional events created fixed habits of tension. The Alexander Technique focuses on the stress and chronic pain caused by habitual misuse of the body. It can bring relief to those who suffer from poor posture, spine and joint pain, headache, tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and frozen shoulder, as well as people with Fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s, MS, osteoarthritis, and other disorders of the musculo-skeletal system. Musicians, actors, singers and dancers also use the Technique to perfect their performance. How it works: At the beginning you need the help of a teacher’s hands to learn how to recognize and release unconscious habits of excess tension and undertake practical exercises to develop or restore a more balanced posture and coordination. Like many discoveries, F. M. Alexander’s method began with self-study. He suffered from chronic hoarseness that threatened his acting career until he saw how unconscious habits were causing his poor posture, faulty breathing, and excessive strain. Eventually he learned how to consciously prevent them and began to teach his technique to others in the early twentieth century. His classic question: “How did you use yourself today?” strikes a deep chord, along with his statement, “My work is the study of human reaction.”

Angelique Swallow MSTAT - Alexander Teachnique Teacher