How to Perform Alexander Technique Physical Therapy

Therapy through re-education

1.

Find a professionally trained Alexander Technique therapist. Certified teachers go through a three year, 1,600 hour program recognized by the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). While private lessons remain the prevalent form of teaching the technique, group classes are also an effective way to learn.

2.

Follow the teacher's assessment of posture and movement. She will perform this assessment at the beginning by having you walk, stand and sit in different ways. She takes notice of any imbalances and muscle tensions. The trained therapist will gather aspects of data by gently guiding her hands, physically examining muscle and skeletal alignment and tensions.

3.

Have patience as you reeducate your mind and body to improve coordination of breathing, movement, posture and tension. The Alexander Technique does not include any specific exercises or hands on healing, yet the teacher will use hands-on methods to guide you through fundamental movement patterns, according to the Alexander Center. Expect more of a learning experience, retraining neuromuscular thinking and movement.
Throughout the course of several 30 to 45 minute treatments, the therapist will make an assessment of your condition and the length and frequency of therapy. The educational framework of this technique makes it more of a learning process than a medical treatment, with preventative and lifelong applications.

4.

Work from the base up. Alexander Technique movements start from the ground up to create a stable base from which all other muscles can coordinate. Throughout your therapy you will learn to, "Consistently move in a manner much closer to optimal use of the human frame and nervous system," says PhysicalTherapy.org. In other words, all of the body's systems should work together from a strong spine and nervous system.

5.

Learn to recognize the "Force of Habit" that controls repetitious movement. Through oral guidance the instructor will teach you about sending direction from your brain to your body and you will master movement control. Target each session toward redistributing unbalanced muscle control and building core strength. It is important to maintain coordination of breath, movement, conscious thought and timing. Move smoothly through transitions to target different muscle groups, avoiding contraction of non-targeted muscles. Emphasize deep breathing and conscious awareness.

Tips and Warnings

  • The average therapy ranges from 20 to 40 lessons, according to the Alexander Technique website. Work with your therapist and get a second opinion to ensure a quick yet thorough recovery. The length of your therapy depends on severity of your conditions and the rate of progress.