Hearing loss, posture and change
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
1w ago
If you have hearing loss, tinnitus or find it hard to hear in noisy places there may not just be changes in your hearing. Some posture changes might also have crept in. For example, you may be able to hear better with one ear than the other.  Without realising it you may lean over to the ‘good’ ear or always turn your head to one side to hear more clearly. Even with hearing aids in you may be using more tension and strain in your neck and head muscles than you need to.   Straining to pick up sounds When we try too hard to pick up or make out sound, we can end up pushing the head and ..read more
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Alexander Technique and pain
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
1M ago
I’ve recently taken a course on the latest research and thinking into the science of chronic pain. This covered the many ways for people with long-term pain to find help including through Alexander Technique. Our current understanding of chronic pain is that it is complex and specific to each person. Multiple factors are involved.  When pain continues over months or years it’s less likely to relate to physical damage. Instead it's more likely that the body’s protective response has become heightened and overly sensitive. We experience the real sensation of pain but there is no underl ..read more
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How do we know what we're doing?
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
2M ago
How do we know if we’re standing straight or at an angle? Can we tell where our feet are without looking? Is one shoulder higher than the other? Can we believe what we see in the mirror? Behind these questions lies one of the fundamental principles of the Alexander Technique. It’s what FM Alexander called faulty sensory awareness. This means that our self-perception of how we're using our bodies is unreliable. We might not be doing what we thought. A universal problem Alexander came to this conclusion from personal experience. He had developed a voice problem that stopped him working as an act ..read more
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Tai chi and Alexander Technique - and how staying in the moment makes you happy
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
3M ago
Image of indoor tai chi class by Elliot Manches via Centre for Ageing Better If you’re looking for a form of exercise that’s compatible with Alexander Technique then tai chi is a strong contender. And because both of them help you stay in the moment they might even make you happier… Tai chi began as a Chinese martial art with roots in Taoist philosophy. In its modern form It can seem like a slow and stylised dance. It emphasises the smooth flow of internal energy (qi or chi) through the whole bodily system. I’ve found it helpful in improving awareness, balance and flexibility and bringing abo ..read more
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What does good posture look like?
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
4M ago
Many of us want ‘good’ posture or want to ‘correct’ our posture. But we don’t always know what we’re aiming for or how to get there. For me the word ‘posture’ suggests something quite fixed, rigid or held. That’s definitely not what we want. As young children a teacher or parent probably told us to sit up straight or pull our shoulders back. But doing that leads to stiffness and tension throughout the body as you can see in the photos below. Remembrance Day Parade 2017 in Islington, North London Cadets with hands clasped behind backs at Remembrance Day Parade in Islington, North London 2017 ..read more
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How much does Alexander Technique cost?
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
5M ago
If you’re thinking of learning Alexander Technique for back pain, posture or stress you probably want to know a few things first. You can read other posts on what to look for in an Alexander teacher and how many lessons you’ll need. But what about the cost? Direct costs Teachers vary in what they charge and how long each session is.  Travel costs and time may be a factor depending on where you live. Some health insurance policies may cover the cost though possibly only for teachers who, like me, are on the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC) Register. Online and group clas ..read more
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What to look for in an Alexander Technique teacher
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
6M ago
If you want to learn the Alexander Technique you’re going to need a teacher.  But how do you choose? Here are some pointers to help you find the right teacher for you:   1. Group or one-to-one   First you need to decide whether to learn in a group or one-to-one. There are often group classes at adult education colleges. Many teachers run small group sessions in their local area so you meet other people while you learn. Group classes generally provide an introduction or an overview. You can often book individual lessons with the teacher at a later date. One-to-one lessons gi ..read more
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Walking in a balanced way
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
7M ago
Many of us believe we should walk 10,000 steps a day to stay fit and healthy. But there was originally no research basis for this. (According to the BBC’s Claudia Hammond the 10k target dates back only to a marketing campaign at the Tokyo Olympics in 1964). Now new research has begun to work out how far we should walk each day to improve our health. It seems as few as 2337 steps a day can cut the risk of dying from cardiovascular diseases.   Going up to 4000 a day can reduce our risk of dying from any cause, not just heart-related ones. In general upping daily steps seems to be better for ..read more
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How eyes and posture are connected
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
8M ago
How we use our eyes is a good way of knowing what’s going on with our posture.  I’ll show you what I mean using some London street art. In the photo above Charlie Chaplin’s eyes are lowered and his face is downcast. In looking down with his eyes he has also dropped his head. Now he has to support the whole weight of his head on his hands. His eyes have a glazed look. He seems lost in thought and oblivious to the outside world.  It’s not just his face that tells us this.  We can read it in how he holds himself - what we might call his posture.    The creases in his jack ..read more
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Persistent pain - and how to think differently about it
Alexander Stories
by Sheila Christie
10M ago
Persistent pain is hard to live with – whether in yourself or others. It seems so unrelenting. But understanding what long-term pain is and learning to think about it differently can help lessen its impact.  What is persistent pain?   Persistent (or chronic) pain is pain that lasts longer than 3 months and doesn’t respond to medication or treatment.  Its opposite is the acute pain we experience after injury or an operation. Acute pain usually goes away once we’ve recovered. If it doesn’t then it can turn into persistent pain.   Some people have persistent pain with no histo ..read more
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