Pete’s Blog – Wed 13 Apr 2016

Photograph of Peter Ribeaux, Centre for the Alexander Technique
Touch is one of the points of contact between teacher and pupil. The others form the rest of the interaction between them mediated by the remaining senses. Alexander chose to use touch it seems almost by accident as a result of his own failure to carry out his own instructions to his body. If he could not do what he was instructing himself to do, how could he expect others to. So he took to touch. At the same time he monitored his own touch to ensure that it was of the quality he desired to give the right stimulus to his pupils. He evolved a highly developed quality of use of his own body with the result that his ensuing touch gave the appropriate stimulus to his pupils. The touch was either accurate or suffered from varying degrees of inaccuracy. There is a margin of error here and what is satisfactory with one pupil will not be appropriate for another. Personal preference on the part of the pupil and teacher play a part her but that does not detract from the existence of some kind of absolute accuracy which needs to be aspired to.

The variations in touch, hard vs soft, invasive vs non-invasive, manipulative vs non-manipulative are not what is being talked about here. It is the underlying balance and coordination (the use in Alexander language) that is the crucial factor. This is difficult to convey verbally and even experientially, though the latter is infinitely easier. So if you are interested, come to the workshop on May 7th. See News & Dates.

More on the variations of touch later….