Definining and categorizing the Alexander Technique
We all know how important Google and Yelp are in promoting business. Yesterday I was told that Google + doesn’t have a category for Alexander Technique and that “it would take a long time before they would create one”, so, as a category is obligatory for my business listing, I have a choice between being categorized as massage therapist, chiropractor or physical therapist. It was like being asked “How much do you want to confuse your public?” I chose massage therapist.
Similarly for Yelp. There I am under Physical Therapy. I’ve had calls from clients needing a P.T. I’ve had to explain how it’s Yelp’s fault, that they won’t create a more accurate category although they are very keen on trying to sell me advertising.
I consider it a great disservice to potential customers and the general public to be confused like that.
I am often asked to define the Alexander Technique and we teachers are given a lot of practice in coming up with a succinct phrase like “it’s a educational process to change postural habits that may be causing pain or discomfort” That seems so flat when describing a process that has many dimensions, so much joy, relief and discovery. We can say that A.T. is “always doing less” or “choosing how to react, or not react at all to stimulus”
After many years of study and teaching, I can safely say that the Technique has given me the freedom to take my own time and not have to “take the bait” when a family member tries to elicit a response with a comment that years ago would have seen me rearing up defensively, or calmly deciding I don’t need to brush the hell out of my teeth or scrub the dishes by gripping and tightening.
Mostly it’s just noticing the traps I fall into and deciding not to judge, but laugh at myself. As Mr. F.M. Alexander used to say “Be pleased when you notice you’re wrong”
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