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Annie Whitehead

Alexander Technique Teacher

About F M Alexander
An Introduction to AT
How can AT help you?
Annie Whitehead
The Lesson
Workshop Details
Wakefield AT lessons
The ATLAS trial
Back Pain
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Contact Details

What to expect in an Alexander Technique lesson

The first Alexander Technique lesson will start with a short consultation where your teacher will discuss with you any specific health problems you may have and takes just under an hour.  Subsequent lessons take forty minutes.   


What to wear to your Alexander Technique Lesson

Attend the lesson in loose, comfortable clothing, preferably trousers as part of the lesson will involve lying down.  Please bring socks to put on if the weather is hot and wear at least a short sleeved top (no vests) as sometimes during a lesson the teacher will access your armpits. 


Alexander Technique teachers use the word 'teacher' rather than 'therapist' as we aim to help our clients improve their sense of well-being by re-educating the way they use their bodies.  It's a lesson, rather than a session, as the client an teacher work together as a team with a common goal of improving the body use of the client.  The teacher often starts by looking at how you stand and move.



A combination of gentle hand movements and spoken instructions help the client to release inappropriate tensions and encourage the natural reflexes to work more effectively.  This allows the client’s body to become better aligned and balanced.  Over time clients learn a range of techniques that help them to become more observent at the way they use their body and become more aware of their own patterns of interference. 


How many Alexander Technique lessons do I need?

Some people come for a few lessons to pick up some tips to alleviate pain or discomfort for a specific problem they have, rather than the Technique becoming a life long passion.  If you compare the Techniqe to learning a musical instrument or a language you'll get an idea on how many lessons you may want.  Do you want to learn a few holiday phrases, or do you want to go and live and work in Paris and be completely fluent in French?  Both levels are absolutely fine (and any level inbetween) and suit different peoples' needs.  Your teacher will work with you to re-educate your way of standing, walking, sitting, breathing and picking up objects.  As well as being educational, lessons should be fun and inspiring.


How many lessons you need is dependent on why you decide to come for Alexander Technique lessons in the first place.  Annie has four current clients who have been attending Alexander Technique lessons for many years, one of them over twenty!  They are still learning new ways of exploring the Technique. After twelve years of practising the Technique, Annie still goes for regular lessons with other more senior teachers.


The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) recommend twenty to thirty lessons as a good number for people to expect to take if they want to explore the Technique in some detail.  It is true that thirty lessons at £35 a session is a lot to invest, but not so much if viewed in the context of gaining a skill that may enhance the quality of your life for ever.  How many annual holidays are continuing to benefit you years later?



Directions and Inhibition explained

The Alexander Technique uses simple 'mind messages' (which we call directions) to enable an individual to help the natural mechanisms function more freely.  Directions when used succesfully are used frequently and become part of a person's everyday life.  Key directions are:


·  allow the neck to be free

·  and the head to go forward and up

·  allowing the spine to lengthen

·  and the back to widen 

· the knees to go forward and away

· and the heels back and down


Sound a bit strange?  You are right!  The Alexander Technique is an unusual process and was devised by a man who definitely thought 'outside the box'.  Why not come and have a few lessons and find out more?  We also use a concept called 'inhibition' to learn how to take a 'moment' so that we can remove old less helpful habits and start to use new more better ones.  Inhibition in the Alexander world is a jargon word which has very positive connotations, unlike the lay meaning of the word.  Inhibition is vital to enable effective directing.  The principle of inhibition is easy to understand, but difficult to put in practice and is one of many reasons why some people adore the Technique, as they master using inhibition regularly in their everyday life.     



How much does an Alexander Technique lesson cost?

Lessons cost £36.  Ten lessons booked in advance cost £330.  Concessions are available for people on low income.  Lessons that are cancelled with less than 24 hours notice are charged for at full price and sessions cancelled with less than 48 hours notice incur a 50% charge.