Oy vey, my back!
August 7, 2006 8:32 PM   Subscribe

What is your experience with the Alexander Technique?

Owing to a lifetime of sitting in front of a computer, my posture is terrible.

I have recently become interested in the Alexander Technique. However, it seems potentially expensive and time consuming.

What is your experience with the Alexander Technique? Is it worth the time and money?
posted by Afroblanco to Health & Fitness (8 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I tried it. It was entirely too time-consuming for me, and more importantly, attention-consuming. I don't have that many extra cycles mentally that I can devote to Alexander Technique, when just getting the right furniture to sit in can get me 90% of the way there to great posture.
posted by evariste at 8:41 PM on August 7, 2006

I have no serious personal experience with it, but have met (a few) professional wind players who have nothing but praise for it. They like it because, yeah, it reduces back problems for people that have to maintain good posture for hours at a time. Then again, professional musicians tend not to be turned off by hours of training.
posted by gsteff at 8:47 PM on August 7, 2006

My cousin did it and he said that it gave him arches in his feet.
He's a tall, lanky guy like you.
posted by brujita at 9:17 PM on August 7, 2006

I was exposed to the Alexander Technique years ago when I was studying acting. What amazed me was how effortless it could be to move my body. I also found that there were emotions associated with the muscles I used unnecessarily. I had to let go of shit to use my body freely. It was profound. After the struggle to retrain your body is past, the need for the consuming focus should fall away.
posted by pointilist at 9:25 PM on August 7, 2006

I've done some Alexander Technique and it was very valuable. I managed to get into a group acting/Alexander class which wasn't too time-consuming for the benefit conferred, but I sing and act so I got the whole "Wow, my voice is huge now" thrill. I never pursued the private lessons consistently (I did take a few); I think I got some benefit, but would be interested in hearing from others on the long-term benefits.

Also, how do the results over time compare to Feldenkreis? I guess the odds of someone here having experience with both are slim, but I think it would be interesting to hear.
posted by amtho at 9:26 PM on August 7, 2006

I had heavily subsidised lessons through my former employer, and it was great - 40 minutes a week of close attention to how I sat, stood and moved. You're encouraged to think about things when going about daily life, but there's no practice to do really, outside of the lessons. It was really useful, both in my office job and my music.

I stopped the lessons when I left the job, and have probably slipped a bit since then. It's something you really need the lessons to get benefit from, though it can be expensive.
posted by altolinguistic at 11:50 PM on August 7, 2006

Before you start worrying about fixing the damage your computer workstation has done to your body, make sure it's now set up in such a way as to inflict no further damage.

If it hasn't been, and you fix it, your body will likely get better on its own.
posted by flabdablet at 12:16 AM on August 8, 2006

I tried it and didn't find it all that useful. I took a class that went on for several weeks, and between the instructor and the subtlety of the movements, I really didn't see much of a change. The friend I did it with was similarly underwhelmed.

On the other hand, my father had some serious back problems and part of his therapy was AT and he thought it was very useful (he was also doing a lot of other stuff). I also know one other person who did the training and thought it was absolutely great.

I do think it probably depends on what kind of person you are and what you find stimulating. I would much rather do something more active-yoga, pilates, general core exercises-which will benefit my strength and posture than something that I have to really think about getting right through force of will.
posted by OmieWise at 7:21 AM on August 8, 2006

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