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Hands-On Therapies : The Feldenkrais Method and The Alexander Technique

The chief goal of the hands-on therapy called feldenkrais method is to help you become more aware of your posture and movement patterns, explore how you limit yourself, and enhance learning of new patterns. This approach does not seek to treat specific medical conditions, but instead helps you to respond differently to them. It is based on the theory that people over a period of time develop patterns to compensate for pain or injury, but these patterns can become obstacles to healing and optimal functioning. Subtle changes to these habits can improve flexibility, balance, breathing and coordination, easing tension, pain and strain.
The program is offered in two ways:
– First, you are verbally guided through gentle movements, typically while lying on the floor or sitting in a chair.
– Second, it uses a hands-on contact to address individual needs. The practitioner may move your arms, legs, head or trunk in ways that enhance your awareness of movement patterns.
– With both forms, the practitioner may draw attention to elements such as your breathing or the differences between the two sides of your body.
Because the movements are gentle and involve no pain or strain, most people can participate and possibly benefit from this method. People who use this method often notice changes in thought patterns when they change their movement patterns. This method is most often used for increased flexibility, coordination and balance, neck, back and joint pain relief, headache, neuromuscular disorders and physical rehabilitation.

The hands-on Alexander technique focuses on unlearning detrimental patterns of movement. It is not a set of exercises, but a conscious change in mindset that supports better physical movement. Its basic principles emphasize balance, ease, lightness and flow to counteract rigidity, stress and tension. Other purpose of the Alexander method is to restore overall expansiveness to the body. Alexander method is most often used for improved coordination and balance, pain relief and improvement of conditions caused by chronic misalignment, such as muscle tension and pain in the lower back and neck.
During a typical session, the practitioner uses a hands-on approach to guide you. You may lie on the table while the practitioner gently guides your limbs. During your daily activities, the practitioner can give you verbal suggestions like “the back lengthens and widens” or “head forward and up” to help you shed harmful movement habits.

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