Alexander Technique

F M AlexanderF. Matthias Alexander was born in Tasmania in 1869.  As a successful actor and reciter, he found he had increasing problems with his voice giving way during performances.

He arranged three mirrors so he could observed himself as he spoke and discovered that he subtly tightened his neck and pulled his head backwards and downwards as he spoke. This tightening movement was more pronounced the louder he spoke and so he concluded that it was this tightening and shortening of his neck which was interfering with his voice.

He realised that this movement had become habit which he was unaware of but by seeing what was happening he was now aware of the problem and could then learn how to avoid it.

He so impressed the doctors that he had sought help from previously that they persuaded him to teach what he had learned and so he changed career and taught his findings, primarily in the UK and USA.

Why might this relevant to Computer Posture and RSI?

The relevance for computer users is in the way we typically tighten our neck, back and arms when sat at the computer using keyboard and mouse. This tightening and compressing of vertebra, nerves, blood vessels is damaging and frequently results in painful RSI conditions.

Any means by which we can interrupt this tension, whether it by posture reminders or learning techniques such as the Alexander Technique, is potentially very valuable to us.
[Note: it is also worth reading about MindBody Syndrome]

 

Self Help?

Alexander Technique is best carried out with professional help because it involves observing your posture and that is difficult for you to do and then arrive at accurate conclusions and make the appropriate corrections.

However, for more of an insight, this is our understanding…

An important point about Alexander Technique is that it is more of a holistic approach, reducing pain by helping you feel better generally. It is better if you just involve yourself in the technique without focusing much on the particular matters that affect you.

Pain tends to cause tightening towards the pain, increasing the problem. Each day you should lie down flat with your head supported on a towel or something similar (thinner than a normal pillow). Think of your body as light or weightless – Alexander found that this actually helps you stand taller with a better posture.

 

Neck postureTension in your neck, actually compresses the vertebra in your neck. This is a significant factor in many computer posture RSI conditions. So try to relax and imagine your head resting on a neck made of sponge with no stresses and being fully supported.

 

Alexander Technique Information Buying Guide

UK Suppliers UK Suppliers

  • How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live

    How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live

    by Missy Vineyard, one of the foremost teachers in the US today

    View UK supplier
  • The Alexander Technique Manual

    The Alexander Technique Manual

    by Richard Brennan, a step-by-step guide with sport and pregnancy sections

    View UK supplier
  • The Posture Workbook

    The Posture Workbook

    by Carolyn Nicholls – Free Yourself from Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain with the Alexander Technique

    View UK supplier

USA Suppliers USA Supplier

  • How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live

    How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live

    by Missy Vineyard, one of the foremost teachers in the US today

    View USA supplier
  • The Alexander Technique Manual

    The Alexander Technique Manual

    by Richard Brennan, a step-by-step guide with sport and pregnancy sections

    View USA supplier
  • The Posture Workbook

    The Posture Workbook

    by Carolyn Nicholls – Free Yourself from Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain with the Alexander Technique

    View USA supplier

Canadian Suppliers Canadian Supplier

  • How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live

    How You Stand, How You Move, How You Live

    by Missy Vineyard, one of the foremost teachers in the US today

    View Canadian Supplier
  • The Alexander Technique Manual

    The Alexander Technique Manual

    by Richard Brennan, a step-by-step guide with sport and pregnancy sections

    View Canadian Supplier
  • The Posture Workbook

    The Posture Workbook

    by Carolyn Nicholls – Free Yourself from Back, Neck and Shoulder Pain with the Alexander Technique

    View Canadian Supplier

Find out more about the Alexander Technique

Introduction to Alexander Technique – British Medical Journal videos

Robert Rickover’s audio interview introduction to the Alexander Technique

Free your neck website – helpful information

Alexander Technique Practitioners in your area

London & South East England – qualified AT practitioners:-

Adrian Farrell MSTAT – specialist in computer related pain and discomfort
Regent Street • Highgate • East Finchley

Jacqueline Beim MSTAT – specialist in computer related pain and discomfort
Muswell Hill & Crouch End

Angela Bradshaw MSTAT – specialist in computer related pain and discomfort
Chobham, Surrey