FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE
How many lessons will I need?
How long do the lessons last?
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.
What's 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 mainly involves having a rather nice lie down.
Is the Alexander Technique similar to yoga, Pilates or 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 hurt?
What kind of equipment do you use?
Can't I just learn the technique from a 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 the trained hands of an AT Teacher can relay that information in a constructive way. You are welcome to try learning from a book, 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 my lessons?
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. This list is not exhaustive, and is subject to change.