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Adrian Farrell

Alexander Technique Teacher with a corporate background

I first came to the Alexander Technique in 2002 because of chronic neck and shoulder pain gained from long hours sitting at a computer workstation. At the time I was working as an IT consultant for Investment Banks and Stock Brokers and I found the high demands of the job made taking care of myself as I worked at my computer very difficult.

It was a chance conversation with a ballet dancer at a party that led to being asked if I had heard of the Alexander Technique. Obviously I hadn't, it tends not to be so well known outside of the world of performing arts, and so I looked it up on-line the following day. Having spent years seeing various osteopaths what immediately appealed to me was that I could learn to take responsibility for myself, instead of being passively treated for symptomatic pain without truly addressing the cause, beyond the usual "common sense" advice. We've all been given lists of what we should or shouldn't do, but it never really seems to change the way we actually behave, I'm sure I'm not alone in that.

Within a few months of weekly Alexander lessons, my neck and shoulder issues were largely resolved and I continued to have lessons for many years even after finding relief from my physical problems, because I found the technique so fascinating and useful. Not only did my balance, coordination and posture continue to improve, but I found myself much calmer, and able to handle stressful, demanding situations much better and with more clarity. It also greatly improved the performance of my main hobbies, playing guitar and running.

This naturally led me to wanting to study it in more depth and so I trained to be a teacher at the Alexander Teacher Training School in Central London. My passion now is to introduce the Alexander Technique to a wider audience, especially those who struggle with the demands of computer based office work.

Gravity Is Your Posture's Friend

I've always found it remarkable how common it is for people to behave as if gravity is the enemy, and yet we're entirely evolved to interact with it as part of the way we function, no less so than with the air we breathe. Russian scientist and academic P. Anokhin phrased it thus:
17/08/2017 11:14 BST

Change Is The Only Constant (Self Care)

Fear of change is why I think people look to others to fix them. They want to get better, but they don't want to change! How is that even logically possible? Change is uncomfortable, often emotionally so. The familiar is so inviting, it's "home".
26/10/2016 14:42 BST

What Is The Alexander Technique?

Old injuries are often hindered from fully healing due to the way we hold tension, and the protection mechanisms we put in place (i.e. tension) for an acute injury often turn into secondary issues later on when we habituate that tension pattern beyond it's initial useful period.
26/09/2016 15:15 BST

Poise, Not Posture - Don't Try To Stand Up Straight!

After millions of years of evolution you can rest assured that your postural reflexes work well enough if you don't interfere with them. You could say good posture is simply a lack of bad posture. Although good and bad are such judgemental words. You either have poise or you don't.
22/06/2016 10:11 BST

The Mind-Body Myth / You Are Not Your Brain

When I hurt my foot I don't think I have a hurt foot, I consider that I am hurt. I see it all the time, when someone is in pain they mentally separate that part from their being, as if it's an alien entity.
25/02/2016 11:17 GMT

The Core Stability Myth

The myth is that by having a stronger "core" (a poorly defined term anyway) you will have better posture, less back pain, and will perform better in your sporting activities. There's an elephant in the room regarding this too and I'll come back to it later.
04/12/2015 09:43 GMT

Make Your Jog Less of a Slog - Seven Simple Tips to Avoid Running Into Pain

By taking some key Alexander Technique principles into your running, it's possible to improve balance, coordination and freedom of movement - all invaluable things for anybody who exercises. And by increasing efficiency in your technique you can also reduce your risk of injury and boost your chance of running faster and more easily than you have ever run before.
09/11/2015 11:01 GMT

What is Stress?

Alexander Technique shows that it's our smart, conscious capacity that allows us to prevent and re-route tricky responses before they manifest and it's this that clinches the deal for me, in redefining stress.
03/11/2015 11:49 GMT

Could the Way You Sit Be Causing Your Period Pain?

There are several causes of period pain, and one of the biggest ones I see is a structural issue also known as a wondering womb. This is where the uterus is no longer in her optimal position, she can be too far forwards, backwards, to one side or another and even flexed over in either of these positions.
05/10/2015 12:01 BST

Alexander Technique Exercise, It's as Easy as Lying Down!

It's common to lie like this during an Alexander lesson, whilst a teacher works with you to help you release tension, but it's also just great thing to do for yourself between lessons and as an ongoing practice. And if someone starts to bother you whilst you're doing it, point out to them that you're busy, doctors orders!
29/09/2015 16:01 BST

Use Your Head! How to Reduce Your Back Pain at Work

Good posture isn't something you do, it's the by-product of not pulling yourself out of natural balance/alignment. It is bad posture that is caused by doing. Evolution has left us with postural reflexes that work just fine if we don't interfere with them. But why do you pull ourselves away from poise and ease?
10/09/2015 11:10 BST

Where's Your Head At? A Major Cause of Back Pain

The head balances on the spine much higher up than many people realise, if you point your fingers right below your earlobes, in line with the bottom of the nose, that's the axis around which the head articulates with the spine to allow it to nod forward and back.
04/09/2015 11:16 BST

Stand On Your Bottom, What?! The Truth About Sitting

As with many aspects of the Alexander Technique, there is also the way you think to consider. Like the association of relaxing being inert. The very phrase, sitting "down", encourages the thought that that is where you are wanting to go in your entirety.
18/08/2015 15:26 BST

The Shocking Truth About Ergonomic Chairs

Cynical click-bait headline aside, I'll cut to the chase, they don't work. There, I said it. But let's look at why that is, there are three main reasons...
30/07/2015 20:35 BST