Since most of us aren't able to avoid stressful situations altogether, we can learn to avoid straining ourselves in response to the stress we encounter.


The startle response:  A typical response to a stressful situation is pulling the head back and down.  To experience this, poke your chin forward and tilt your head back.  You would probably expect to pull your head back and down in this way if you were startled by a loud sound or saw a lion lurking down the block.  Most people are pulling their heads back and down habitually and have become so accustomed to the sensation that they don't realize that they are doing it to some degree at all times.  This startle response has become a way of life.  The slow-loading email has become the lurking lion.  Other examples things people do in response to stress are clenching the hands, feet, or jaw, pulling the shoulders in or raising them up and gripping the legs.  These chronic responses to stress amount to too much tension and poor posture.

By studying the Alexander Technique, you can learn to avoid responding to stress by straining.  If you don't strain in the face of stress,  you may find that you're not so stressed out anymore.  When taking Alexander Technique lessons, you will learn to maintain balanced, comfortable posture in the face of the stress of gravity.  You may be surprised at how this skill translates to avoiding straining in response to other stresses!