The Alexander Technique has many therapeutic values but is not a treatment, it needs you to be engaged, aware and awake. It has many benefits to how you sit, stand and move but is not posture training. It may well re-balance and calm your nervous system but it is not relaxation training. So what is it? Simply a series of thoughts to put you back in charge of what goes on in your coordination and movement patterns. We are not doing this directly – no sitting up straight, no shoulders back and down as you might expect. Here we are working indirectly – choosing thoughts which encourage the natural, healthy alignment of the spine, the free movement in all the joints, and the most efficient use of tension and tone in your muscles, according to whatever activity you are doing. We learn to trust our body’s natural wisdom to sort out the details, whilst we feed it the thoughts which encourage and promote this overall coordination.
Intrigued? Come and find out what the Alexander Technique really is, what it can do for you and how you can learn to use it with immediate affect. People find it helps them become more aware, improves balance and breathing, and puts you back in charge of your thoughts, movements and coordination.
Lucy Ascham came across the Technique as a music student suffering with stage fright aged 20. One teacher recommended Beta Blockers, another the Alexander Technique. Luckily there was an AT Teacher Training Course next door and they needed people to work with. The results were tremendous and life affirming in many and varied ways. The rear view mirror in her car always needed adjusting after a lesson as she had grown taller. Leaves on trees seemed more colourful and she really enjoyed her final trumpet recital and gained a 2:1 BA Hons in Music.
After 10 years as a private pupil, Lucy undertook the 3 year full-time teacher training at Cumbria Alexander Training in Kendal, 2000-03. Since then she had a successful practice in Manchester for 7 years working with musicians at the BBC Philharmonic and Royal Northern College of Music, Bodywise Natural Health Centre at Manchester Buddhist Centre, staff and students at Manchester University.
Since moving to Sheffield and becoming a mother in 2010, Lucy has worked with people at Sheffield University, and women during pregnancy and childbirth. Lucy took part in the ATLAS Randomized Control Trial funded by Arthritis Research UK looking at the benefits of Alexander Technique lessons versus normal GP care for chronic neck pain. The study found that people having 24 lessons over six months had a 31% improvement in their pain levels even after a year. They were also better able to manage their pain without medication.