The Alexander Technique, named after its creator Frederick Matthias Alexander, is an educational process that was created to retrain habitual patterns of movement and posture. Alexander believed that poor habits in posture and movement damaged spatial self-awareness as well as health, and that movement efficiency could support overall physical well-being. He saw the technique as a mental training technique as well.:221
Alexander began developing his technique's principles in the 1890s in an attempt to address voice loss during public speaking.:34–35 He credited his method with allowing him to pursue his passion for reciting in Shakespearean theater.
Some proponents of the Alexander Technique say that it addresses a variety of health conditions related to cumulative physical behaviors but there is little evidence to support these claims. As of 2015 there was evidence suggesting the Alexander Technique may be helpful for long-term back pain, long-term neck pain, and may help people cope with Parkinson's disease. However, both Aetna and the Australian Department of Health have conducted reviews and concluded that the technique has insufficient evidence to warrant insurance coverage.
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955) was a Shakespearean orator from Tasmania, who developed voice loss during his unamplified performances. After doctors found no physical cause, Alexander reasoned that he was inadvertently damaging himself while speaking. He observed himself in multiple mirrors and saw that he was contracting his posture in preparation for any speech. He hypothesized that a habitual conditioned pattern (of pulling his head backwards and downwards) needlessly was disrupting the normal working of his total postural, breathing, and vocal processes.
With experimentation, Alexander developed the ability to stop the unnecessary and habitual contracting in his neck, displacement of his head, and shortening of his stature. As he became practised at speaking without these interferences, he found that his problem with recurrent voice loss was resolved. While on a recital tour in New Zealand (1895), he came to believe in the wider significance of improved carriage for overall physical functioning although evidence from his own publications appears to indicate it happened less systematically and over a long period of time.:36
The American philosopher and educator John Dewey became impressed with the Alexander Technique after his headaches, neck pains, blurred vision, and stress symptoms largely improved during the time he used Alexander's advice to change his posture. In 1923, Dewey wrote the introduction to Alexander's Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual.
Aldous Huxley had transformative lessons with Alexander, and continued doing so with other teachers after moving to the US. He rated Alexander's work highly enough to base the character of the doctor who saves the protagonist in Eyeless in Gaza (an experimental form of autobiographical work) on F.M. Alexander, putting many of his phrases into the character's mouth. Huxley's work The Art of Seeing also discusses his views on the technique.
Sir Stafford Cripps, George Bernard Shaw, Henry Irving and other stage grandees, Lord Lytton and other eminent people of the era also wrote positive appreciations of his work after taking lessons with Alexander.
Since Alexander's work in the field came at the start of the 20th century, his ideas influenced many originators in the field of mind-body improvement. Fritz Perls, who originated Gestalt therapy, credited Alexander as an inspiration for his psychological work. The Mitzvah Technique was influenced by the Alexander Technique; as was the Feldenkrais Method - who expanded on the one exercise in Alexander Technique called "The Whispered Ah."
Alexander's approach emphasizes awareness strategies applied to conducting oneself while in action, (which could be now called 'mindful' action, though in his four books he did not use that term.)
Actions such as sitting, squatting, lunging or walking are often selected by the teacher. Other actions may be selected by the student that is tailored to their interests or work activities; hobbies, computer use, lifting, driving or artistic performance or practice, sports, speech or horseback riding. Alexander teachers often use themselves as examples. They demonstrate, explain, and analyze a student's moment-to-moment responses as well as using mirrors, video feedback or classmate observations. Guided modelling with a highly skilled light hand contact is the primary tool for detecting and guiding the student into a more coordinated state in movement and at rest during in-person lessons. Suggestions for improvements are often student-specific, as everyone starts out with slightly different habits.
Exercise as a teaching tool is deliberately omitted because of a common mistaken assumption that there exists a "correct" position. There are only two specific procedures that are practiced by the student; the first is lying semi-supine. Resting in this way uses "mechanical advantage" as a means of redirecting long-term and short-term accumulated muscular tension into a more integrated and balanced state. This position is sometimes referred to as "constructive rest", or "the balanced resting state". It's also a specific time to practice Alexander's principle of conscious "directing" without "doing". The second exercise is the "Whispered Ah", which is used to co-ordinate freer breathing and vocal production.
Freedom, efficiency and patience are the prescribed values. Proscribed are unnecessary effort, self-limiting habits as well as mistaken perceptual conclusions about the nature of training and experimentation. Students are led to change their largely automatic routines that are interpreted by the teacher to currently or cumulatively be physically limiting, inefficient, or not in keeping with best "use" of themselves as a whole. The Alexander teacher provides verbal coaching while monitoring, guiding and preventing unnecessary habits at their source with a specialized hands-on assistance.
This specialized hands-on skill also allows Alexander teachers to bring about a balanced working of the student's supportive musculature as it relates to gravity's downward pull from moment to moment. Often, students require a great deal of hands-on work in order to first gain an experience of a fully poised relation to gravity and themselves. The hands-on skill requires Alexander teachers to maintain in themselves from moment-to-moment their own improved psycho-physical co-ordination that the teacher is communicating to the student.
Alexander developed terminology to describe his methods, outlined in his four books that explain the experience of learning and substituting new improvements.
"Directing" serves to counteract the common backward and downward pull and shortening in stature that can be detected at the beginning of every movement - particularly addressing a startle pattern of "fight, flight or freeze." A mere thought, as a projection of intention, shapes preparatory movement below the level of sensing it. Alexander used these words for reshaping these subliminal preparations: "The neck to be free, the head to go forward and up, the back to lengthen and widen." Some teachers have shortened this to a suggestion of, "Freer?" Negative directions (that use Alexander's other preventive principle of "inhibition") have also been found to be effective, because negative directions leave the positive response open-ended. Whichever is used, all "Directing" is suggestively thought, (rather than willfully accomplished.) This is because the neuro-muscular responses to "Directing" often occur underneath one's ability to perceive how they are actually carried out neuro-physiologically and neuro-cognitively. As freedom of expression or movement is the objective, the most appropriate responses cannot be anticipated or expected, only observed and chosen in the moment. Teacher trainees gradually learn to include a constant attending to their lengthening in stature in every movement. It becomes a basis for initiating and continuing every action, every response to stimuli or while remaining constructively at rest.
The Alexander Technique is used and taught by classically trained vocal coaches and musicians in schools and private lessons. Its advocates state that it allows for a balanced use of all aspects of the vocal tract by consciously increasing air-flow, allowing improved vocal skill and tone. The method is said by actors to reduce stage fright and to increase spontaneity.
The Alexander Technique is a frequent component in acting training, because it can assist the actor in being more natural in performance.
The Alexander Technique is most commonly taught privately in a series of 10 to 40 private lessons which may last from 30 minutes to an hour. Students are often performers, such as actors, dancers, musicians, athletes and public speakers, people who work on computers, or those who are in frequent pain for other reasons. Instructors observe their students, then show them how to move with better poise and less strain. Sessions include chair work - often in front of a mirror, during which the instructor and the student will stand, sit and lie down, moving efficiently while maintaining a comfortable relationship between the head, neck and spine, and table work or physical manipulation.
To qualify as a teacher of Alexander Technique, instructors are required to complete 1,600 hours, spanning three years, of supervised teacher training. The result must be satisfactory to qualified peers to gain membership in professional societies.
A review of evidence for Alexander Technique for various health conditions provided by UK NHS Choices last updated in 2018 said that advocates of the technique made claims for it that were not supported by evidence, but that there was evidence suggesting that it might help with:
- long-term back pain – lessons in the technique may lead to reduced back pain-associated disability and reduce how often you feel pain for up to a year or more
- long-term neck pain – lessons in the technique may lead to reduced neck pain and associated disability for up to a year or more
- Parkinson's disease – lessons in the technique may help you carry out everyday tasks more easily and improve how you feel about your condition
NHS Choices also states that "some research has also suggested the Alexander technique may improve general long-term pain, stammering and balance skills in elderly people to help them avoid falls. But the evidence in these areas is limited and more studies are needed. There's currently little evidence to suggest the Alexander technique can help improve other health conditions, including asthma, headaches, osteoarthritis, difficulty sleeping (insomnia) and stress."
A review published in BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine in 2014 focused on "the evidence for the effectiveness of AT sessions on musicians' performance, anxiety, respiratory function and posture" concluded that: "Evidence from RCTs and CTs suggests that AT sessions may improve performance anxiety in musicians. Effects on music performance, respiratory function and posture yet remain inconclusive."
A review published in the International Journal of Clinical Practice in 2012 found: "Strong evidence exists for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons for chronic back pain and moderate evidence in Parkinson’s-associated disability. Preliminary evidence suggests that Alexander Technique lessons may lead to improvements in balance skills in the elderly, in general chronic pain, posture, respiratory function and stuttering, but there is insufficient evidence to support recommendations in these areas."
A 2012 Cochrane systematic review found that there is no conclusive evidence that the Alexander technique is effective for treating asthma, and randomized clinical trials are needed in order to assess the effectiveness of this type of treatment approach.
A review by Aetna last updated in 2016 stated: "Aetna considers the following alternative medicine interventions experimental and investigational, because there is inadequate evidence in the peer-reviewed published medical literature of their effectiveness." Included is Alexander technique in that list.
A review published in 2015 and conducted for the Australia Department of Health in order to determine what services the Australian government should pay for, reviewed clinical trials published to date and found that: "Overall, the evidence was limited by the small number of participants in the intervention arms, wide confidence intervals or a lack of replication of results." It concluded that: "The Alexander technique may improve short-term pain and disability in people with low back pain, but the longer-term effects remain uncertain. For all other clinical conditions, the effectiveness of Alexander technique was deemed to be uncertain, due to insufficient evidence." It also noted that: "Evidence for the safety of Alexander technique was lacking, with most trials not reporting on this outcome. Subsequently in 2017 the Australian government named the Alexander Technique as a practice that would not qualify for insurance subsidy, saying this step would "ensure taxpayer funds are expended appropriately and not directed to therapies lacking evidence".
Contemporary dance is a genre of dance performance that developed during the mid twentieth century and has since grown to become one of the dominant genres for formally trained dancers throughout the world, with particularly strong popularity in the U.S. and Europe. Although originally informed by and borrowing from classical, modern, and jazz styles, it has since come to incorporate elements from many styles of dance. Due to its technical similarities, it is often perceived to be closely related to modern dance, ballet, and other classical concert dance styles.
In terms of the focus of its technique, contemporary dance tends to combine the strong but controlled legwork of ballet with modern that stresses on torso. It also employs contract-release, floor work, fall and recovery, and improvisation characteristics of modern dance. Unpredictable changes in rhythm, speed, and direction are often used, as well. Additionally, contemporary dance sometimes incorporates elements of non-western dance cultures, such as elements from African dance including bent knees, or movements from the Japanese contemporary dance, Butoh.Dance science
Dance science is the scientific study of dance and dancers, as well as the practical application of scientific principles to dance. Its aims are the enhancement of performance, the reduction of injury, and the improvement of well-being and health.
Dance medicine and science as a field of study developed in the 1970s and 80s out of the field of sports medicine. In the early 1980s, the American Dance Festival (ADF) started including dance medicine courses in their course work for dancers. When ADF moved to Duke University, physicians from Duke University Hospital became interested in dancers. Then, in 1990, the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS) was formed by an international group of dance medicine practitioners, dance educators, dance scientists, and dancers. Membership of IADMS began with 48 members in 1991, and has grown to over 900 members in 35 countries as of 2016.Dance science as an academic discipline has been evolving over the past 20 years. In the United Kingdom, three degrees (at master's level) now exist: one at the University of Bedfordshire, one at the University of Wolverhampton, and one at the Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance in London. With regards to dance science research, another UK institution which has staff and students active in the area is the University of Birmingham. Some undergraduate degrees in dance, or other dance courses, also include one or several modules in dance science, with the aim of promoting healthy dance practices. These include the University of Wolverhampton, the Royal Academy of Dance, and Bird College.
Several universities in the United States also offer dance science courses as part of their dance curriculum, accommodating both undergraduate and graduate level students. These include, but are not limited to: Cornish College of the Arts, Columbia College of Chicago, California State - Long Beach, Elon University, Florida State University, Goucher College, Long Island University - Brooklyn Campus, Ohio State University, Ohio University, UCLA - Irvine, University of Colorado, University of Illinois - Urbana Champagne, and the University of Oregon.
Typically, the subject areas within dance science are similar to those studied in "sports science", though naturally with a focus on dance and the special considerations that this involves. They include: physiology, anatomy, kinesiology, psychology, biomechanics, nutrition, and similar. However, unlike sports science, dance science sometimes also studies related topics such as creativity and somatic techniques, including the practices of Pilates, yoga, Alexander technique, Feldenkrais method, etc.
Some dance companies employ dance scientists to provide support services, such as physiological testing, psychological support, conditioning and nutritional counseling. Such professionals include physical therapists, nutritionists, pilates instructors, massage therapists, and dance medicine physicians. Dancers that are not employed by a dance company that offers rehabilitation benefits on-site can sometimes have access to such facilities within their city of residence. Dancers in New York City have access to The Harkness Center for Dance Injuries, located at the NYU-Hospital for Joint Diseases, NYU Langone Medical Center, which offers many subsidized and free services for the dance community. These services include "clinics staffed by orthopedists and dance physical therapists; state-of-the art research and rehabilitation technology and free injury prevention screenings and lectures." Westside Physical Therapy, directed and founded by Marika Molnar - the first physical therapist hired by the New York City Ballet - is another example of a physical therapy clinic in New York City that offers specialized care to dancers (as well as to non-dancers).
The largest organization promoting dance science internationally is the International Association for Dance Medicine and Science (IADMS). As well as producing a scientific peer-reviewed journal, Journal of Dance Medicine and Science, it also holds an annual conference. The Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA), which holds its annual symposium in Aspen-Snowmass, Colorado, is a unique organization that concerns itself with the injuries and health issues of musicians as well as dancers. In the UK, DanceUK is perhaps the foremost proponent of dance science and healthy dance practice more generally. A conference entitled "From Cognition to Conditioning" was held at Middlesex University in February 2007.Direction
Direction may refer to:
Relative direction, for instance left, right, forward, backwards, up, and down (see also Anatomical terms of location for those used in scientific descriptions)
Cardinal directionF. Matthias Alexander
Frederick Matthias Alexander (20 January 1869 – 10 October 1955) was an Australian actor who developed the Alexander Technique, an educational process said to recognize and overcome reactive, habitual limitations in movement and thinking.Galen Cranz
Galen Cranz is a Professor of Architecture at the College of Environmental Design at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the social and cultural bases of architectural and urban design. She is a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique, a kinesthetic educational system.
She is the author of The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America (1982), which surveys the rise of the park system from 1850 to the present through four stages -- "the pleasure ground, the reform park, the recreation facility and the open space system," and the 1998 book The Chair: Rethinking Culture, Body, and Design.Jean-Louis Rodrigue
Jean-Louis Rodrigue (born May 23, 1951) is an internationally recognized acting coach, movement director, and teacher of the Alexander Technique, and a pioneer in its application to film and theater. Rodrigue’s most notable successes in film and theatre include coaching Leonardo DiCaprio for his performance in "J. Edgar" (2011), Josh Brolin as George W. Bush in "W" (2008), Mary McDonnell for her Oscar-nominated role as a paraplegic actress in "Passion Fish" (1992), and Pamela Gien’s award-winning performance in her off-Broadway and international tour of The Syringa Tree (2000).Junior Sanchez
Eugenio Sanchez Jr., commonly known by his stage name Junior Sanchez, is an American record producer, DJ, artist, re-mixer and record executive from New Jersey.Kristof Konrad
Kristof Konrad (born Krzysztof Wojslaw; 1962) is a Polish-American film, television, theatre, and voice actor. For over twenty years, he has successfully worked in film and television in both the United States and Europe, working with directors such as Kenneth Branagh, Francis Lawrence, Ron Howard, and Roland Emmerich and working opposite actors such as Jennifer Lawrence, Robin Wright, Kerry Washington, Jennifer Garner, and many more. He currently resides in Los Angeles and works internationally.Lauren Flax
Lauren Flax is a DJ, songwriter and producer. Lauren currently is a member of the Brooklyn-based band CREEP with Lauren Dillard. Lauren was also the Fischerspooner tour DJ from 2008-2011. DJs Are Not Rockstars, an indie dance label run by Mark Davenport and Alexander Technique released her first single "You've Changed" featuring vocals by Sia of Zero7 fame. In 2010, Sia re-recorded "You've Changed" and released it as her first single from the album, We Are Born.
CREEP self-released their debut record, "echoes" on CREEP INTL on 11/12/13. Echoes features 14 different singers such as Sia, Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow, Tricky, Lou Rhodes of Lamb, Alejandra De La Deheza of School of Seven Bells, Dark Sister, Holly Miranda, Alpines, Planningtorock, Nina Sky and Romy xx.List of forms of alternative medicine
This is a list of articles covering alternative medicine topics.Meadowmount School of Music
The Meadowmount School of Music, founded in 1944 by Ivan Galamian, is a 7-week summer school in the town of Lewis (mailing address Westport) in Upstate New York for accomplished young violinists, cellists, violists, and pianists training for professional careers in music. The students receive instruction in chamber music and solo performance techniques, practice five hours per day, attend master classes, studio classes, guest artist workshops, Alexander Technique and yoga. The extensive campus contains a dining hall, student lounge, infirmary, practice cabins, faculty studios, a concert hall, performance space, recreation areas (tennis, basketball, soccer, table tennis...) and student dormitories. Field trips, hiking and off campus events are also offered. Concerts are held three time a week and feature students, faculty and/or guest artists. Master classes are held daily.
The campus was originally the home of suffragist Inez Milholland, who spent summers there on her family's property.
Some of the school's more distinguished alumni include:
Alexander RybakFor a full list visit: http://www.meadowmount.com/inner.php?pageid=137
Notable members of the school's faculty have included:
Hans Jørgen Jensen
Eric Larsen, Director
Jan Mark Sloman
William van der Sloot
Ivan ŽenatýMitzvah Technique
The Mitzvah Technique is focused on dealing with body mechanics in a state of motion. It is a development of the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method and health-oriented work on musculoskeletal problems and stress diseases. Each of these techniques is based on correcting common postural faults by addressing the neuromuscular system through postural re-education. Yet, the Mitzvah Technique encompasses both a unique philosophy and a set of procedures. This includes the discipline, exercises, and the work that Mitzvah Technique practitioners do with their hands.My Machine
My Machine is Princess Superstar's fifth LP. It is produced by herself as well as well-known producers such as house music pioneer Todd Terry, DJ Mighty Mi from the High and Mighty, Jacques Lu Cont, Junior Sanchez, and pioneering hip hop/electro producer Arthur Baker.
Other producers include Armand van Helden, Loose Cannons & Jon Plateau Selvig, Malito "Maleet", Alexander Technique, Mr. Nô, Boris Dlugosch, Bryan Black, Johnny Toobad, Eddie Cooper, Motor, and Chris Rubix. Not surprisingly, the album is more electronica-oriented, although there are also some hip hop
tracks without electronica influences on the album.Nelly Ben-Or
Nelly Nechama Ben-Or, also known as Nelly Ben-Or Clynes, was born in 1933 in Lwow in Poland. She is an international concert pianist and a Professor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama where she has taught the piano and the Alexander Technique since 1975. She is also a Holocaust survivor.Redler
Redler is a German surname of:
Arnold Redler (1875–1958), British founder of the conveying company Redler Limited in Stroud (Gloucestershire) in 1920
Leon Redler, a doctor of medicine, psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and teacher of the Alexander Technique
Lucy Redler (born 1979, Hann. Münden, Lower Saxony), a German politicianRelease technique
In dance, release technique is any of various dance techniques that focus on breathing, muscle relaxation, anatomical considerations, and the use of gravity and momentum to facilitate efficient movement. It can be found in modern and postmodern dance, and has been influenced by the work of modern dance pioneers, therapeutic movement techniques such as Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique, and yoga and martial arts.Richard Walker (equestrian)
This article deals with Richard Walker, English equestrian. For other Richard Walkers, see: Richard Walker (disambiguation).Richard Walker (1950 - ) is best known for being the youngest rider ever to win the Badminton Horse Trials. At 18 years and 247 days, the British-born rode his mount, Pasha, to victory at Badminton in 1969. Although he tried to repeat his success, he never won the event again. However, the pair did go on to be part of the British Eventing Team at the 1969 European Championships (Haras-du-Pin, France), where they won not only the Team Gold, but also the Individual Silver medal.
Richard Walker is the son of Alexander Technique teachers Dick and Elisabeth Walker.Sarah Ludi
Sarah Ludi (1971) is a Swiss dancer who is based in Brussels and is best known for her work with the choreographers Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker / Rosas and Thomas Hauert / ZOO.Somatics
Somatics is a field within bodywork and movement studies which emphasizes internal physical perception and experience. The term is used in movement therapy to signify approaches based on the soma, or "the body as perceived from within," including Alexander technique, the Feldenkrais Method, and Rolfing. In dance, the term refers to techniques based on the dancer's internal sensation, in contrast with "performative techniques," such as ballet or modern dance, which emphasize the external observation of movement by an audience. Somatic techniques may be used in bodywork, psychotherapy, dance, or spiritual practices.