The Alexander Technique (AT), named after Frederick Matthias Alexander, is an educational process that develops the ability to realign posture and to avoid unnecessary muscular and mental tension. Alexander Therapists, many of whom also have background and training in massage are able to recognize and show their clients how to overcome reactive, habitual limitations in movement and thinking.
Alexander believed the individual’s self-awareness could be inaccurate, resulting in unnecessary muscular tension such as when standing or sitting with body weight unevenly distributed, holding one’s head incorrectly, walking or running inefficiently, and responding to stressful stimuli in an exaggerated way. Alexander said that those who habitually “misused” their muscles could not trust their feelings (sensory appreciation) when carrying out activities or responding to situations emotionally.
Frederick Matthias Alexander (20 January 1869 – 10 October 1955) was an Australian actor who developed this educational process. In 1889, following an his aunt to Melbourne , Australia deveoped a strong interest in the fields of art and education and spent his first three months in the city devoting himself to the theater and art galleries and attending concerts. He claimed to have been deeply inspired by the Melbourne theatrical performances Sarah Bernhardt which he had attended. In time he developed an interest in the theater arts and performed in a umber of theater productions.
During this time Alexander began to suffer from hoarseness, and at times after performing could hardly speak. Friends also noted audible “gasping” during his recitations. As described forty years later in his book The Use of the Self, advice from doctors and voice trainers did not have the necessary results, so he began a process of self-examination with mirrors into his speaking habits to see if he could determine the cause. With time, he found that by using “conscious control” of actions, by inhibiting wrong movements rather than trying to “do” correct ones, and by focussing on the “means whereby” rather than “the end to be gained”, his vocal problems and longstanding respiratory problems disappeared. The time frame of how he made these discoveries is a matter of contention among historians of his life .There is a question as to whether these insights came to Alexander over a much longer period and in a less systematic fashion than he described in 1932.
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If you have an interest in having a basic understanding of how Applied Game Theory can help to totally transform your life coaching process, and bring you greater levels of EEPPSA (efficiency, effectiveness, precision, and self-awareness) here is an interview I did with James Selman, a pioneer and innovator in Leadership research and one of the individuals who helped create the EST Training in the 1970s.
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Listen here as Lewis explain the Problem-Solving Project and how we can give up unnecessary struggle through visionary thinking in this insightful interview with award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes about the concept of the RealUGuru.
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