The Alexander Technique is an Alternative Health therapy. It was developed by, F. Matthias Alexander, who was a Tasmanian. Alexander was a talented actor and recitalist. As a young man, during his stint as a miner and an amateur recitalist, he would lose his voice and none of the orthodox systems of medicine helped him. He then resorted to studying his own posture in a mirror and he noticed that the position of the head was affecting his entire pattern of his body movement. His head sagged and this depressed his larynx. He found that consciously lifting his head vertically, he was able to improve his vocal disorder. Gradually, Alexander was convinced that the body should move with maximum balance and co-ordination, so that only minimal effort was made for any given activity. He concluded that good posture, aided natural breathing patterns, good blood circulation and eased the pressure on the vertebrae.
There are seven basic movements of raising the head upward.
The head and the body should be maintained vertically during sitting.
The hands should be moved horizontally in front of the chest, then raised above the head and lowered to rest on the thighs.
Walking with ease so that the head moves upward and away from the body.
Moving the legs, the right leg is raised until the thigh is parallel to the floor, so that the line of the hips should be parallel to the floor.
Heel and toes, the toes should be placed on the floor while the heel is raised and lowered. This helps in reducing the tension and makes the movement freer and more relaxed.
Knee bending should be done while the body is perpendicular to the ground. The hips and ankles should never be bent.
Standing up and sitting down should be with minimum amount of effort in rising from the sitting up to the standing position.
The Alexander technique is a Holistic therapy and stresses the direct relationship between the body movement and mental balance. The Alexander technique is very popular in the West and in Hong Kong and Singapore.