Most people probably think Alexander Technique teachers do a fairly mundane job. People turn up and receive some treatment and then they leave. Nothing could be further from the truth. From teaching the rich and famous to applying the technique in different ways to suit different needs, we can actually have quite a racy time of it. We can move around and teach in some pretty interesting locations too.
What I am interested in telling you about today concerns a few clients who turned up with some of these rather out of the ordinary requests. Due to the Alexander Technique, they managed to improve their natural beauty-no cosmetics-no surgery.
The first chap we will look at was getting married. Now, most guys probably don’t need to get married to know the whole thing generally brings us out in a cold sweat. From the nerves of asking the girl to marry us to the huge story of how we organise the wedding, or should that be how we are organised? Getting married is a big ask. Consider the way we behave and look on our wedding day. Let alone the whole speech thing.
The key to beauty-just be happy-Audrey Hepburn
When Steve turned up he was young and potentially handsome. He just had one big problem, he was stooped. He was sent by his fiancée, who rightly needed to look good on her wedding day and did not want to marry Quasimodo! You see the thing is, it doesn’t matter how good looking you are, if you don’t carry yourself well, it’s over. And if the person you are marrying has a hunch back, who wants to pay a photographer over a thousand pounds to preserve that?
Steve was not taking any chances, he came to see me about four months before the actual wedding. He was quite nervous. Using the technique we straightened him out and calmed him down. He also had a little bit of help with his speech, which involves the posture as much as anything else. But what really struck me about Steve was that just before the wedding he started to get this glow. He no longer looked stressed. He looked healthier, he looked good. For the first time, he had colour in his face. Doing the Alexander Technique had improved the way he looked, he carried himself differently. He had really got that natural beauty.
He insisted that I turn up on the wedding day to ensure that he was calm and confident and upright. No need to worry. He was sorted. He was staying at the Picadilly West End. I felt slightly awkward carrying my portable massage table into those lifts. His friends were all there excited and bemused. They were ushered away, so that, on his wedding day, Steve had his very last Alexander lesson. I always wondered why he never came back. I guess he had achieved what he wanted. To look fantastic on his wedding day.
I guess since I had done a wedding it was only a matter of time before I had to do a funeral. Well, when I say I had to do a funeral I mean the person reading the eulogy had to do a funeral. They were many things, including nervous and bent double like old beggars under sacks! There is definitely something about a funeral that makes the colour drain from the face and any stoop will probably increase. Often death will have been accompanied by months of hard work looking after the potential dead person. So my role was clear. It really was a matter of breathing new life into someone who had really had the wind knocked out of them. The person in question said they really couldn’t have gone through it, without the technique. A plus was that the lady in question was able to wear high heals. Something, she assured me, would have been impossible without having the Alexander Technique work. I actually went to the funeral and she did a surprisingly good job, looking very upright and presenting in a most respectable way. Personally, I think it helped emotionally as well. Somehow we can hold it together better with the right kind of bodywork.
Alexander Technique really does have some interesting and perhaps bizarre applications. Sometimes, you set out with one set of motivations and a whole bunch of new ones pop up. One can be pleasantly surprised when the work we have done pays off in ways we probably could never have expected. One such an occurrence happened when I was teaching Ray Davies from the Kinks. Now, I was definitely there to work on stiff, painful muscles and also to do some voice work. All well and good and not untypical in a day’s work.
So just imagine how good it was when I opened up the newspaper to see Ray being knighted by the Queen, in a photograph that showed off the perfect poise that had been hard won with weeks of dedicated work on this most experienced of rock stars. It has to be said that Ray is someone who scrubs up remarkably well on his own, but one can’t help looking at that photo (see above), and thinking how much poise and attention to postural detail can improve the beautiful line of the body and therefore the looks in general. Another example of natural beauty.
Get that warm glow
So you see the Alexander Technique is a technique with surprising applications and perhaps one of the most important new beauty treatments to hit our shelves in recent years. If you would like that warm glow or perhaps you want to lift up team funeral or get married in real style, do not overlook the benefits of the Alexander Technique.
The human being is a sensitive creation. We often miss the blatantly obvious. Whilst many waste hundreds on cosmetics and plastic surgery there is a safer, more effective option. Just look after yourself. And just as Audrey says. Be happy. The looks will follow.
And remember, even conventionally beautiful people can look terrible and certainly those not considered good looking can get noticed. It’s all a matter of energy. Its all a matter of how you are. Not who you are. Change the way you carry yourself, carry yourself well and you too could look like a movie star achieving a very natural beauty.
In Part two of this article, I will go into more depth about why the Alexander technique is the new beauty treatment for the 21st century. We will discuss the bodies needs and look at the effect of stress and tension on our overall attractiveness.
Contact Nick Chapman