Injury and Pain Prevention
Chronic injuries are usually called “over-use injuries,” but they might be more aptly called “poor-use injuries.” Everyone has movement habits that could lead to injury if repeated enough.
The Alexander Technique teaches you to use yourself better, with the understanding that injuries are caused by HOW you do activities, as much as by WHAT you do. The Alexander Technique shows you how to have control over habits that interfere with your functioning and potentially lead to pain. As you gain a better understanding of your own particular habits, you will start moving in a way that is better for your whole body. Most students with chronic pain start to feel better with a few lessons.
Posture, Balance, and Coordination
Learning to sit, stand and move in an improved way will naturally bring about better body alignment and poise.
Through the Alexander Technique, you will come to understand that good posture does not involve holding certain body positions, but instead requires creating a more dynamic and organized state that allows you to naturally adopt more coordinated movement patterns.
Tension and Stress Reduction
Most of us are not aware of just how much excess tension we put into everything we do. It is only by becoming aware of the amount of stress we carry that we can start to reduce tension and the impact it has on our daily lives.
Contrary to popular belief, relaxation is NOT the best solution for stress. Most people “relax” by making their bodies heavy, collapsing, and putting undue pressure through the spine and legs. The Alexander Technique teaches you to find just how much tension is necessary to maintain yourself through your day without fatigue and to perform demanding work without strain.
Fitness is the body’s ability to do work – to lift heavy objects, or sustain an activity for an extended period of time without fatigue.
Exercise in NOT the only way to improve fitness. Fitness can be improved by learning to do more work using less energy. A sedentary person can come to feel more fit, and a regular exerciser may find huge improvements by changing HOW, not just HOW MUCH you are exercising.
For athletes and regular exercisers, Molly’s background as a personal fitness trainer allow her to help students apply the Alexander technique to their exercise in a way that can allow them to make huge performance gains.
Music, Dance, and Acting Performance
Alexander lessons teach you how to consciously rid yourself of habits that interfere with performing at your highest possible level.
You can use the Alexander Technique in the performing arts not only to decrease tension and injury risk and to improve posture and breath/vocal control, but to become more conscious of how you approach practicing and performing, and to broaden your ability to shape what you are trying to convey to your audience.
Learning the Alexander Technique is one of the best decisions performing artists can make for their health and career. Alexander-based oldtime banjo, singing, and guitar lessons are also available.
Respiratory Control and Vocal Use
Many of us hold our ribs rigidly and breathe by lifting the shoulders or over-expanding the abdominal region, making it difficult for the lungs to maintain normal breathing.
Proper breathing mechanics require a chest that is able to expand and contract fluidly, and a back that is long and supportive of the whole torso. The muscles that support the voice are intricately connected to the head, neck, spine, and shoulders.
If there is tension in any or all of these areas, it is impossible to speak or sing with strength and clarity. It is only through improving the use of the whole self when vocalizing that the voice can project without strain and we can have a natural, easy voice.
We forget how important body language is. The exhaustive slump that may feel normal to you, or the tension you put into sitting with “good posture” both send out messages you may not want to be projecting.
As you learn to move in ways that decrease the strain on your body, you start to feel more comfortable sitting, standing, or performing for other people. The comfort you feel makes you appear more confident and easy-going in both one-on-one interactions and group presentations.
Pregnancy and Birth
Learning to use yourself well during pregnancy can greatly decrease the stress and strain put on your body.
During birth, you can use the Alexander Technique to take care of your neck and back while in labor, to properly apply effort during contractions and relax in between, and to push with the coordinated support of your whole self.
Alexander-based labor & birth support may also available through the Integrated Motion Studio for women choosing minimally invasive birth center or home births.
The application of the Alexander Technique to swimming has been refined over decades by Steven Shaw, a UK-based Alexander Teacher. Molly Johnson is certified to teach the Shaw Method and offers swimming lessons that focus on how postural alignment can improve overall body mechanics and breathing efficiency in the water.