Recent thoughts on related media articles

Many people who practise the Alexander Technique view it’s founder,  Frederick Matthias Alexander as a man before his time.  He was in effect an observational scientist in his approach to his own use and medical problems. The resulting Alexander Technique being the result of years of making changes in his own use, constantly thinking about his use and observing the outcome, then evaluating the results and finding ways of testing further ideas on how his use could improve.  Improvements in his own health and subsequently those to whom he taught his technique confirmed his ideas.   Today, when applying the technique,   I teach  in a similar way, applying the principles discovered by Alexander but constantly observing and evaluating my own and my pupil’s use.  The idea that changing ourselves through our thinking when the thinking is directed to a positive change e.g. freeing the neck and therefore lengthening the neck  and back, is a powerful tool that we all possess but do not always use.  Read ‘Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual’ by F.M. Alexander.

It has been with interest that several health related articles in the common press have struck a chord with Alexander’s ideas and teaching.

In June 2013 a report in The Times ‘Why technology puts young spines at risk‘ by Rachel Carlyle,   describes how chiropractors and osteopaths are reporting  a huge increase in the number of children complaining of chronic neck, shoulder and back pain.  The article describes how a spine is distorted from its normal elongated ‘S’ shape by sitting badly hunched over  a laptop, tablet or smartphone for hours at at time.    I have strong feelings about this having been a secondary school teacher and had many children complain of a bad back  and observed their poor posture.

STAT has school chair campaign to improve chairs for children  and has ongoing contact with several schools.  However, for the health of our children there needs to be across the board education of how to sit and work at a desk or computer or laptop with what Alexander calls ‘ good use of the self’.  This could be so easily done during PSE or similar classes and there are many Alexander Technique teachers who could help with this.