Few people can experience the depth of the Alexander Technique as readily as bodyworkers and healers. I believe that this is because they are already attuned to the somatic reality of life through their training and work. There are two aspects that are immediately relavent to them:
1. Self Care
Massage Therapy and certain forms of bodywork and healing are very demanding, both physically and emotionally. Many massage therapists become injured and burn out, leaving the profession after five to seven years with their ideals and their passion for healing somewhat shredded.
The Alexander Technique is an effective means of Self-Care which allows the therapist to prevent injury through awareness, alignment, and a more conscious use of the self. Very often a therapist can use it to allow an injury to heal while still working.
A significant benefit of using the technique is allowing the spine to lengthen in activity. This is especially useful in the various positions required in bodywork, which often can leave the therapist with a sore back. Maintaining open joints in the wrists and fingers is also of prime importance to a therapist. The Alexander Technique goes beyond body mechanics and into the realm of conscious direction, where less effort becomes much more effective.
Many Therapists and Healers talk of picking up negativity or being drained with certain clients. These are real concerns in an intimate situation such as massage. In my experience, the most effective antidote to these is to maintain a grounded sense of the physical self, which also strengthens one’s energy field and allows one to discharge, or “ground” unwanted energies or psychic content.
2. Care of the client
Very simply, our nervous system and that of the clients are in constant non-verbal communication. If we maintain a sense of openness and ease through the Technique, it is passed on automatically to the client. In addition, when we awaken our intellegence through a more conscious use of the self, our client’s very intelligent tissues (or energy fields, in the case of certain types of healing) recognize it and respond by conversing more fully with us, ALLOWING US TO WORK MORE DEEPLY WITH LESS PHYSICAL EFFORT AND PRESSURE.
This is where it gets very interesting and we meet the deeper calling of our work. This is when our client feels recognized. When working with bodyworkers I have them explore this dynamic experientially so they can go directly back to it in their practice. I work both individually and with groups of bodyworkers. Sometimes I work with two people so they can experience both sides of this interaction and discern the difference in both themselves and then in their client.
Feel free to call me if you have any questions.