Frequently Asked Questions

How many lessons will I need?

This depends on what your goals are. Generally, it is accepted that about 30 lessons are required to learn how to apply the technique. For chronic back pain, the Medical Research Council suggest 24 sessions. But it's worth bearing in mind, that some people learn quicker than others. For some people, 6 is adequate. Just one lesson will give you an idea of whether you are already doing too much.

How long do the lessons last?

Usually about 40-45 minutes, although the first few lessons might last longer. The first lesson will take about an hour.

Whereabouts in London are you?

My Alexander Technique practice is based in a private house in East Sheen, Richmond, South-West London. Nearby areas with easy access include: Putney, Kingston, Kew, Hammersmith, Roehampton and Barnes.

How much do Alexander Technique lessons cost?

Lessons are currently charged at £40 each. However, there is an opportunity to block book for your first 6 sessions. You can have an introductory lesson for £30. More details are on the Fees page

What is the difference between the Alexander Technique and other therapies?

Well, to begin with it is not a therapy! The technique is a form of postural re-education, which involves co-operation and attentiveness from the client, quite different to being a patient. The idea is that you develop a skill that will enable you to do less to achieve more. It is not a set of exercises. Also, there is homework! But it only involves a nice lie down.

Is the Alexander Technique like yoga, Pilates and other physical therapy?

Not at all. But like some of these methods, the Technique is intended to improve the way you move and function. The improvement in posture, well being and stress levels are more of a very welcome side effect! However, the Alexander Technique differs in that it shows you how to stop doing the things that may be harming you. It doesn't stop when the session is over. The responsibility for development continues to be with you, even after you leave the lesson.

Will it be painful?

Almost certainly not. The movements are so subtle, there will be nothing outside your normal range. If you do feel any pain, we will stop instantly. That is really not the idea.

What equipment do you use?

Nothing more than a chair to sit down on and stand up from. And a table, which is used for lying down work. The main tool of an Alexander Teacher is the hands.

Can't I just learn the Technique on my own? Or from book?

Potentially, yes. But the list of people who have is very, very small. Even then, their success is questionable. The Alexander Technique Teacher helps to develop sensory reliability in the client. The client has been relying on habit to find his or her way "around" themselves up until that point. The sensory feedback the client is giving themselves is probably unreliable, and only the trained hands of an AT Teacher can relay that information in a constructive way. You are welcome to try though.

Is the Alexander Technique available on the NHS?

Not widely. Not yet. The hugely positive research by the Medical Research Council means that Alexander Technique on the NHS getting closer. Many more forward thinking GPs and consultants are making referrals. The modern NHS is moving towards a more preventative approach, which helps.

Will my private medical insurance pay for Alexander Technique?

Some companies do. More are following suit. You may need a GP or Consultant referral. Please contact your insurance company to ask. The following companies are known to have reimbursed Alexander Technique costs: Allied Dunbar, Norwich Union, BCWA, Cigna, Executive Healthcare Ltd.,The Civil Service Medical Aid Association, Ellis Healthcare, WPA, Healthcare Management, IGI, Managed Care Consultants Ltd, Prime Health, Medical Claims Handling, Orion, UAP Provincial Insurance, Exeter Friendly Society, Guardian Health, Executive Healthcare Ltd, Willis Healthcare.

Where can I find further information about The Alexander Technique?

alexandertechnique.com is an excellent resource to find more general information.