I have just finished running a three-session workshop on “Alexander Technique for the Prevention of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Release of Stress for/in the Sonography Profession at the brand new Chase Farm Hospital, for the Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust.

Over my years of working with Alexander Technique for the radiography professions, I have learned that working as a sonographer involves a sequence of repetitive movements carried out regularly. The concentration required by these precise movements together with the focused reading of images on screen often results in forgetting about one’s own body and how it is being used—or misused. In each session of these workshops I guided the team into experiencing how much tension they were unconsciously carrying in various parts of their body and how a better, more natural use could be learned and applied in the way they worked.

We looked at and explored together:

Session 1: Head-neck-back relationship – postural balance and spine upward direction
Session 2: Sitting bones and their supportive connection to fine-tuned hand movements
Session 3: Shoulders and arms support from the trunk

At the end of each session I guided the team in the Constructive Rest Procedure which consists of verbal instructions and hands-on guidance to carry out full mind-body integration and re-alignment. We also explored the importance of breathing naturally to re-balance the nervous system with guided Breathe in with Ease and Breathe out Tension exercises.

The Technique is a great tool to help overcome poor coordination and ensuing tension. At its root is a method of neuromuscular re-education that positively affects the entire musculoskeletal system. This leads to better understanding and use of the body – the way the various parts of the body are connected and affect each other and the way it is meant to function naturally in movements.

Learning and applying the Technique leads to improvement in mobility, postural balance and muscle tone – our coordination is enhanced and we function more efficiently.

An integral part of learning the Alexander Technique is to practise this resting balancing state. In semi-supine we are encouraging the back muscles to coordinate so that deeply held tensions can start to let go.

The intervertebral disks in our spine are subject to pressure during the day as our body weight pushes down. Cartilage and fluid in the disks are squeezed out into surrounding body tissues, as a result our stature shortens.

When the pressure on the disks is taken away, the disks have the ability to reabsorb fluids so, lying down in semi-supine actively helps the spine to plump up again.

Chronic neck pain and Alexander Technique: New study

Chronic neck pain is a difficult condition to manage and additional approaches are needed, particularly ones that have a strong self-care basis. Read about this in a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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Published research on the Alexander Technique: My recommendations

More and more research is being done on the Alexander Technique. Here are links to a few academic papers which I particularly recommend: Lighten Up: Specific Postural Instructions Affect Axial Rigidity and Step Initiation in Patients With Parkinson’s Disease Increased dynamic regulation of postural tone through Alexander Technique training Neuromechanical interference of posture on movement: […]

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Smart Phone! Smart Posture? My thoughts…

Text Neck – A problem of the modern age Text neck, or tech neck is the term used to describe the pain and damage caused to the neck, back and spine from constantly looking down at electronic devices. It is one of the most common causes of back pain and headaches and is an epidemic […]

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How time shapes your posture… and how the Alexander Technique can help

Our body is shaped by how we use it over time. Bad postural habits that have developed over many years can feel normal until pain alerts us that something is not quite right. For instance you might have heard of “forward head posture” or “computer-neck” as way of describing the habitual hunching in front of […]

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Sitting on a Saddle Seat

Do you know why the incidence of back pain in tribal people is very low? They don’t tend to sit in chairs for long hours. Sitting Support Most people sit slumped back into the chair seat maybe misguidedly thinking that in doing so they are supporting their back. In fact they are often sitting on […]

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