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Welcome to The Maris Practice Blog. Here you will find musings, reflections and information about best practice in alternative therapies. We hope you find it useful and interesting.

The Alexander Technique for musicians, dancers and performers

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The Alexander Technique is not a physical therapy as such. It does not aim to target specific conditions, for example back pain, and resolve them. The basic principles are very simple; it works to educate people about how to move, sit, stand etc in ways that align with the natural functioning of their bodies. By noticing unconscious habits we then can respond in a manner which releases long held tensions and strains. A useful definition is found on the Alexander Technique website:


"The Alexander Technique is a way of learning to move mindfully through life. The Alexander process shines a light on inefficient habits of movement and patterns of accumulated tension, which interferes with our innate ability to move easily and according to how we are designed. It’s a simple yet powerful approach that offers the opportunity to take charge of one’s own learning and healing process, because it’s not a series of passive treatments but an active exploration that changes the way one thinks and responds in activity. It produces a skill set that can be applied in every situation. Lessons leave one feeling lighter, freer, and more grounded."


Learning the mechanics of your body using the Alexander Technique provides a foundation that has been seen to reduce physical symptoms (back aches, sore necks and shoulders, carpal tunnel syndrome) of accumulated tension. In conjunction with the Alexander Technique, Body Mapping is often used to help people understand their bone structure, function and size the way it actually works. There is a great article by Rob Falvo; Performing with Ease which explains how this works in more detail.


The Alexander Technique is used extensively by musicians, dancers and performers as a way of learning more about how their bodies move most effectively. This is particularly important when the quality of how your body functions directly influences the quality of your performances. Additionally, due to the physically demanding nature of these professions, many individuals suffer pain caused by repeatedly performing the same action in a sub-optimal manner. The same can be said any of us, whether we drive a lot, sit at desks all day, have manual jobs; we can all experience pain and discomfort from the way we use our body. The Alexander Technique can help to guide you out of those habits and patterns.

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