Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress and tension in their everyday lives?
By Janice Llanes Fabry
Who wouldn’t want to reduce stress and tension in their everyday lives? Imagine feeling lighter, freer, and more grounded. The Alexander Technique is a hands-on method of movement re-education. Students learn to rid the body of harmful tension in order to move more mindfully through life, let go of unconscious, habitual patterns, and connect with a natural ability to move with ease.
Teacher Eve Silver recently joined Rye’s Alexander Associates of Westchester, started by Judith Stern, who has taught for over 25 years. Silver is offering one-to-one and group lessons at 31 Purchase Street, as well as at her practice in Union Square. Starting in January, she will also be conducting three 4-week workshops at Wainwright House.
“The Alexander Technique can benefit a wide range of people in every walk of life,” she noted. “Students of the technique recognize its value through an ease of movement that is our birthright as human beings, so at any age, it is never too late to reclaim it.” It can help people with joint and muscular pain, back and neck issues, as well as stress and balance problems. While those suffering from pain might turn to exercise or medical treatments, the technique gives people the opportunity to take charge of their own healing by re-learning how to react to outside stimulus and activity, so that the mind and body work in an integrated fashion.
“Often, we only address our bodies when we have aches and pains, attributed to exercise or injury, but most injuries happen because of a lack of coordination in the system,” Silver remarked. “The difference between the Alexander Technique and other modalities, such as chiropractics, yoga, massage, and physical therapy is that they fix the symptom without changing the habitual patterns that might have caused the injuries in the first place.”
The technique had its origins in the 1890s because of F. Matthias Alexander, an Australian actor who experienced laryngitis whenever he performed. He determined that excessive tension in his head, neck, and torso was the catalyst for his problem. By altering his patterns of thought and subsequently his physical habits, his vocal problems and his overall well being improved, and he began training others.
Silver came across the technique while seeking nutritional counseling four years ago. When she happened to mention how critical she felt the head and neck relationship is to health, the counselor referred her to the Alexander Technique. That same week, she serendipitously made the acquaintance of Judith Stern, who became her teacher.
“At that first session, I recall saying, ‘this is my life’s work,’” said Silver, who is also a certified yoga instructor and environmental educator. “I felt light, grounded, and aware. There’s no better thing that you can do for someone than to give people the power to be grounded in their own lives.”
After taking 30 life-changing lessons with Stern, she enrolled in the health and wellness program at the American Center for Alexander Technique in New York City. Subsequently, she earned certification by completing a three-year, 1,600-hour teacher-training program. Today, she continues her postgraduate work with Stern and Caren Bayer, the director of Manhattan Center for the Alexander Technique.
On an initial visit, Silver discusses the principles that will help a new student recognize tension patterns by guiding them through a series of simple, familiar movements such as sitting, standing and walking. Utilizing verbal instruction and manual guidance, Silver proceeds to teach the active participant how to recognize and release any habit patterns and unnecessary tension they may be holding, promoting an enlivened sensory awareness.
A one-hour first session is followed up by subsequent 45-minute sessions that introduce concepts and practices that expand one’s awareness of the functioning of the nervous, muscular, and skeletal systems. According to Silver, optimal poise, balance, and overall functioning are restored, and the lessons one learns apply to all areas of life.
Other benefits include the restoration of posture, flexibility, and coordination, while increasing range of motion, economy of movement, and stamina. The technique may be utilized to complement and boost a myriad of activities, from gardening to golfing.
Silver is so confident about its benefits at the onset that she is offering complimentary initial sessions through the fall. “The first session gives you a sense of ease and lightness in the system,” she assured. “It’s all about flow, letting patterns fall away, and meeting the moment. It’s so powerful that my life falls into place in such unexpected ways.”
For more information, visit www.evesilverAT.com. For an appointment, call 523-0210 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.