Last Saturday, a very special young patient introduced me to the Alexander technique.

I watched her expert Alexander teacher give her training and treatment, which has helped her almost cure her chronic back pain from a curvature in the spine. This gentle rebalancing of the neck, spine and different parts of the body can help relieve and prevent back and neck pains. Research has shown the Alexander technique can also help improve breathing in asthma, reduce high blood pressure, prevent headaches, angina and stress.

It does this by relaxing the 600 odd muscles, which put pressure on our blood vessels when tense.

Our posture can speak volumes about our personality. Slouched shoulders can be a sign of lack of confidence and fatigue; an upright relaxed posture breeds confidence.

Right from childhood, our children get into bad postural habits leading to clumsy adulthood, predisposing them to future illnesses.

Clinical research on the Alexander technique has revealed that we waste 30 per cent extra energy in getting in and out of chairs or doing the house chores or lifting with wrong posture.

No wonder by the end of the day we feel like slumping in the settee! We can save this energy by training our body do most of the work gracefully and naturally with-out putting undue force on our body and the back.

Alexander Technique was developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander, an actor from Australia, who lived and performed in London, in 1896. He found his voice failing in the middle of his recitals during his solo performances, thus threatening his career. By studying and correcting his own posture during rehearsal he found he could prevent the problem.

Today, the Alexander technique is practiced worldwide. One of the schools in Redhill holds a regular Alexander session in the morning where their young pupils lie down on the floor in the prescribed technique to relax and improve their posture. Perhaps all businesses schools and colleges should introduce regular sessions of Alexander training to reduce stress and prevent illness.

So the next time you sit at your computer or iron your shirts, remember your posture the Alexander technique!

For further information on qualified Alexander teacher near you, telephone The Society of Alexander Technique 129 Camden Mews, London, NW1 9AH Tel 0207824 3338 or visit