This Daily Mail article tells the story of an accomplished performance artist, Roxani Eleni Garefalaki, who is hypermobile (has Ehlers-Danlos syndromes), and of her difficulties before she discovered the Alexander Technique.
A quote from the article (‘Hypermobility: When being flexible may not be such a good thing after all’):
Dr Bull recommends the Alexander technique — which teaches improved posture and movement — for musculo-skeletal symptoms.
‘If you consider the body as a machine, such as a car, the physiotherapist is like a mechanic ensuring that all your tissues are moving normally, and the Alexander technique teacher is like a driving instructor, teaching you to move more effectively,’ Dr Bull says.
For Roxani, the Alexander Technique has helped her manage her condition.
In this online BackStage Magazine for actors the first tip is to try the Alexander Technique:
Especially if you’re having vocal problems, relearning better ways to move, breathe, sing, or speak is potentially life and career changing. Actors and singers may benefit from private lessons with a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.
New video testimonial from one of our pupils: ‘. . . my back felt so much better, you feel much more relaxed, and you feel like your spine has been elongated and if a reset button has been pressed . . . ‘ more
Advice for professional actors on how to take care of yourself using the Alexander Technique in the Backstage Magazine:
Everyone needs a chance to rebound from stress. The good news is that you can build in a regular practice such that the more you work, the more resilient you become. . . . This is where Alexander Technique comes in. The Alexander Technique gives actors tools for taking ownership of their time, starting by learning to pause. Allowing for moments to reset and drop in can free you from leaking too much of your energy over the day. Efficient use of energy is not just a body question, it’s the way we think into our body that can help us reduce stress and exhaustion, increase stamina, increase energy. . . . In an ideal world, there would be an Alexander specialist assigned to every show and a place to meet with actors backstage.
Read more at backstage.com/magazine. Or contact us for an introductory lesson and learn how to use yourself and your energy efficiently in everyday life – or in performance!
The Sunday Times Style Counsel, Toby Wiseman, wrote on the secret to looking good dressed (“wear clothes that fit”), 22 April, and then adds:
Body transformation can take on more drastic forms. A study in the British Medical Journal found that the Alexander technique is a form of physio [sic] particularly useful for relieving muscle tension. Somewhat incredibly, many teachers claim it can also help you gain up to 2in in height. Simply lie on the floor for 10 minutes with your knees bent, using two or three books as a headrest.
He then adds: “Personally, I’d rather put my faith in a good tailor, but by all means try it for size.”
We do recommend you try for it size – and for many other benefits!
This BBC video article reports on a woman who suffers from such severe back pain that she has to lie down every day, for 10-15 minutes, and sometimes in public (which she is uncomfortable about). The article does not mention the Alexander Technique, but the Technique has used and recommended the semi-supine (lying on your back with your knees up) for over a century, for everybody, whether you have back pain or not. Semi-supine is an ideal way to rest and release the muscles of your back and to allow your spine to elongate. She – Raquel Meseguer – also talks about the importance of ‘stopping’, which is an essential ingredient of the Technique. We very much want to support her campaign to have public spaces where it is acceptable to lie down. When having lessons in the Alexander Technique you will learn how to stop and how to use the semi-supine for optimal release of all of yourself (not just the back).
This article nicely summarises recent behavoural science thinking on the importance of being able to say ‘no’. This ability – and how to learn it – is central to the Alexander Technique. Already in 1910 F. M. Alexander saw it as a means for change and for allowing rational thought. Today science agrees.
For her new film, I, Tonya, in which Margot Robbie plays the figure skater Tonya Harding, she used the Alexander Technique. She said at a recent London press conference:
We incorporated a lot of Alexander Technique (retraining physical movement), and animal work and I hadn’t done that before, I didn’t go to drama school. So, I’m always trying to learn something new. So that was new to this process and really helped me find the physicality of Tonya.
Walking is basic to the Alexander Technique and we teach it in our lessons as it is such a fundamental part of daily life.
In this article, for the charity BackCare (the National Back Pain Association), an Alexander Technique teacher discusses how the Alexander Technique benefits walking. (Click ‘Full Screen’ for easy reading.)