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Alexander Method

General overview

The Alexander Technique is a method of postural rehabilitation based on the relationship between body and mind. It is about correcting bad habits of body postures in order to reduce pain or dysfunction of the body. 

This method was initiated at the beginning of the 20th century by the actor Frederick Matthias Alexander who developed an observation technique to get rid of inappropriate behaviour. Several scientists publicly testified to the merits of this approach, including Sir Charles Sherrington, considered the father of modern neurology. Matthias Alexander is widely recognized as a pioneer in body awareness approaches.

There are now more than 2,500 practitioners worldwide. This technique remains little known in France. 

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Main objectives of the method
  • Through the progressive rebalancing of the kinesthetic sense, the objectives are to improve coordination and balance, reduce muscle tension, relieve pain, reduce fatigue and promote wellness. 

  • The objective is to unlearn certain bad unconscious habits that alter the general functioning of the body (breathing, coordination, digestion...), especially for children in whom it is easier to establish new reflexes. 

  • The objective is also to coordinate and re-educate the neuro-muscular system.

Specificities of the method
  • This method does not require any manipulation: the teacher uses his or her voice and hand contact only. The teacher guides the student in simple movements such as sitting, standing, walking, talking, or in more specific movements such as working with a computer, playing a musical instrument, etc. The student is guided by the teacher. The student must be very active during the learning process.

  • Individual sessions last about 30 minutes. At the end of a cycle of 20 to 30 lessons, the student can apply the Technique autonomously in his or her daily life.
    The learning process allows the gradual restoration of natural coordination of all joints with particular attention to the mobility of the atlanto-occipital joint (between the head and the neck). 

Who is this method for ?

This method is aimed at all ages and all audiences. It is notably used by artists, sportsmen and women and to reduce imbalances linked to pathologies. It is particularly recommended for patients with Parkinson's disease. 

What parents say about it

Children who practice this technique clarify their thoughts and decrease the effort in their movement, thus tiring themselves less quickly. This sharpens their sense of observation as well as their awareness of themselves and their environment.
Testimonial from an adult session:

Scientific references
  • The Alexander Technique: An Acting Approach, 2002, Stalibrass et al.
    Controlled study on the effectiveness of the technique in the treatment of Parkinson's disease. The Alexander Technique was statistically significantly more effective than other treatments on four indicators

  • The effectiveness of the Alexander Technique was verified in a comparative study published in August 2008 in the British Medical Journal. 
    Learning and practicing the Alexander Technique leads to improved postural tone, coordination and balance, and also leads to a significant reduction in back pain and improved comfort.

Any remarks or comments ?

This work is based on a collaborative approach to sharing research and family experience.

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