Article | Category: Glossary Terms

Background

The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change (movement) habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination.

Other Name(s): 
Alexander Method, Alexander Process

Definition of Offering:
The Alexander Technique is a method that works to change movement habits in our everyday activities. It is a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination.

Description of Offering:
The release of unnecessary muscular tension is vital to our well-being; if our muscles are habitually over-tightened our bodies become distorted, unbalanced and compressed. The Alexander Technique offers a way to let go of such destructive tension by learning to monitor the way we coordinate ourselves in any activity so that we can carry out that activity with the minimum of strain.

The offering is a modern creation (originated after 1800).

Believed Origin(s):
Unknown

Believed Creator(s):
F.M. Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor who began to experience chronic laryngitis whenever he performed. When his doctors could not help him, Alexander discovered a solution on his own. He had not been aware that excess tension in his neck and body were causing his problems, and began to find new ways to speak and move with greater ease.    His health improved to such an extent that his friends and several of the doctors he had consulted earlier persuaded him to teach others what he had learned. Over a career span of more than fifty years, he refined his method of instruction. After teaching for over 35 years, he began to train teachers of what has now become known as the Alexander Technique.

Offering History:
The Alexander process shines a light on inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension, which interferes with our innate ability to move easily and according to how we are designed. It’s a simple, yet powerful approach that offers the opportunity to take charge of one’s own learning and healing process, because it’s not a series of passive treatments but an active exploration that changes the way one thinks and responds in activity.

Fun Fact:
Alexander lessons are not painful. There is nothing physically aggressive about the work. On the contrary, it is a process of allowing the pupil to release tension and the harmful habits that were responsible for it - at the pace that suits him or her, individually. 

 

Benefits

Primary Benefit Received from the Offering:
Body maintenance

Other Benefits Received from the Offering:
Stimulate mind, increase flexibility, reduce stress, reduce tension.

Research Findings on Benefits:
MacPherson, H., Tilbrook, H.,  Richmond, S., Woodman, J., Ballard, K., Atkin, K., Bland, M., Eldred, J., Essex, H., Hewitt, C., Hopton, A., Keding, A., Lansdown, H., Parrott, S., Torgerson, D., Wenham, A., & Watt, I. (2015). Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions for Persons With Chronic Neck Pain: A Randomized Trial. Annals of Internal Medicine. 653-662.

Acupuncture sessions and Alexander Technique lessons both led to significant reductions in neck pain and associated disability compared with usual care at 12 months. Enhanced self-efficacy may partially explain why longer-term benefits were sustained.

 

Details

Typical Length of Offering:
30-45 minutes

The offering is most often provided... 
One guest at a time.

Offering Primarily Suited for the Following Type of Spa(s):
Day Spa (Wellness Focus), Medical Clinic/Spa, Hospital/Rehabilitation Center, Club Spa (Day or Residential),  Wellness Center

Number of Treatment Providers Needed to Produce the Offering:
1

License/Certification/Training Needed to Provide the Offering:
Massage therapist with supplemental training, acupuncturist/oriental medicine doctor, physical  therapist, fitness instructor, personal trainer, medical doctor, life coach, 3-Year Full Time (1500-1600 hours) Certification Program.

Most Common Protocol Available:
The Alexander Technique, F.M. Alexander, The Use of the Self, 1932.

Protocol Comments:
Protocol can vary with individual teacher techniques.

Type of Space and/or Facility Most Often Used:
Space should include a therapy table and be large enough to move freely around the room.

Other Spaces and/or Facilities That Can Be Used:
Private Wet Treatment Room (Vichy, Baths, Watsu Pool, etc.)

How many towels are used (any size)?
0

Does the guest generally use a robe and/or a wrap for the offering?
No

How many sheets are used?
1

How many different products (i.e. lotions, lacquers, scrubs, cleansers, etc.) are used in this offering?
0

 

Equipment and Supplies Commonly Used to Provide the Offering Include:
Raised massage-style table

Including only the following items (products, disposable items, linen laundry, and other direct costs---not labor), what is the typical cost of the offering?
$0.50 - $1.50 USD

Comments about offering costs:
Table covering can be disposable or washable.  Client is fully dressed throughout the lesson.

Typical single session price of the offering:
$50 - $150 USD

 

Sources

Publication(s) used to prepare this submission:
Online: "Alexander USA", Sydney Laurel Harris, Skills for Self Care, 2016.

Online: 'Up With Gravity", Robert Rickover, Up with Gravity and the Alexander Technique, 2016.

Book: Back Trouble, Deborah Caplan, 1987 (15-28).

Online: "The Performance School", Catherine Kettrick, David Mills, Stacy Gehman. Center for the Study of Human Performance, 2016.

Author Information:
Lisa Capozio
VP of Education and Brand Development, Sundari LLC

Lisa is a dietitian/nutritionist, licensed massage therapist, clinical esthetician and a certified Yoga Alliance instructor, with twenty-five years in the health, wellness and spa industry. Lisa is a dynamic speaker and educator with a passion for creating opportunities for everyone to reach their health potential by combining the best of western and eastern health philosophies and practices.

Editor Information:
Mary Wisnom
Professor, School of Resort & Hospitality Management, Florida Gulf Coast University, USA