Mental Health

mental-healthWhile most people seek lessons for help with physical complaints, the Alexander Technique is in fact based on an understanding of the indivisible nature of our physical and psychological unity. F. M. Alexander, the originator of the technique, learned that to create lasting change, we must engage with our entire psychophysical self. His educational method improves the functioning of core areas of support which benefit both physical and mental health.

In the course of a lesson, students, aided by the teacher’s calming touch, begin to notice patterns of muscular tension that are usually beyond their scope of awareness. It is not uncommon for them to also notice that attitudes and emotions play a part in maintaining these patterns. Alexander Technique teachers are not therapists and they do not discuss the history or content of these emotions. They engage their students in a conscious process that leads to improved neuromuscular coordination and a more balanced muscle tone. As a result students find that they are breathing more deeply, their anxiety is reduced and vitality increased.

Releasing unnecessary tension leads to more reliable sensory awareness, allowing students to feel a deeper connection between mind and body. Alexander Technique lessons can be an effective adjunct to psychotherapy as they help to unravel the physical manifestations that accompany emotional conflict.

The Alexander Technique as a Treatment for Mental Illness
By Naomi Shragai