Friday, February 12, 2010
How do we look at the Tension issue?
Usually when feeling the tension accumulated in our muscles, we describe it as “I carry tension in my shoulder,” or “my lower back is tensed,” or “my neck feels stiff.” We focus on the body-part which is affected, and look for something to relieve the problem in that specific area. A certain movement, a certain exercise, or a cure for the affected body-part.
The Alexander Technique has a different viewpoint. Instead of seeing the parts, we look at the whole body-coordination, noticing how misusing our structure makes the imbalance appear. Our body parts correspond to each other in their movements. The dynamic relationship between our Head, Neck, and Back affects our entire alignment, including our arms and legs. The more balance we have – the less tension we need.
An Alexander Technique teacher observes the person’s head-neck-back activity. He/she will find out what interferes with the free movement and will guide the person to consciously pause, stop, and prevent the interference, which is a form of unnecessary muscular over-doing. The tensed area will release as part of the process in which the whole body will be going back to functioning with ease and flow. As a friend of Mr. Alexander said– “Alexander doesn’t treat specific defects. He doesn’t undertake specific cures, but the specific defects are eradicated in the process.” (F. M. Alexander, Articles & Lectures, Edited by J. Fischer, Mouritz 1995, p. 152).