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Alexander Technique: A way of Being Connected to (our) Nature
by Roxani-Eleni Garefalaki

From the moment we are born we evolve through Movement.

As all creatures on this beautiful planet, our brain, nervous system evolves as our structure is developing in order to adapt more and more to the environment. Our senses are sharpened through constant experience as we interact with the landscape and its creatures in order to be nourished and to create.

F.M. Alexander observed more than 100 years ago that as modern life pushes us to accomplish goals faster and faster, the more we disconnect from our psychophysical totality, in the way that we move and use our bodies like automatic machines while our mind is intensely preoccupied with thoughts of the past or future.

As lifestyle choices take us further away from the connection with nature, we live our lives by using our minds, bodies and emotions in ways that make us disconnect from ourselves. No matter how well intended we are about taking care of our bodies we often suffer from the effects of overuse and stress which causes DIS-EASE (tiredness and chronic fatigue to muscle & joint injuries, emotional imbalance, depression, acute and chronic illnesses, post traumatic stress disorder, neurological disorders etc.)

The need to fix problems fast often brings us to doctors, physicians or other practitioners that deliver a quick relief, 'correctí or subdue the symptoms.

Soon after we find our system backtracking, with new or recurrent symptoms troubling us again. Evidently it is obvious that it is something that we are doing to ourselves that throws our system out of balance.

What is it?
The Alexander Technique is based on a concept of the inseparability of mind, body and emotions (we call this psychophysical unity). It is a method for identifying habitual patterns of use (nervous responses) and through the guidance of the teacherís hands, learning to release these and relearn more efficient ways to use ourselves. The Alexander Technique assist the pupils to consciously re-educate the nervous system and improve the use of all aspects of themselves. By learning how to connect our mind with our body and itís anatomical structure, and the freedom of our breath, we achieve effortless movement and enjoy physical vitality with a calm, aware and centred state of mind.

Rather than treating symptoms, the Alexander Technique is a skill to learn and practice for life. It is a way of constantly being in good terms with ourselves where we are, by being connected to the nature inside us.

Is it for me?

Everyone regardless of their age benefits from an Alexander Technique lesson. The lesson usually includes a lying down hands on session, during which the pupil has a chance to release daily tensions and recover the spineís full length. The teacherís hands provide feedback for the neuromuscular system that can guide the pupil towards recognising their patterns of misuse and teach them how to approach new means and improve their use and condition.

Medical Evidence Since the beginning of the 20th century there has been enough scientific evidence to support the effects of the Alexander Technique in the improvement of Neck and Lower Back pain, Parkinsonís disease and many other ailments.
The Alexander Technique aims at awakening the sensory mechanisms and reconnecting oneís thinking with the body. By perceiving the way the body is supported by its anatomy and train the nervous system to be able to stop any misuse and release unnecessary tensions. In this way, no matter the disability present, the Alexander Technique helps the person meet and perceive their own body in a new way. By connecting this new skills of perception with conscious awareness the use of one's self evolves. When injuries have caused temporary disability, the Alexander Technique teaches how to turn every possibility of movement into a self-physiotherapy session.
All in all, learning how to use the potential of our whole self, our senses and awareness in every activity we do, listening to our bodies with a quiet mind.

Roxani-Eleni Garefalaki
Alexander Technique Teacher MSTAT,
Tai Chi & QiGong,
mob. 07707226871
www.mindfulness-inmotion.com
[SLP members are entitled to 10% discount]

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