We all know it’s bad for us – but why exactly?

Well, like the Alexander Technique itself, it is a mind-body issue. From a psychological perspective let’s start with the facial expression. A slumped spine can in many cases go with a low mood, and as we all know, a low mood encourages a slump. Looking back at the drawing, let’s have a look at the spine, one of the main focuses of an Alexander Technique Teacher’s job. Slumping puts pressure on the intervertebral discs, the things we all know can prolapse, slip, or rupture and lead to chronic pain and in worst case scenarios to surgery. Slipped discs are all too common today. Continuing with the potential damage to the spine, as you can see in the drawing, while the middle and lower back rounds, the upper back stoops, which means the shoulders round forward.

When someone comes for Alexander lessons, they often concerned not only about their pain, but their appearance, and no one at any age wants rounded shoulders. Then of cause the stoop means a collapse of the chest restricts breathing, which means the ribs aren’t moving, which means the neocortex aren’t getting its needed oxygen … you see where I’m going with this … there is a multiple knock-on effect. I could go on and on with the physiological consequences. Now how about we go in reverse. Imaging this cartoon coming to life, moving her red shoes so they are flat on the floor and under the knees, thinking of her sitting bones releasing into the chair and allowing her spine to lengthen while her head floats up happily on top. Her back and shoulders expand as she breathes, her mouth lifts at the corners. Every time we take a moment to notice and undo the slump we are giving ourselves a multi-system boost. It does so much more good than we realise.   (article by Susanna Scouller, UK)