FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHAT IS ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE?
Good question. Alexander Technique teaches you a new, more efficient way of occupying your body. Think of it as learning how to hold yourself in a relaxed or less tense way. You don’t need to “do” anything. You'll actually learn to undo some of your habitual movements, releasing the muscle tension that often perpetuates chronic pain and discomfort.
So, Alexander Technique is as simple as learning to fall back into balance with yourself, letting your body’s natural patterns of movement and alignment carry you painlessly throughout your day.
WHO IS ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE FOR?
Appropriate for all ages and abilities, Alexander Technique lessons can be customized to meet any needs you may have. It can help address repetitive stress injuries, tension-related patterns, and chronic pain, as well as maximizing performance in performers and athletes.
HOW DOES ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE ACTUALLY WORK?
Imagine carrying your groceries inside from the car. If you let your arms hang naturally by your side without hunching your shoulders or leaning, you’ll need some strength, but you’re working efficiently. That’s an example of moving skillfully. Now, imagine you’re carrying the bags with your arms extended in front of you. You’d accomplish the same job—bringing the groceries inside—but it would be much more difficult.
That’s an obvious example, but so many of our motions have the same result. For example, many of us tend to jut our head and chin forward, a bit like a turtle, causing strain on the muscles of the neck. When we release this pattern, we naturally fall into balance, with the weight of the head traveling down the spine; we don’t need to engage our neck muscles as much to hold it up.
WHAT IS A LESSON LIKE?
Each lesson is 45 minutes long, and includes what we call “chair work,” in which I will help you learn to release tension while moving in efficient, non-habitual ways, as well as table work, in which the I will guide your movements with hands-on instruction.
You don’t need to be coordinated, and there’s no right or wrong. You simply need to be present and open to a new way of occupying your physical self.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR?
You can wear almost anything, but you’ll be most comfortable in loose clothing that permits movement. Women may be more comfortable in pants rather than a skirt. You will be sitting, standing, and lying down, so most clothing options are appropriate. You can even wear what you wore to work or school.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
It depends on your goals, but students who complete 10 lessons and maintain their practice and lifestyle changes often notice lasting results. You may progress more quickly, but it’s a bit like learning to play the piano. How many lessons you “need” depends on how skilled you want to be! And some people will take lessons long term to become experts, or simply for relaxation and enjoyment.
WILL THERE BE HOMEWORK?
No. I will suggest techniques for increasing your awareness, and can help you address unhelpful habits, but you won’t have specific exercises to do each day as you might with physical therapy.
THIS SOUNDS SIMPLE ENOUGH. WHY CAN’T I LEARN IT ON MY OWN?
While there are many great Alexander Technique resources available online, understanding these concepts intellectually and experiencing them in your body are two different things. For example, if you’re reading a book, you’re likely to overcorrect, forming new postural habits that, while different, are not necessarily better than what you’re already doing.
WILL INSURANCE COVER MY LESSONS?
Most insurance plans do not cover Alexander Technique, but my students tell me that the preventive benefits of this practice help them avoid trips to the doctor for back pain, sports injuries, performance problems (in musicians), and more.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE AND YOGA OR PHYSICAL THERAPY?
Alexander Technique isn’t exercise and it’s not targeted to a specific problem. For example, if you have tendonitis, you’ll be surprised how we address it by addressing the whole body, not just your arm. Often, tension in one part of the body is caused by or related to things in other parts of the body. We’ll look at your injuries specifically and in relation to your body as a whole.