Primary Control

loadUse and Care of Instrument

“Primary Control”: The Alexander Technique’s basic idea is that there is an underlying mechanism that organizes vertebrate behavior: The head leads the spine in good coordination. Utilizing this upward orientation, which FMA called “primary control”, alters the physiology of the body by creating more space. So instead of our normal habits of ping-ponging between holding ourselves in ‘good posture’ or collapsing in ‘relaxation’, we will rediscover our innate postural reflex. We will inhabit our full three dimensional space, our “kinesphere”, and move with grace and ease.

Use Affects Functioning. Here’s the corollary: FMA discovered that the manner in which we “use ourselves” determines how efficiently we function. Once re-established, the primary control leads to overall improvement in the way we do what we do – literally the way we move through our days. The opposite is also true; misuse results in malfunctioning. If we’re compressing our musculo-skeletal system, we’re also restricting our breathing, voice, circulation, digestion and other organic functions.

Mind/Body Integration: FMA writes of the whole self as a holistic entity, rather than the mind and body as separate parts. Our brain sends messages through our nervous system to the body, and simultaneously we receive sensory information from the body that informs these orders. A troubling thought will manifest in the body, immediately causing downward compression of the spine, increased muscular tension, interference with breathing, and many other physiological changes. And when you’re having a great day, you feel UP. We know this mind/body unity, but we forget.