The Alexander Technique by Julia Gilroy

Julia will be discussing

& demonstrating

these ideas

on the 13th of March

at MBS Academie.

Information here

Frederick Matthias Alexander developed his technique in the 1890’s.  His acting career was threatened by recurring vocal problems of which the doctors could find no cure.  Therefore he set about experimenting on himself, closely observing what happened when he began to recite. He noticed tension and stiffness in his neck which affected his breathing and thus his performance. However with further experimentation he came to realise that the tension was not confined to his neck but to his whole physical use of himself. Gradually, as he learnt how to improve the way he moved he discovered a new mind-body relationship that not only improved his health but evolved into a unique technique. He wrote about this new discovery in depth and in detail in his first book ‘The Use of the Self.’

Alexander established a successful practice and set up a teacher training course in London in the 1930’s teaching until his death in 1955. His technique aroused interest in the medical and scientific fields. Many Doctors referred patients to him including Peter MacDonald the future

chairman of the British Medical Journal. A group of physicians even suggested including the technique in their training, a suggestion that was unfortunately rejected.Nikolaas Tinbergen, who was the Nobel Prize winner for Physiology/Medicine 1974 devoted a large portion of his acceptance speech on the Alexander Technique.  He did so to demonstrate how observation and reasoning could contribute to alleviate human suffering.

What is not measurable and what couldn’t be tested or explained at the time of Alexander’s discovery was the effect of his hands on his students.  A central key to the technique is the use of touch. Very often students call this kind of touch magical due to the wonderful feeling they have from it. The teacher places both hands on the student so lightly that he hardly feels them on him. The teacher can feel various tension and holdings in the student’s body and gives him directions to simply think about.  For example, he encourages the student to release any tension he feels in himself, to be aware of his surroundings, to think of letting his head go up and forwards, to allow his upper back and shoulders to lengthen and widen.

During the 1930’s it was impossible to prove that thoughts could bring about a physical response. Unlike today when neuroscientists use scans and RSI to digital technology to track parts of the brain and neuromuscular response.
F.M. Alexander described the experience as being in touch with your primary control. By this he meant the neuromuscular mechanism in humans that enable true ‘psycho-physical unity’. In other words the delicate global harmony of our functioning as entire beings. He argued that whenever we interfered with this unity there would be some dysfunction in ourselves, whether physical, emotional or cognitive because everything worked as a whole and we could not separate ourselves into parts. So the stress of daily life, or getting up from a chair in a certain way or our habitual thinking about something could disrupt this delicate system of ours. In Alexander’s own words: «You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension»

The Evolution of the Technique 

The results of his work have enabled people from all walks of life to re-find their health and well-being. Since those early days neuroscience has made enormous leaps in uncovering how, in fact, our way of thinking or our belief systems influence our physical and mental health. Such findings have supported the extensive empirical research of an Alexander Technique teacher called David Gorman.  He set out to examine FM Alexander’s work more closely questioning anatomically and physiologically how the primal control actually worked. What he discovered was a new model of human organisation which has become known as the Anatomy of Wholeness work.

Another aspect he was interested in was to help the participant learn how to learn for himself, hence the name, he gave to his work, LearningMethods. He  describes how « a huge part of our chronic problems lay not in the ‘body’ but in our consciousness and habitual way of seeing things and how we misinterpret our daily experiences and then become caught in reaction to these misunderstandings.»

The workshops I propose will take some of the main priniciples of the Alexander Technique and integrate them into a section of the LearningMethods work called Anatomy of Wholeness.  You will have the opportunity to explore this work and apply it to your particular issue using your own faculties of observation, intelligence and intention to adapt and change your existing habits. My role is to guide you through the process.  Simple anatomical and physical explanations serve as complimentary information that takes the mystery out of the Alexander Technique and leads it into the 21st Century.

*The names and logos of  LearningMethods and the Anatomy of Wholeness are trademarks of David Gorman and used with permission.

Classes with Julia can be booked at the following links:

Individual Classes:

https://mbsacademie.com/events/moving-with-ease-and-freedom-individual-sessions/

Workshops:

https://mbsacademie.com/events/moving-with-ease-and-freedom-workshops/

 

For more information:

https://www.alexandertechniqueinternational.org/

https://www.learningmethods.com/

www.mouvementenvie.fr       

info@mouvementenvie.fr     

tel: +33 (0)670675998

 

Finding Your Inner Balance by Elena Velema

Are you looking for balance in your life? Or maybe for ways to overcome anxiety, fear and doubt in the current world situation filled with hypes and threats? 

We all at some point in our lives are overwhelmed by emotions we cannot deal with, swept away by outside circumstances or by behaviour of people around us. And what we often do to deal with the uncomfortable feelings is look for some short term relief – we drink something, eat something, smoke something to make ourselves feel better. Sure enough, for a short while we feel relieved, however the main underlying issue does not go away that way. It is just temporarily pushed down, outside of our conscious awareness.

The thing is that so many of us in the attempt to feel better, more whole, to deal with difficult emotions look for the answers on the outside. We reach out for that drink at wine o’clock which makes us forget about our problems for a while, we start dependent relationships to fill that empty space inside of us. We blame people around us for the situation we are in, we blame the economy for our financial difficulties.

And then we outsource or well-being to an outside substance, be it a drink, a cigarette or comfort food.
So many of us spend a lot of time looking for the right things in the wrong places.

The truth is that the answers to our well-being can only be found on the inside. But how do we find them and where do we start? There are so many techniques out there and so many different approaches to balance and well-being, so which one is right for you? We are all so different, we come from different cultural and family backgrounds, we have different life experiences and have personal preferences that make us choose for one approach rather than the other. Some find their true well-being though the body – by doing regular exercise and choosing for healthy and nutritious foods. Others resonate more with spiritual practices and find inner peace though meditation and prayer. Or choose for techniques that help them tame the mind with its incessant thoughts and inner dialogues.

The reality is that they are all One. Our mind, body and soul are inter-connected and make up this wonderous and complex being that we are. And we can access our well-being though any route.

The important thing is to start the journey. Start exploring one of the facets and you will come to know the whole thing.

The book on the mind, body and soul connection that recently came out is a fresh take on the different techniques and tools that help you access your true well-being. In one book you will find over 20 different approaches to finding your inner balance and there will very likely be one that resonates with you and with the current situation you are facing. The book is called “One” and can be found on your local Amazon website http://mybook.to/Onethebook. Reading this book in these times of uncertainty has been like a breath of fresh air. No wonder it became #1 Bestseller on Amazon in more than 10 countries.

Start your journey today to a place of inner well-being, moving away from the fear and anxiety that permeates the world. A journey to a place within yourself filled with light and love. Find a way, the one that works for you – though your mind, body and soul – to come back to that place as often as you can and fill your inner world with more love than fear. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Take yours today.

 

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is the current buzz word, but what does it actually mean?

How many times do you get up for work, make breakfast, shower get dressed, drive to work and have no real recollection of it? Or you are driving down the road and suddenly realized you have reached your destination with really being aware of the time that has past? Are you living life on autopilot?

When was the last time you smiled at a stranger as you pass by in the street? Watched the sun set or stopped and inhaled the sweet smell of Jasmine as you walked to the shops? If you can, with your hand on your heart, say ‘yes’ every day, then you are experiencing ‘Mindfulness’.

Simply by being fully present, aware of your thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations, owning the moments in everyday life has been shown to reduce stress, improve relationships, communication, increase focus and enhance your immune system. 

Whilst mindfulness has its roots in the religious teachings of the Eastern world nowadays mindfulness tends to be practiced in two ways. 

  • Formal practice setting aside time to meditate or follow mindfulness practices such as body scan or mindful eating.
  • Being more thoughtful bringing your attention to the present moment.  Switching from ‘doing mode’ to being mode’.

Whatever you are doing at this precise moment just become aware of it, feel the clothes against your skin, feel your breath as you breathe in and out… are the in and out breaths different temperatures? What are you thinking? How do you feel? Being fully aware of the moment will make your experience richer and more fulfilling. 

Who does not want to enrich their life experience? 

Next time…. How mindful are you?

Is My Child Dyslexic?

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty that primarily affects the skills involved in accurate and fluent word reading and spelling.

The symptoms include:

  • Hesitant and inaccurate reading
  • Need to re-read materials to gain an understanding
  • Difficulty with sequences, e.g. putting dates in order
  • Erratic spelling
  • Reversal of letters (occurs in many normally developing children at times)
  • Auditory language problems or visual–spatial problems (may contribute to difficulties with reading and spelling)
  • Inability to distinguish sounds or shapes on the page

Children may have difficulties with being able to put the correct letter form to the sound heard, or they may not be able to find the sound for the letter shape.  Some children have very good reading and comprehension skills but are unable to form letters, spell and write a sentence. Difficulties with mathematics, organisational skills and lack of general co-ordination may also be experienced. Usually, the signs begin to appear around the age of 7 years old and the disorder is more common amongst boys than girls. 

A child may be referred to an educational psychologist for a full assessment to identify if the problem is within the auditory or the visual system.   This will help specialist teachers formulate and deliver a programme that uses a student’s individual strengths and weaknesses to aid learning.  Dyslexia is a lifelong disorder.  It has been proven that intervention using a specifically designed multisensory programme to engage all the modalities, that children may progress academically in line with their peers.  

There are many websites and books that help support families and children with dyslexia.  A good place to start is http://www.dyslexiaaction.org.uk/ or http://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/