Body awareness can improve performance, posture and reduce pain

The current weather makes us huddle and hunch, it narrows and rounds us, the shoulders pull up and forwards and our temptation is to pull the head back into the body – We tighten in response to the cold.

The Alexander Technique makes you more aware of ‘stimulus’ and ‘response’. In a performance setting for example, as soon as you pick up your instrument, whether it is a flute, golf club or tennis racquet then you bring unwanted tension to the activity. The stimulus of pain also causes us to respond similarly by tightening and holding the body where it hurts.

So an awareness of how we ‘use’ our bodies, how we respond to stimuli can improve performance, posture and reduce pain. The Alexander Technique makes you more conscious of your habits and teaches you how to release unnecessary tension.

So do a bit of people watching over the next few days and notice the tendency we have to ‘pull down’ and ‘scrunch’ and if you’d like to find out some more about how to avoid this….Then do get in touch.

Regards, Jane

New Year reflection

New year is a natural point in time to reflect on the year just passed and often the only time we do stop and take stock of our lives. 2011 was probably quite a difficult year for most of us – A head down and tighten your belt kind of year! Goals may not have been reached, achievements fewer and stress levels higher. This tends to impact us mentally and physically too. Stress and anxiety cause physical tension and with increased tension comes health issues – Back, shoulder and neck pain are common, as are headaches. When we are working harder or when life is just more difficult we do not take time for ourselves, we don’t “stop” and reflect on our physical and mental well-being, which is when issues creep up on us.

The Alexander Technique offers a way to improve well-being. It is a self-help technique that encourages you to stop and be more in the ‘present’ – To be more physically and mentally aware. Being more aware gives the opportunuty to ‘check’ the stress and tension before they get out of hand. The Technique offers ‘tools’ to help reduce tension. These methods are easy to incorporate into your daily life and through small changes you can improve many aspects – Posture, performance, balance and co-ordination being just a few of the benefits.

I do hope that you all have a good 2012 and do make some time for yourselves – Hopefully by using Alexander technique principles of being more mindful!

Regards, Jane

Christmas calm!

Does the thought of Christmas make you tense? We all love it really but the lead up to the big day can be quite stressful. The trouble is that tension quickly builds but takes much longer to get rid of. Tension also starts to become habitual – The “Norm” and we often don’t realise how much physical and mental tension we are holding.

This is where the Alexander Technique can help. It is an excellent self-help method for becoming more aware of ourselves. When we are anxious we get very ‘held’ and ‘narrowed’ which affects our posture, breathing and general well-being. The Alexander technique offers ways to release tension, that are easily put into practise and become a part of your everyday life – Not exercises but life skills.

So whether it be you or a relative or you are just looking for a Christmas present with a difference then take advantage of my 2 lesson Christmas voucher (see prices for details).

Have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Regards, Jane.

Examination Nerves and Stress

The Alexander Technique offers excellent ways to prepare for all those ongoing controlled assessments and forthcoming examinations. Anxiety and stress creates physical tension and shallow breathing patterns and this increased tension feeds mental anxiety and nervousness. So being able to break this cycle is extremely useful.

The Alexander Technique helps to make you more aware. It offers “tools” to help release tension that builds, both physical and mental. Also, by being more in the moment it encourages calm and reduces panic.

The Technique also improves posture which is helpful with all the increased written and computer work that is required over the coming months, which can create neck, back and shoulder problems.

If you think the Technique could help you or your child then do get in touch as lessons are tailored to suit each individuals needs.

Rgds, Jane

Sitting!

When you consider it we spend a considerable time each day sitting – In the car, on the train, at a desk, on the sofa and at the table. Sitting is something we don’t think about, unless of course it causes discomfort. It is a habitual act, something we do automatically and often very badly. We cross our legs, tuck them underneath us, perch on our thighs and pull our lower back in or slouch onto our tailbone….. I could go on but won’t, instead I’ll ask the question  – Are you aware of your sitting bones – your feet in your bottom!

As an Alexander Technique teacher I would work with you to improve your posture when sitting, by being aware of your balance on your sitting bones. Improve this and naturally the core of your body becomes more stable. You’ll find you won’t have to wriggle around so much to stay comfortable and you will be more upright but in a natural not held way.

So do a bit of people watching and also be aware of your habits when sitting – Could they do with improving? If so, then join me for a 3 lesson special offer available in November to look at improving posture and movement.

Regards, Jane

Posture at the desk, p.c and laptop!

Do you find yourself sat at the computer for longer, now that the nights are drawing in? Do you also find you have a stiff neck, shoulder and back pain after a session at the keyboard?

We can have the most ergonomic of setups for our workstation but if we are unaware of how we use our bodies while at the p.c, we can fall into bad habits:

  • Sitting perched on the chair and pulling our lower back in
  • Hunching our shoulders
  • Slouching and sitting on our tailbone
  • Crossing our legs
  • Slumped on the sofa with a laptop

Any of the above ring a bell? The Alexander Technique has useful tools to make you more aware of how you are using your body in everyday situations and how to make changes to improve posture. By gaining more balance and being more centered you reduce muscular tension, which gives far more freedom of movement and far less aches and pains!

If you would like to know more about how the Alexander Technique could benefit you, then do call for a chat or email. I am also running a 3 lesson special for £90.00 this October/November…. So hopefully you’ll take advantage.

Rgds, Jane

Stress and anxiety

Could this be you after  your summer holiday and now back at work?

Whatever the cause of stress and anxiety it is important to remember that it has a direct correlation with physical tension. The image shows our habitual holding patterns when we are stressed. Probably most of us can relate to the hunched shoulders.

The Alexander Technique offers excellent ways to help deal with stressful situations and when good performance is necessary. You will become more self-aware and more body-aware and learn how to monitor and release muscular tension – So a ‘pain in the neck’ will be a thing of the past!

Habits

Habits can take many forms – That necessary first cup of tea in the morning to kickstart the day, the cuddly toy we needed to sleep with as a small child. But then there are those habits that are an automatic reaction to a stimulus – Stress and pain are good examples of these. When we are in pain we tense and protect around the area by holding our bodies. Stress often causes neck and shoulder problems, as our shoulders are barometers of tension and we end up wearing them around our ears. Quickly these bad habits starts to feel right and bcome the ‘norm’ and we don’t realise that we are doing them.

The Alexander Technique is a unique way of being aware of and understanding your habits. It enables you to become more attuned to your body and to be more consciously aware of how you react to stimuli of all manner. You learn how to notice and release muscular tension which can have far reaching effects. It improves posture, makes us more balanced and co-ordinated and often calmer.

So come and discover for yourselves how much more comfortable you can be in your own body when using the Alexander Technique.

Regards, Jane

p.s. I am running a special offer of 3 lessons for £90 when purchased in August.

Aches, pains and strains

Overdoing the tennis, walking, gardening or golf maybe?  This lovely weather means we tend to be more active but with this increased activity often comes aches, pains and strains. The Alexander Technique(A.T.) is a way of keeping these problems to a minmum. By learning how to “Use” your body in a more balanced and co-ordinated way, can help reduce injury and bring more freedom of movement to any activity.

As an A.T. teacher I would teach you to become more body aware so that you start to use the appropriate tension and tone in your body for the job in hand. So next time you pick up your toothbrush to clean your teeth – Just “stop” and be aware of how tightly you are gripping it, how tense your shoulders are and is that tension really necessary? Tension narrows and rounds the body and compresses it, pulls it down. When you start to become more aware of your body’s habitual tension patterns and you release this tension, it allows the body to open out and lengthen so that it has a lighter feel to it. You improve core stability.

So enjoy a pain free summer by taking some Alexander Technique lessons –  You’ll also be surpised how much it will improve your golf and your tennis too, by helping you to recognise those bad habits you take to the game.

Have a good summer and do take advantage of the 3 lesson special offer this July.

Regards, Jane

Look Good and Feel Good this Summer with The Alexander Technique

This stunning weather heads us towards our summer wardobe. The trouble is you can put on an outfit, look in the mirror and not see what you want to see. It might fit but just doesn’t look right. Often it’s the way we stand and carry ourselves that is the problem. We are narrowed, hunched and our body lacks confidence. So “stand up straight” and “pull your shoulders back” you might say to yourself  – But you can only maintain this for a short period of time and it often causes aches and pains in the process.

The Alexander Technique is a way of re-gaining that natural poise and good posture. In lessons you will learn how to improve your core stability so that you are more balanced and co-ordinated, so that you come up to your full height and are more opened out. By becoming more aware of your tension and holding patterns (which we are often not aware that we have as they become habitual, the norm) and releasing them, better posture can be achieved naturally. I guess a good analogy is that it is like wearing a wetsuit that is 2 sizes to small – It restricts us, pulls us down but when you release muscular tension it is then like wearing a wetsuit that fits correctly you can stand tall and have more freedom of movement.

So why not try a few Alexander Technique lessons this month as I am running a 3 lesson special offer and experience more confidence and look and feel better this summer . Do call if you would like a chat or more information.

Regards, Jane