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The Mézières’ method contradicts the modern obsession with toning-up. Most physical therapies and fitness regimes are based on the belief that without strengthening exercises, we would collapse under the pull of gravity, slip a disk, and become flabby.
This belief is the source of ineffective and even harmful treatments and exercises. Mézières found that some muscles overlap like tiles on a roof to form ‘muscular chains’. Through this linkage, the chains acquire an amazing power which is the sum of the strengths of all their components. It is this formidable force that distorts us, makes us stiff, freezes our joints and squashes our inter-vertebral disks. In other words, our musculoskeletal disorders and bad posture are not caused by weakness but rather by compressive forces created by the constant shortening of our muscular chains.
The Mézières’ method uses novel and subtle neuromuscular techniques including specific postures, a particular type of breathing, and hands on work by the therapist. The method is designed to decrease the excess of tone which is always found in the muscular chains. This allows the body to return towards a much improved shape and posture. And since shape conditions function, painful disorders of musculoskeletal origins disappear. As an added bonus, the weak muscles such as the abdominal and front of thigh muscles are naturally strengthened.
Things refuse to be mismanaged for long. Our bodies, these wonderful biological “machines”, are no exception to this rule. Yet, in our sophisticated and civilized society, we misuse ourselves in every position we take, in every movement we make to meet the challenges of life.
This misuse is responsible for our distortions and malfunctioning, disturbing the mind as much as the body since the user (mind) and the used (body) are indivisible. Back and neck pains, stiff joints, tendinitis, sciatica pain, deformations of the spine and limbs, poor breathing patterns, repetitive strain injury are examples of conditions which are all too often caused by a misuse of ourselves.
The Alexander Technique gives you the means to reclaim the lost “User’s manual” of your body. Using yourself correctly will enable you to walk tall and free of pain into the years ahead. It will also heighten your self-awareness and bring mindfulness into your daily life. The science and art of the correct use of the Self is taught through lessons of about half an hour’s duration. Because every individual is unique and the wrong use can take thousands of forms, the Alexander Technique can only be taught seriously and efficiently through individual lessons.