Is it possible to get better quickly – to make substantial and long-lasting improvements to your wellbeing and the way you move – using the Alexander Technique?
I read a blog recently by a colleague of mine which said that the Alexander technique is not a quick fix. in one sense this is true. It isn’t a quick fix in the sense that going to the doctor is a quick fix. If I have a throat infection, I go to the GP, spend a couple of minutes answering questions and having my throat examined, and go away with a prescription for antibiotics (probably). As long as I take the pills, the infection goes away pretty quickly. I don’t need to think about it much at all, beyond scheduling in the pills.
In this sense, the Alexander Technique is not a quick fix: you don’t go to an Alexander lesson pick up one or two tips, and then go away cured. The Alexander technique is not a magic bullet. It is, rather, a process involving change of thought. Which may look a lot like a magic bullet, if you change the right thoughts in the right places.
You see, I don’t want you to think that the Alexander Technique is long and arduous. I don’t want you to think that it is always difficult, or that it is always hard work. It is generally only as hard as you make it for yourself. Sometimes changes take a long time, but often in my experience, They happen very quickly indeed.
For example, early in my career I worked with a student who suffered from severe sciatica that caused her to have to spend days in bed. She initially approached me to see if there was anything that she was doing that was making the condition worse. The sciatic discomfort disappeared after three lessons, and she stopped having lessons altogether after lesson number seven. I haven’t seen her since.
Yes, you can get better quickly with the Alexander Technique.
So what do you have to do to get better quickly with the Alexander Technique? My colleague Nicola puts it very simply in her blog.* We get better quickly when we satisfy three simple criteria:
- We are prepared to change.
- We’re prepared to learn how to stop doing things the way we’ve done them in the past.
- We are prepared to take the time needed to do this.
In other words, if you want to make substantive improvements in the way you are going about your activities, you need to have a genuine desire to change, the humility to admit that you might be doing them inefficiently, and the discipline and drive to work at change. FM Alexander put it like this:
“What is required is … a calm, clear, open-eyed intelligence, a ready, adaptive outlook, an outlook, believe me, which does not connote indefiniteness of purpose or uncertainty of initiative.”**
So if you want to make improvements to your wellbeing and the ease with which you complete your daily life; if, in short, you want to get better quickly, then don’t look for the magic bullet. The resources for change are inside you, ready and waiting.
* If you live in Edinburgh, please do contact my colleague Nicola for lessons – she’s brilliant and really lovely. 🙂
** FM Alexander, Man’s Supreme Inheritance in the IRDEAT edition, p.64.
Image by David Castillo Dominici, FreeDigitalPhotos.net