Who Was F.M. Alexander?
Frederick Matthias Alexander was an actor in early 20th century in Australia who had recurring voice problems during his performances. He realized after doctors could find nothing physically wrong with his vocal cords, that he had developed a habit of creating tension in his neck. He spent the following 9 years observing what he was doing when speaking. His habit of pulling his neck 'back and down’ was creating the stress on his voice. The ill use of himself was dis-integrating his voice. Thereafter, he began working with other people's breathing habits and general use of themselves.
His technique evolved into applying his real-ized principles by hands-on work with a student. F.M. transmitted his 'right use' of his head/neck/back relationship to the student through thinking and movement. He realized the head-neck relationship is a coordinating mechanism he named the ‘primary control’. Over time, one loses the natural poise of the head which needs to be re-established.
By "stopping doing the wrong the, the right thing will do itself".
The principles applied are: Awareness(of what you’re doing), Inhibition(of doing the wrong thing), Direction(commanding the nervous system to allow the neck to be free, the head to move forward and up and the spine to lengthen and widen, legs to move away from the torso).
These principles are the 'means-whereby' the teacher re-informs the students use of themselves.
He established a training program to perpetuate his work and "the little school" for children. He wrote four books about his work, the easiest to read being, "The Use of The Self".
He passed away in 1955 having influenced many intellectuals of his day, trained a core number of teachers of his technique in London, England and forever changing the way we use ourselves!
SPRING SPECIAL - $65 for 45 minute lesson
Skype sessions - They are structured a little differently because I can't physically put my hands on you, but I direct you the same, as in a lesson. Just because we're not in the same zip code, doesn't mean the principles can't be transmitted! Try it!
They won't try and get out of the chair unless they feel they have that something that will get them out of the chair! That something is their habit. - F.M. Alexander
"There is no such thing as a right position, but there is such a thing as a right direction."
House Calls or In Office Calls:
In order to best serve both of our good use of ourselves, it is necessary to have a massage table for 'table work' and a suitable chair. And if possible in front of a wide enough mirror to include us both.
The first lesson is $160 because I need an hour to get to know you and hear about your needs.
Downtown Manhattan 45 min. lesson: $130
Midtown Manhattan 45 min. lesson: $130
What does a lesson look like?
There is what we call "chair work" and "table work". Which comes first in the 45 minute lesson is up to the teachers discretion and/or the students preference. Both chair and table is hands-on work; one is through movement and the other is lying down being placed and moved by the teacher, without the student's habitual wanting to raise their head or leg, for example to help the teacher.
The table work is a time to passively experience the new information the teacher is giving them through hands-on and directional thinking. The nervous system connects up the lengthened and widened spine and back by the student 'inhibiting' the habit to assist or resist being moved and noticing the volume of tension they wanted to exert.
Whether one is taken through table or chair work first, the following is linked up with what knowledge and experience was gained and applied in either passive awareness or movement. This way, the student builds a catalogue of increased awareness of their habits, as they take that increased lengthened and widened state into guided movement.
The result is a feeling of a lightness of being in the body without having to hold oneself how they believed they had to before! As one gets familiar and friendly with how they hold themselves, sit and walk habitually, a relationship with one's self and use of themselves is developed.
An open mental attitude to becoming aware of one's habits is essential in the changing of them.
Beginning a New Year with Alexander Technique lessons is a great way to start off 2019!
THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
What is the Alexander Technique?
Alexander technique is accepted as a series of lifestyle modification techniques affecting the bodymind through series of lessons.
It also enables one to progressively undo one’s lifelong accumulation of habits of body misuse. It begins by assisting you to identify the tenacity of habit and how it triggers faulty sensory awareness. One also learns how to inhibit one's automatic response to stimuli, so one can respond consciously and freely choose the direction one wants to take with more awareness.
It uses a set of principles whereby one learns to use themselves in a more easeful way. Over a time of lessons, you learn how to do what you do, better. It is a psychophysical system that re-educates one's kinesthetic sense to more effectively coordinate the mind to body connection, thereby improving balance and posture. A means of multiplying movement choices and mental choices that effect your whole life!
To re-learn how to sit, move and be at ease in one's body; to allow one's spine to lengthen 'up' and the back to 'widen'.
In our modern world, we compress ourselves daily and we're not aware of it. Maybe you don't know what to do about it?! We pull ourselves down and in, shorten our stature, thus creating tension in the musculature, which over time creates a whole body-mind pattern of mis-use. This results in neck and back pain, hip, knee pain, shoulder pain....you name it!
Over time we accumulate habits that distort our sensory feedback from our body to our brain. This leads to a habituated sense that the way one feels they are sitting, for example, is not the way one actually looks like they are sitting. One may feel they are sitting on top of their sitz bones, but in fact they are tilting behind them and the neck is being pulled back and down. That is a distorted sense of feeling, to put in Alexander terms, 'debauched kinesthesia'. That sense is re-educated through thinking and allowing the teacher to take one through movement, in and out of a chair.
We re-educate the whole person's thinking with movement, re-mapping your anatomy to your brain. The student allows the teacher to take them through sitting in a chair, while instructing them what to be thinking and what body part they need to stop engaging, so that a new movement experience can emerge.
When you allow your movement and mind to be changed together, both are whole-ly affected permanently. The moment is new, fresh, and your awareness expands. You feel lighter!
Table work, putting the head right
Chair work: sitting to standing or pausing 1/2 way to re-think
How much are lessons and how often should I take them?
At first, it is advised to come twice a week if possible, more instances of interrupting the habit. The more often a new experience of 'right use' is experienced, the less time the old habit has to re-assert itself. Once a week minimum.
The newfound ease will become more desirable than the old habit. Once a week is a steady plan to allow change and process what that brings up in one's self. The self exploratory schedule is individual, (I get a weekly lesson myself).
The first lesson is an hour @ $90 because I need to get to know you and hear about your needs. Only if you are buying a package, is the extra time for the first lesson is included. The following lessons are $75 at 3/4 hr. Single lessons may be had or the below packages.
First Lesson 1hr $90:
Single lesson 3/4hr $75:
A package of 3 lessons is $220 with 3.5% discount)
A package of 6 lessons is $436 with 5.5% discount)
A package of 9 lessons is $655 with 5.3% discount
All packages must be used up within the number of weeks as there are lessons, because it's more effective. If lessons are completed earlier than number of weeks as there are lessons, another round may be purchased . Change happens faster with close and continued succession of lessons.
Also practicing the 'Lie Down' with my guided audio is suggested to make the time with me more effective; the more homework you do, the deeper we can go in during the private lesson, peeling back the onion of your habits!
There is 24 hour cancellation policy. Thank you.
What are the benefits of the Alexander Technique?
* Increased range of movement and resting length of muscle tissue. Overall tone and coordination.
* Abatement of tension and pain.
* Increased lightness in the body-mind, a feeling of wellbeing and an open attitude to life.
* Improved ease of the breathing mechanism.
* Expanded awareness of the environment and how one moves in it, responding with increased choice to the many stimuli we are faced with constantly.
* Increased familiarity with triggers in oneself that bring an unwanted reaction to something or someone.
* Improved ability to withhold a reaction, to give oneself the time to control one's habitual reaction, to make a choice to respond by the continued practice of the principles.
* Lengthened spine and widened back, healing spinal patterns that affect the whole body pattern.
* Develop skills to take away and use everyday in any activity.
* Develop skills of self-care and awareness that put YOU back in the drivers seat.
Cate McNider - Alexander Technique Teacher
AmSAT nationally certified & insured
Where Thinking Creates Moving Change
The Listening Body®since 1991
Please Note: After 6pm, travel fee: $20
Conditions I have worked with:
*Hip and Knee pain
*Neck and Back pain
*Post Knee replacement
*Thoracic Outlet syndrome
*Post back surgery
*Post hip surgery
*Rotator cuff pain