posturedrawingAbout The Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is inherent in all of us but was discovered and communicated through the experiences of FM Alexander. It addresses an education in the use of the Self, defined by one’s entire mind and body functioning together. The Technique is a method of self care that addresses our habits. By learning how to accurately observe ourselves we are able to make clearer choices. By learning about the natural design of the head and neck relationship we empower ourselves to use optimal coordination that results in more ease and poise. Many people have benefited from this ease after injury or onset of disease but the Technique is also successful for the purpose of prevention. In a randomized controlled trial of Alexander Technique lessons, exercise and massage for recurrent and chronic back pain it was found that “one to one lessons in the Alexander Technique from registered teachers have long term benefits for patients with chronic back pain.” (BMJ 2008; 337:a884)

People who may benefit from The Alexander Technique include:

  • those who suffer from chronic back pain
  • performing artists that want to refine their skills
  • those who suffer from anxiety
  • patients with MS or Parkinson’s
  • those that sit for long periods of time
  • asthma patients
  • athletes
  • those who are in recovery from addiction

Find more information at www.alexandertechnique.com

FMAlexanderAbout F. M. Alexander
Australian born Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was a Shakespearean actor challenged by a recurring voice problem. Chronic hoarseness interrupted his burgeoning career, and he frequently lost his voice while performing. Because doctors found nothing wrong with his vocal mechanism, he reasoned that the cause might be related to how he used his voice. After years of rigorous self-observation and experimentation, he found the source of the problem and figured out how to speak without those habitual patterns of tension. He no longer experienced hoarseness, regained a full, rich voice, and returned to the stage. His posture and overall coordination improved, and he no longer had the breathing problems that had troubled him since childhood. Alexander continued to develop his technique, exploring the relationship of habit, thought and perception to human movement and function. He shared his discoveries with other actors and was so successful that doctors began referring patients with breathing and coordination problems to him. As word of Alexander’s success spread, people came to study with him from all around the world. With more people wanting to study with him than Alexander could teach, he developed a training program so that his students could teach it to others. Over 100 years later, there are now thousands of certified teachers across the world trained in programs directly developed from his.

 

Jen KellyAbout Jennifer Kelly
Jennifer Tweel Kelly is a certified AmSAT Alexander teacher (ATTC-C 2014). She earned a BA in Dance (’96) from James Madison University and spent many years exploring performance with the Zen Monkey Project in Charlottesville,VA. She is also a NASM certified Personal Trainer. In 2003, Jen opened The Hip Joint, a dance and yoga boutique, on the Historic Downtown Mall, and it continues to be a presence in the arts community.

Jen obtained her certification from AmSAT, the largest professional organization of Alexander Technique teachers in the United States. Certified teachers complete 1600 hours of coursework. (More information can be found at AmSAT Online.) Jen currently teaches privately out of her home and is a part time personal trainer at ACAC. She is the Alexander Technique teacher to the Charlottesville Ballet’s trainee dancers. She published an article on the benefits of the Technique in relation to the treatment and management of Multiple Sclerosis. Jen has always had a passion for dance, a love of the arts and a commitment to the study of movement. She is also influenced by her two children, who are a constant reminder of her deep desire to be present.