LiveWell Louisiana

Perfect Position

Learn how a mind-body technique can ease your tension.
October 7th, 2014 by: Lianna Patch

Feeling like your posture needs some loving attention? There’s a practice for that. Named over 100 years ago for Australian actor and voice teacher F. Matthias Alexander, the Alexander Technique addresses body carriage, posture and movement to improve quality of life. “The Alexander Technique is a skill that can help you do all of your daily activities — walking, standing, practicing yoga, working at a computer, taking care of children — with less tension and greater ease,” says Lisa Lutton, a certified teacher of the technique.

We’ve all been told that good posture means pulling our shoulders back, lifting our chins or strengthening core muscles. But these strenuous efforts may have more harm than benefit. “In truth, good posture is effortless, and the first step toward finding good posture is to stop trying to force your body into shape by doing something,” Lutton explains.

In her private practice at the Affordable Healing Arts Center on St. Claude Avenue, she works with clients to bring gentle attention to their movements, gradually ingraining better habits. “By allowing the musculoskeletal system to come back into better balance by releasing tension, posture improves and movement takes on a more fluid quality,” Lutton says. “Another benefit of studying the Alexander Technique is that it can have dramatic results for people who suffer from pain.” Fibromyalgia, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, chronic headaches and repetitive strain injuries are just some of the conditions that can be ameliorated by practicing the Alexander Technique.  

Lutton enjoys seeing clients overcome physical ailments and mental stress using the technique. “But my favorite moments are when people realize that they have more control over their health than they had ever imagined,” she says. “It’s recognition of the power of choice in every moment, and a realization that the concepts of the Alexander Technique can be applied to a lot more than just the body.”

On the evening of Oct. 28, Lutton will offer an Introduction to the Alexander Technique workshop at the Uptown New Orleans Jewish Community Center. The workshop is $15 for JCC members, and $20 for non-members. Readers can register through the JCC, either at nojcc. org or by calling (504) 897-0143.