Alexander Technique vs. Massage / by Ariel Carson

Sounds of the rainforest permeate the lavender scented room. Lying between soft clean sheets, a warm heavy pillow rests on your abdomen. You close your eyes and breathe deeply while a skilled masseuse slowly and evenly kneads out unruly knots and rock hard tension. Your obligations and to-do lists melt away, and you are left with pure and decadent relaxation.

Yes. Please. ThankYouVeryMuch.

Most of you would probably agree a thorough deep tissue massage from time to time is a little slice of heaven. So why on earth would you spend your precious resources taking Alexander Technique lessons, when you could instead just keep getting massages?

Consider this:

1.     Long Term Pain Relief

While a massage will often TEMPORARILY relieve chronic tension and pain, the Alexander Technique teaches you how to reorganize your musculature, reducing excess tension and strain, and helping you access LONG-TERM pain relief. Talk about sustainability! (For additional reading, check out this study published by the British Medical Journal proving that regular A.T. lessons are more effective at relieving back pain than regular massages.)


2.     Holistic Approach

Massages are a Band-Aid solution often only addressing specific areas of the body without relating them to the whole.  Alexander Technique addresses your overall coordination, balance, and support, working with your whole body-breath-mind-being to cultivate relief from the inside out and the outside in.


3.     Increased Awareness

Ariel volunteer teaching Alexander Technique at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

Ariel volunteer teaching Alexander Technique at the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.

I love getting massages from time to time. They are a great healthy way to escape from the real world, which is totally valid and necessary on occasion. But the Alexander Technique brings you into the present moment, promoting increased mindfulness, expanded awareness, and heightened consciousness. And while I’ll admit being present is not always pretty or easy, it is way more rewarding!!


4.     Real Life Application

The effects of a massage wear off hours after it’s over, but you can take what you learn in your Alexander Technique lessons and apply it to any activity, whether it’s sitting, standing, walking, running, breathing, speaking, yoga, or anything else! #RealTalk.


5.     Saving you Money

Unlike massages, by learning the Alexander Technique now, you save money in the long run. That’s the awesome thing about preventative methods. While it is definitely an investment of your time and money now, the Alexander Technique can help you avoid costly doctor visits and even orthopedic surgery in the future. I personally have a sliding scale for a limited number of students, which makes it super affordable to pay for regular lessons.


6.     Relaxation and Do-It-Yourself Benefits

After lessons, many of my students report that they feel just as relaxed as if they had just gotten a massage. That means you get the sensation of relaxation as you are simultaneously learning how to bring about the same results on your own. Mmm-hmm. Break me off a piece of that!


If you have more questions or comments about how the Alexander Technique is different from massage, leave them in the comment section below. I’d love to hear from you.


<3 Ariel