- Reduce or eliminate back, neck and head pain
- Heal chronic pain or injury
- Align your spine
- Improve posture, strength, balance and coordination
- Reduce stress and anxiety
Sessions explore the habits that have been taking away life from your body and alternate ways of movement that may be better for you. For beginners, much of the work is done while standing, walking, sitting on a chair and laying on a table. These basic activities are things that everyone does every day and they take up many hours of our lives. Later more complex movements are introduced. Balwin uses gentle hands-on, verbal instruction and visualizations to guide you in the movements and help you understand the concepts. Over the course of a few lessons, he introduces concepts and practices that expand your awareness of your kinesthetic system, nervous system, muscular system and skeletal system. You will become aware of the difference between diminishing and healthy mental and physical habits. After just a single session, most students express feelings of being lighter, more balanced, calmer, and in less pain.
The number of sessions depends on your situation. Some students have minor bad postures while others are trying to correct a lifetime of chronic pain and imbalance. The British Medical Journal recommends a set of 6 lessons, as this is the number of lessons reported by them to be effective for chronic back pain. While some may see results in 1-3 sessions, 10 sessions are recommended to dive deep into your body patterns and help you understand the technique. Like going to the gym or doing yoga, many students after seeing the benefits, make these sessions a lifelong practice. Having a session once or twice a week has immense transformative benefits, especially under the supervision of a trained teacher like Balwin Ratra.
Absolutely, you can continue your day and activities as usual. Everyone is different but generally students do not feel too fatigued or out of focus after a session. Temporarily, backing-off your current level of involvement in strenuous activities may be extremely helpful in addressing the issues that arise especially if dealing with a chronic condition. Without taking time off from usual movements it may be difficult to integrate what you learn into existing habits.
A session is typically 30-45mins. They can sometimes be longer or shorter based on your body’s customized needs.
Typically, loose and comfortable clothing is best. What ever you would typically wear to the gym or yoga class is recommended.
Anyone and everyone. If you have been dealing with chronic pain whether from daily active life, work, sports or general aging and no quick fix has been able to relieve you of the discomfort – it’s time to try the Alexander Technique. It may be the simple and gentle solution you have been seeking. Traditionally students drawn to this technique have been those who’s professions require habitual pattern movements that often cause misalignment like dancers, musicians, actors, athletes, yoga instructors, swimmers, public speakers, golfers, desk workers and the elderly.
Reading F.M. Alexander’s book, The Use of the Self is recommended but not required. If you feel compelled to practice its recommended that you simply lie down on the floor with a book under your head with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor for 5-10 min. This is commonly called “semi-supine” or “constructive rest”.
No! The Alexander Technique is not a medical treatment or therapy. It is often considered an ‘alternative education’ as it’s an educational method that’s taught through a series of lessons by a qualified teacher. Our intention during a session is to learn and become aware. As teachers, we are not “treating” or acting upon someone in order to fix or medically cure a specific symptom or condition. However, the Alexander Technique has been medically researched for over a century and is endorsed by many medical professionals. The Alexander Technique is also taught at the esteemed Julliard School of Performing Arts in New York City, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the American Dance Festival.