Monday, September 29, 2014

Stress solutions in October with Alexander Technique

When we are stressed, our health can suffer in many different ways. Stress is very common, and should be addressed sooner rather than later as it has cumulative health effects over time.

For the many people who have to deal with stress in their work and personal lives, Alexander Technique can provide effective relief and it teaches great self-management tools.

If you book soon, I am offering:
  • big discounts to organisations that invite me to their workplace
  • discounted one-on-one sessions in my practice in Fairfield/Alphington
  • free introductory workshops for community groups.

Click here to check out my track record with running group activities.

Why this offer now?

  •  International Alexander Technique Awareness Week runs from October 6 - 12. This year’s theme is Manage Stress Effectively with the Alexander Technique. 
  • Safe Work Australia Month is October, on the theme Work safe. Home safe.

Contact me before October 12, to take up the offer between now and December 15. Email me please to book or for more information.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Group activities with Alexander Technique are great!

Take a look at my group activities with Alexander Technique over the last three years, I'm tickled at their range. It has been loads of fun as well as educational for me as well as for participants. Most activities I have run myself, and some with fellow teacher Anne Mallen.

There have been workshops for 'corporate' clients, including:
  • Department of Sustainability and Primary Industries
  • Hume Council
  • Jika Jika Community Centre (for staff)
  • Port Phillip Council 
  • RM Consulting Group 
  • State Services Authority 
  • Thornbury High School (for staff)
  • Victorian Environment Assessment Council
Following several of these workshops, Anne and I helped individuals one-on-one at their desks. Feedback has been extremely positive, and I am happy to share reports to clients if your organisation is interested in engaging me.

Conducting impromptu activities is great fun.

  • I have done this during a tea break at the Land for Wildlife Conference
  • Participants during a session at the Thriving in Uncertainty Conference just loved my quiet work during a long session on a totally unrelated topic; I went around the circle, placing hands gently on their shoulders and back encouraging release of tension. One person commented that it made him much more aware of himself and others, consequently he spoke less than usual!

Regular classes have been held at Hub Melbourne, and Jika Jika Community Centre (with Anne)

I have also run introductory activities for:
  • Australian Vietnamese Women's Association
  • Clifton Hill Medical Group
  • Friends of the Earth
  • Greensborough Chiropractic
  • Injured Workers Group
  • Transition Darebin "Sustaining Ourselves" workshop
  • The Centre (North Melbourne)
  • U3A (Melbourne CBD)
  • Victorian Facilitator's Network
While travelling in 2014, I also worked with
  • Neurological Rehabilitation Centre in Edgware Community hospital
  • Over 55s group in Edgware, Middlesex, England
  • Act 4 theatre group in Colombo, Sri Lanka
 On returning to Australia, I helped senior teacher Penny McDonald at her regular classes with actors at the Howard Fine Acting Studio and 16th Street Actors Studio.

 Lectures about Alexander Technique have been given to staff at the State Services Authority, and the Medical Faculty in Colombo University, Sri Lanka.

Anne and I also worked with a group on their walking styles in Fitzroy Gardens, as part of their activities for the Global Corporate Challenge "the world's largest and most exciting workplace health and wellness program". 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

My first aid course and posture

I successfully renewed my first aid certificate recently. It was a great opportunity to reflect on our posture when we sit, stand and lie down.

This certificate enables my clients to claim Alexander Technique lessons on health insurance, just like physiotherapy or remedial massage. It is hard to imagine when first aid training might be needed in my clinic. No regrets though, as it will help if I'm on the scene of an accident. And there is always a slight possibility of someone having a fall or heart attack in benign circumstances.

The recent training course raised questions of posture, including how the head sits on top of the spine.

The instructor was in his 40s, he moved well. He rarely stood still, and rarely with his two feet parallel. Think Tai chi, boxing or a martial art - one foot was usually behind the other, and pointing to the side. Try it!

Others in the room did not move so well, and are likely to have more postural problems in later life. For long periods, many held a slump, crossed legs, or were twisted. Their spine would be curved in the wrong places, the deep postural muscles running along the back of the spine would not be used effectively, and other muscles would be compensating. OK for a short time, but I suspect it is habitual with these people. A few didn't even stand up during the short breaks. Scientific research now suggests two minutes walking for every 20 minutes of sitting.

I found some interesting points in the written material. How to turn an unconscious, injured person onto their side so that their air passages don’t block is a core part of the training:  “Make sure you are rolling the body not twisting the spine”. The head needs to stay in alignment with the spine to minimise risks in case the neck has broken.

In our everyday life, this alignment of head and spine is also vital for long-term health, which is why it is central to the teaching of Alexander Technique.