THE ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE & SOMATIC EDUCATION CENTRE
               
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GLOSSARY
 
Eco.   Short for ecology 

Somatics.   The academic field to which Alexander Technique belongs. Generally meaning to do with the body. 

Ecosomatics.   The field of study inquiring into the possible relationship between the developing conscious use of oneself and a more environmental or ecological awareness. Frank Pierce Jones coined the term, “a unified field of attention” to describe the awareness developed through studying the A.T. Ecosomatics is a continuation of that idea and includes exploring taking responsibility for ones behaviour and its consequences.  The necessary first step is to become aware of these behaviours and accept them for what they are before a choice can be made as to whether one wants to change them. 
 
 

ALEXANDRIAN TERMS
Alternative health and complementary medicine.  Current labels to identify the Alexander Technique in the contemporary health system. 

Body awareness.  (Self awareness)   A more holistic body awareness is developed by Alexanders method than other systems  (or in conjunction with other systems) because his technique is based on inhibiting interfering habits which conceal real awareness for most of us. 

Constructive thinking.   Alexander named one of his books,  Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual .   Master American teacher Marjorie Barstow also referred to the constructive thinking which one learns in the A.T. 
Our habits pull us down whereas constructive thinking enables us to move up as nature intended. 

Direction.  The idea of bringing the direction of ones use of oneself onto a more conscious plane is with Inhibition,  the underpinning principle of Alexander’s discovery. 

Education.  Many writers on the Technique  have raised the premise that any form of education is incomplete without self knowledge such as that bought about by Alexander’s developing conscious awareness. 

Endgaining.   Alexanders word for the habitual responses to a wide variety of stimuli without reference to the way we use ourselves. His technique teaches us to pay attention to the means whereby we gain our end/goal thus allowing us to arrive without having compromised our functioning.

Holistic (wholistic).  Alexander demonstrated the holistic nature of the mind/body connection in his work over a century ago.  Holistic health needs Alexander’s conscious control of ones neuro-muscular system to be a reality. 

Inhibition.   Alexander is referring to the neural functions of inhibition and exitation which balance each other in movement in a well tuned being. 

Kinaesthetic  (Kinaesthetic Intelligence,  Somatic Intelligence).   To do with sensing ones own body in movement.  Sometimes referred to as the crown of the senses,  the kinaesthetic sense is a nervous system function as important as sight or any other of the traditional five senses.  (See Garlick’s “The Lost Sixth Sense”  available at  www.stat.org.uk/statbooks) 

Mind-body connection.  (mind/body dualism)  Alexander‘s investigations leading to his technique led him to state that his work demonstrated the impossibility of separation of mind and body in any form of human activity.  (See also Dewey’s arguments) 

Proprioceptive.  Self sensing.

Reeducation.  The A.T. is usually refered to as reeducation. Because our sensory awareness has been neglected in traditional education it has inevitably been compromised and needs reeducation.

Sensory appreciation.  Alexander found his sensory system to be faulty in that it only informed him of his habit and was therefore unreliable in making changes and needed reeducation.  He also termed this debauched kinaesthesia

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