Frequently Asked Questions
Are Alexander Teachers regulated by a professional body?
STAT is the professional body that regulates standards of training, ethical conduct, and the professional development of Alexander Teachers worldwide. It was founded in 1958 by the teachers personally trained by FM Alexander, and all members have completed an approved three-year, full-time training course. STAT represents around 90% of teachers worldwide through its affiliated bodies. To find out more you can visit the STAT WEBSITE where you will find a full list of registered UK Teachers.
Please note that there are other bodies claiming to train ‘Alexander Teachers’ including correspondence courses and weekend courses, but we do not recognise them as bona fide teachers and recommend that you only have lessons with a STAT trained teacher.
Are you CNHC Registered Teachers of the Alexander Technique?
Many of the better established therapeutic practitioners such as homeopaths want nothing to do with it, and it is widely derided by the medical establishment, among whom it is known as Ofquack. Although the CNHC was set up to ensure standards of quality and training, we believe that has achieved the precise opposite, by allowing ‘Alexander Teachers’ with minimal training to go on the register, and by doing so it is undermining the professionalism of those teachers who have undergone a full three year training. In addition, the CNHC is a register of therapists and we are not therapists, we are teachers.
Do you teach Alexander Technique to groups?
STAT states that group classes should be described as ‘introductory classes’ and the majority of teachers are of the opinion that the Technique can only be properly experienced through one to one lessons. We will however give introductory talks and classes on the understanding that these are for general interest only.
Is the Alexander Technique like Yoga, Pilates or T’ai Chi?
No, but the Alexander Technique can give you a foundation of coordination and awareness that will greatly improve your performance and enjoyment of these activities.
How many lessons does it take?
It isn’t possible to unlearn the habits of a lifetime in a few sessions. Like taking over a neglected garden, it takes time and effort to remove deep-rooted and persistent weeds (our habits). But once the space has been created, the Technique becomes an enjoyable adventure and an opportunity for change.
It does take commitment, and regular individual hands-on lessons – how many depends on how quickly you learn and how far you want to go.
The Society of Teachers of The Alexander Technique recommends 20–30 lessons as a foundation but it’s a very individual thing.
Am I too old to learn?
Younger people have the advantage of youth, but older people are usually less busy and more motivated, so it’s never too late to gain some benefit, and we have successfully taught people in their eighties.
My husband’s posture is terrible, how can I get him interested in having lessons?
This is a surprisingly frequent question. The trouble is that learning the technique does require considerable motivation, and going along for a lesson or two just so you won’t be pestered isn’t going to work. If you think someone else needs lesson, the best approach is to have lessons yourself. A significant number of people learn the Technique because they have observed the changes happening in someone else, and they want some of what they see.
My daughter’s posture is terrible, how can I get her interested in having lessons?
A slightly different problem to the one above. Telling a child to sit up straight is certain to do more harm than good, and a teenager is likely to slump even more. However, since the technique brings improvements to all aspects of life, it can be fairly easy to find something to motivate them. Moving well can make you better at sport, or more attractive, or improve horse riding. There’s plenty of scope, and it’s our experience that children and teenagers can respond very well.
How did we get into such a mess?
As young children in good health, we begin with good use, but by the time we go to school things start to deteriorate – inappropriate activities, copying others, and poor furniture soon destroy the balance within our bodies.
I want to improve my riding. How do I find a teacher who is a rider?
This is rather like trying to learn a particular tune on the violin without learning to play the violin! Trying to learn to apply the Technique to a particular activity before you have mastered the principles is an approach certain to end in failure. The whole point is that in learning to use yourself in a better way, you are then able to apply the Technique to all your activities. We have successfully taught the technique several riders although we do not ride ourselves.
Can you cure my bad back?
It’s important to understand that the Technique is not a therapy, and we don’t treat people. We teach people to use themselves in a better way that often leads to therapeutic benefits, but these benefits are the result of the pupil applying what they have learned. A recent back pain trial established that the Alexander Technique was beneficial to people with low back pain
What other benefits are there?
This is always interesting. We have found that everyone who gets what the Technique is about, and applies it to life’s activities, benefits in some way. Sometimes it can be truly life changing, and we are often surprised by the extent to which people can change on quite a deep level. One chap came for help with a bad back and found that his lifelong digestive disorders and mental problems improved dramatically – you just never know.
What is involved in teacher training?
After several years of having lessons, we undergo a three-year full-time training. This differs in many ways from other types of training as the emphasis is not so much on acquiring knowledge, as developing skills, and changing our selves.
If you got this far well done! If there’s anything else you’d like to know you can use the contact page to get in touch
Any opinions on this site are the opinions of Mike Rawlinson
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