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Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique was developed by an actor who had been having trouble with his throat and voice cords while performing. When rest and medicine were not effective, he decided to analyze movement and postural patterns when he spoke. Through this process of self observation he became aware of a tendency to create unnecessary tension in his head, neck, chest and back whenever he spoke. Through an empirical process of trial and error, Alexander found that if he consciously gave himself instructions to "allow" his head to move “forward and up”, his spine to “lengthen” and his back to “widen”, the problems with his voice vanished. Alexander expanded this process of posture and movement re-education to other physical actions, and began and teach them to others.

The Alexander Technique is widely used today by actors, singers, dancers and musicians and others interested in improving their daily movement habits. The intent of the work is to improve performance, prevent injury, enhance normal physical functioning through correct postural alignment, promote ease and freedom of movement, and lessen habitual and unnatural stresses on the body. When unnecessary tension is inhibited, the body moves in a way that is light, easy and pleasurable. Transformation occurs through a process of unlearning old and dysfunctional movement habits by bringing them into conscious awareness.

Alexander Technique is particularly helpful for chronic tension, misalignment, low back and neck pain, repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, some breathing pattern disorders, arthritic joints and chronic fatigue. It can enhance performance for athletes, dancers, singers and musicians. Alexander technique addresses movement and posture of the entire body rather than focusing just on the "hurt" areas to improve overall functioning and reduce pain.

Holistic Physical Therapist, Bill Gallagher, has been practicing Alexander Technique for himself and his clients for over 20 years. He sees clients at his office on the UWS (88th & Broadway) and makes house calls to the UWS and UES of New York City (NYC).

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Filed under: General Techniques,

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