SOURCE: Alexander Technique LA

Alexander Technique LA

April 27, 2010 23:44 ET

Alexander Technique LA: Slouching Leads to High Blood Pressure, Back Pain, Stress, Low Energy, and Anxiety

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - April 27, 2010) - People everywhere slouch, creating tension and collapse as they sit at the computer, walk to the office, and drive their cars. They compress their spines, triggering back pain, interfering with breathing, and adding undue stress to the entire body.

Los Angeles-based certified Alexander Technique teacher, Sharon Jakubecy demonstrates to students the effects of slouching and dispels misconceptions about posture. "Slouching makes everything you do more difficult, from typing on the computer to picking up your child. When you slouch, you are wasting energy," says Jakubecy.

Here are common misconceptions about slouching and posture:

  • Slouching is relaxing: False! Symptoms of slouching, "include: difficulty breathing, fatigue, mild back pain, round back appearance, and tenderness and stiffness in the spine" (Medline Plus, Medical Encyclopedia, Updated by: Andrew L Chen, MD, MS, Orthopedist). A study by Jim Deuchars and colleagues at the University of Leeds, UK, published in New Scientist 14:12 August 11, 2007 states "...[I]t is possible that hours spent hunched over a computer may raise blood pressure. 'The pathway exists for bad posture to really have an effect [on blood pressure and heart rate].'" Slouching requires neck, chest, shoulder, and abdominal muscles to contract unnecessarily. The weight of the head and the arms pulling the ribcage forward compresses the ribcage making breathing effortful. When someone slouches, they look tired, depressed, and self-conscious.
  • Good posture is too difficult: False! Most people, when they try to correct their posture, attempt to "stand up straight," by tightening their neck muscles, holding their breath, arching their lower back, locking their knees, and stiffening their body. This is not good posture. Good posture is a release of the unnecessary muscular effort that pulls a person down. When the neck muscles are released, the spine is longer and the head rests effortlessly at the top of the spine. When the chest, shoulders, and back muscles are released, a person is taller, has more open body language, has more energy, exudes confidence, and feels calmer.

During Alexander Technique lessons students learn how to undo their slouch. That is, how to release the muscles that should not be working, e.g. the neck, chest, and abdominals. With the hands-on guidance of a teacher, students let go of the downward muscular pull of their slouch. "In a first Alexander Technique lesson, when people learn that their good posture is a release of muscular effort and they experience a release to their full height, they are surprised, delighted, and relieved. They often tell me, 'I feel so light,'" reports Jakubecy.

Many successful performers have taken Alexander Technique. Victoria Beckham used it to improve her posture. Other celebrities who have used the technique are Ben Kingsley, William Hurt, Jeremy Irons, Sting, Robin Williams, Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Juliette Binoche, Kenneth Branaugh, Hillary Swank, and Kevin Kline, who says, "The Technique's many benefits for actors include minimized tension, centeredness, vocal relaxation and responsiveness, mind/body connection and about an inch and a half of additional height!"

Jakubecy is teaching an Introduction to Alexander Technique, titled "Get the Spring Back in Your Step" at Silver Lake Yoga on May 15, 1 p.m. - 3 p.m., 2810 1/2 Glendale Blvd, Los Angeles, Calif. Cost is $60 after May 1. Parking is on the street and behind the studio.

For more information about the Alexander Technique and to receive free tips on eliminating your slouch, visit www.AlexanderTechniqueLA.com or call 1-310-383-1796.

Contact Information

  • Media contact:
    Sharon Jakubecy
    Phone: 310-383-1796
    e-mail: Email Contact