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50 Hortense St
Glen Iris, VIC, 3146
Australia

+61 3 9819 0845

Practice of Jeremy Woolhouse, pianist and Alexander Technique Teacher.

Specialist in working with musicians, RSI, posture re-education, neck, back and chronic pain management. 

Articles on Alexander Technique in life - by Jeremy Woolhouse

Monthly blog articles by Jeremy Woolhouse.  Alexander Technique for daily life, specialised activities, pain relief and managment.

The core of Alexander Technique: Primary Control

Jeremy Woolhouse

In using Alexander Technique, one core principle is considered primary.  The process of coordinating the head-spine relationship is essential to all other motion.  The effective use of Alexander Technique pivots around how skilfully one can engage this coordination.

 

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Alexander Technique and RSI

Jeremy Woolhouse

Musicians and computer users are at the top of the list for Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSI).  
Alexander Technique’s unique approaches make it a powerful tool in prevention and management of RSI symptoms.  poise and action in accord with Alexander Technique principles promotes long term resolution of underlying causes of strain.

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Checking in

Jeremy Woolhouse

Inevitably, students of Alexander Technique become aware of previously unrecognised habitual tensions.  When interference with easeful movement or balance of tone is recognised, change for the better can be initiated.  It may be tempting to perceive practice of Alexander Technique as based on looking for excess tension, then removing it.  This potentially limiting view calls for an evaluation of process in using The Technique.

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Thinking Hard vs. Thinking Easy

Jeremy Woolhouse

For most of us, concentration is associated with tightening.  When we see someone working and tightening - especially in the face - we may perceive this as concentration.  It has been proposed that every thought leads to muscular action, but there is no prerequisite for this to manifest in a way which contradicts ease.

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Getting Perspective

Jeremy Woolhouse

“Get job done at any expense” is a modus operandi we’re probably all familiar with.  Persistence of this attitude, the cost to ourselves wears us down.  An upgrade to “Get job done without compromise to self” infinitely improves outcomes.  Staying true to the principles of Alexander Technique transcends even this, and proposes a third paradigm.

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Accumulation of small change

Jeremy Woolhouse

At the end of an Alexander Technique lesson, students may comment on a sense of lightness or ease and a mild bewilderment at how it came about.  There are few instantaneous dramatic changes in sessions.  The profound outcome comes about through an accumulation of small change.  Understanding this, gives an insight into how Alexander Technique achieves what it does, and how one can practice with efficiency.

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When does 'good enough' happen?

Jeremy Woolhouse

Looking to the root of stress, one common theme is that of not being good enough. Musicians might recognise this in the form of ‘not doing enough practice’.  Alexander Technique identifies the struggle which arises and introduces practices which dissolve the context for such judgement.

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Sleep Well

Jeremy Woolhouse

Alexander Technique process is centred around thought.  Whilst we are asleep, most of us have no conscious voluntary thought, so the way Alexander Technique might influence the quality of sleep is indirect.  Many students comment on improvements in sleep associated with lessons, so it is worthwhile considering just how we can change sleep habits.

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The disappearing self

Jeremy Woolhouse

It is quite easy to become absorbed in a task and lose a sense of body.  After some time, the body may assert its neglect in stiffness or soreness.  In early stages, it seems Alexander Technique trains us to be aware of ourselves - body and mind - whilst we undertake any activity.  A deeper level exists where Alexander Technique becomes a force integrating technique, body, mind and artistry in action.

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Phases of Alexander Technique

Jeremy Woolhouse

When studying Alexander Technique, each student will progress in an individual way.  There are, however, some common themes students may be able to relate to.  A consideration of progression can help to put into perspective one’s own experience and development.

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Alexander Technique in skiing

Jeremy Woolhouse

In my youth, I loved the rare opportunities for downhill skiing.  There were what I considered inevitable bruises and soreness for days afterwards, but it was worth it for the thrill.  After a twenty-two year hiatus, I returned to the slopes.  the Alexander a Technique skills I have learnt during that time made an unexpected and remarkable impact.

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Making 'Positive Thinking' Positive

Jeremy Woolhouse

Alexander Technique cultivates skilful use of thought.  It undeniably trains positive thinking. It differs, however, from other practices commonly grouped under the ‘positive thinking’ umbrella.  Practicing Alexander Technique principles may help in assessing the value of other ‘positive thinking’ practices, and assist in making them constructive.

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Attitudes to exercise

Jeremy Woolhouse

Exercise is touted as the key to sustained good health.  For many, the practice of exercise is unfortunately failing to achieve healthy outcomes.  One hour of exercise per day is often not the panacea to spending the rest of the day sedentary.  Alexander Technique presents a wholistic approach both to exercise, and to purportedly sedentary routines.  It can keep exercise healthy, safe and fulfilling.

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Hierarchy in Alexander Technique

Jeremy Woolhouse

The Alexander Technique has a remarkable relevance to any vocation - be it trade, art or sport.  It deals with fundamentals of human coordination and has a set of principles which organise specialised skills into a constructive framework.  Effective prioritisation of attention is a characteristic of positive coordination.  Many attempts to find relief from pain, or to improve performance, fail because a certain hierarchy is neglected.  

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Buoyancy and Opposition

Jeremy Woolhouse

A downwards orientation of the self creates a compressing, depressive force.  Alexander Technique directions are sometimes abbreviated as “Think Up!” - a universal tonic to downward orientation.  The upward direction may stimulate positive engagement with gravity and energise activity.  A consideration of the distinction between ‘buoyancy’ and ‘opposition’ may add some refinement to the concept of ‘up’.

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Stop trying to be musical

Jeremy Woolhouse

In any educational process, there are inevitable ups and downs.  When progress stagnates, this is an indicator that some mode of thought is preventing further development.  One of the most confounding barriers to a musician is when an intention for musicality inadvertently creates conditions which limit performance.

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Removing interference

Jeremy Woolhouse

Alexander Technique is a process of removing interference.  Without interference, concept flows into action effortlessly.  Restrictions of physics still apply, so a conceived ideal may not be possible, but performance will be closest to intended, and most rewarding to the performer, when interference is minimised.

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