Smorgasbord Health Column – Alternative Healing – The Alexander Technique – Part Two – #Posture, #Backpain #Ergonomics

Last week I did an introduction to the Alexander Technique, which I have found very useful over many years.

Here is a link to the post:

The Alexander Technique.

The originator of this technique is Frederick Matthias Alexander, an Australian actor, who found that his career began to falter as he lost his voice on stage. He consulted doctors but they could find neither the cause nor the cure for the problem. Having developed a technique to correct his own posture and that resulted in the return of his voice… Alexander went on to teach his method in the UK and America to dancers, actors and singers.

It is not just performers who can benefit from this technique as most of us today are either in jobs that force our bodies into unnatural contortions, or we are sitting at a desk writing for many hours of the day!

Alexander’s first step was to stand in front of the mirror and observe his body and posture. The truth is that none of us are completely symmetrical. Over time, with bad sitting and standing posture, we can become even more out of line.

Identifying problem areas

Stand naturally in front of a full length mirror – if being in your underwear only is too distracting then where something that is form fitting so that you can see the outline of your body. Relax your arms by your side, feet slightly apart, as straight as you can with your head looking directly forward.

See if you can detect where perhaps your shoulder dips on one side and your fingertips appear to be slightly further down your leg than the other side. Is one knee slightly more turned in that the other. Perhaps you notice that you having to make an effort to stand straight and that the top of your back feels uncomfortable. Is there a slight slouch to one side or the other.

If you have one knee in particular that is painful, it is likely that for years you have been favouring  that knee over the other one. For example, the knee that you use to get out of your driver’s side in the car! Over the years, that consistent and repetitive motion has worn down more of the cartilage in that knee than the other. The resulting pain makes you walk slightly lop-sided and you are then causing more distortion to your spine and shoulders.

If you can step back as far from the mirror as you can and then walk naturally forward at a reasonable pace. If you don’t have enough room the find somewhere flat, probably outside and ask someone to stand 20 to 30 feet in front of you and then walk as you would normally towards them.

Get them to identify if you are walking with your knees, and feet straight in front of you or splayed. Also differences between your right and left sides. Then repeat the exercise making an effort to keep your back straight, your shoulders slightly back, neck and head level and facing forward. Knees and feet facing forwards. Both of you can then compare where you consider you are suffering from both posture and walking issues that could lead to some form of wear and tear on the joints.

Consistently bad posture when sitting, standing and walking results in damage to key points in the spine. This can lead to stiff shoulders and neck, leading to headaches.

In the next post I will be sharing some of the techniques that were developed by Alexander and include some of the videos available on the method, as it is much easier to show rather than tell.

In the meantime if you are reading this at your desk, or scrunched up on the sofa with your laptop, you might want to take a look at your posture. Could you be causing damage to your spine and causing repetitive strain injury.  Since most of you are also writers, using a keyboard, this following video shows you how you should be working in relation to your chair and computer.

Next time some of the Alexander Techniques to help you straighten up!  Thanks for dropping by.

©sallycronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2018

A little bit about me nutritionally.

A little about me from a nutritional perspective. Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 20 years ago. I qualified as a nutritional therapist and practiced in Ireland and the UK as well as being a consultant for radio. My first centre was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Here are my health books including a men’s health manual and my anti-aging book.

All available in Ebook from

And Amazon UK:

Comprehensive guide to the body, and the major organs and the nutrients needed to be healthy 360 pages, A4:

Thank you for dropping in and if you have any questions fire away.. If you would like to as a private question then my email is I am no longer in practice and only too pleased to help in any way I can. thanks Sally


36 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Health Column – Alternative Healing – The Alexander Technique – Part Two – #Posture, #Backpain #Ergonomics

  1. Sal, you’re so entertaining while you teach. “If you can’t stand looking at yourself in your underwear.” Lol. Now that’s a whole ‘nother post on self-esteem. But seriously, an excellent post to pay attention to our bodies. I haven’t stood in the mirror yet and no my shortcomings. One of my feet likes to point toward the right while the other points straight. So, I’m looking forward to the video techniques. 🙂 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health Column – Alternative Healing – The Alexander Technique – Part Two – #Posture, #Backpain #Ergonomics – The Militant Negro™

  3. Another great post, Sally. I have suffered neck and shoulder pain for years, and last year (or so) I bought an adjustable desk that I can raise or lower depending on whether I want to sit or stand while I work. Whether I choose to sit or stand, the computer screen is at eye level and the keyboard is at the appropriate level, and it has made a world of difference. I can attest to the importance of good posture while working! Thanks so much for this.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. Sally, I went to an Alexander Teacher over ten years ago and it changed my life! She was wonderful and through her help I learnt to sit, stand, walk! It was amazing to understand my bad habits and their toll on the body. I still use the teachings in every day life and try to share a little with friends and family. Even getting out of a chair is taught and today it comes naturally and effortlessly. The teachers are highly taught and there is even a school using AT! As you can tell I am very passionate about the subject and I think it is terrific you are highlighting this in your posts. How true that showing is so much better than reading about it … and I can’t stress enough if you have a chance for a lesson or two the teacher will pick up on the tiniest detail that can make all the difference!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: Smorgasbord Health Column – Alternative Therapies – The Alexander Technique – Part Three – Standing, Sitting and Walking Correctly. | Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life

  7. And when we look in the mirror, we should notice whether our navels are in the middle of our abdomens or slightly on one side or the other. I was surprised to be told this a few years’ ago by a physiotherapist, who said this is an easy way to spot a scoliosis of the back.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. It was only when I saw today’s notification I realised I’d missed this last week so am catching up. I looked at how I was sitting. My goodness! Rather than be flat on the floor my feet are hooked on the chair supports with my legs twisted like a pretzel! It’s not going to be easy to change things around but I’ll try.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great tips! Don’t have a full length mirror at home. Guess it’s probably not a sensible plan to try it in a clothing store’s dressing room, LOL. But the smartphone and the spouse would probably work for both parts. 🤔

    Liked by 1 person

I would be delighted to receive your feedback (by commenting, you agree to Wordpress collecting your name, email address and URL) Thanks Sally

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