What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique was developed by an Australian named Frederick Alexander in the late 1800s. He was an actor who encountered problems with his voice onstage. He visited doctors to try to remedy the situation but then came up with an idea of his own to find the solution.
The technique focuses on self-awareness of your body at all times. He believed that many of us do not practice proper body mechanics. Over time, we have learned the wrong way to sit, stand, and move our bodies in different situations. Because we are continually doing the wrong thing, our bodies perceive it as normal and familiar.
The Alexander technique helps to identify what we are doing wrong with our bodies and teaches the right way to overcome those dysfunctions and live a more tension-free life.
Sports Injuries and the Alexander Technique
When you injure yourself while doing sports, it is often the result that your body compensates for the injury and you still play. Over time, that new movement becomes natural, even if it isn’t proper. By utilizing the Alexander technique, sports men and women can be more aware of the proper way to align their bodies to avoid injuries in the first place.
The technique starts with proper alignment between the head, neck and the rest of the body. The teacher will most likely have you perform a few different movements, and evaluate through touch how you are moving. They can help identify where you are going wrong so that they can correct your body.
Once you have been instructed in how to move your body, you will notice a change in how you feel. The stress that many of us carry in our neck muscles from poor posture will be eliminated as you follow the technique. Your spine will lengthen as you move increasing your balance and body control. For an athlete, body control is important.
Another tenet of the technique is following mental instructions to help you keep your body in that proper alignment so you get the most out of your musculoskeletal system. Afterwards, constant awareness helps you to correct yourself when you feel that you are returning to old, damaging habits. This can happen after a sports injury. But, with this training, you can soon return to a state of health.
Athletes can benefit from the Alexander technique. Through it they can learn to recover sooner from injuries, avoid some injuries altogether and relearn how to position their bodies during play and everyday activities.