Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Surgeons and Actors spotted taking Alexander Technique lessons!



Surgeons and Actors spotted taking Alexander Technique lessons!?!?  Librarians across the globe are dizzy with panic in regards to how to categorize this mysterious technique with such a wide array of applications.  Rumor has it that they are organizing to stage a protest of the disruption of their carefully-constructed classification systems.

Surgeons at have recently been reaping the 
benefits of Alexander Technique lessons to improve their job performance according to a recent study at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.  Cat A. Gory, a librarian who had filed "Alexander Technique" under "Acting", panicked at the prospect of re-cataloging literature on the subject.  After discovering that surgeons were studying the Alexander Technique, she did some Googling and found that all sorts of people take Alexander lessons and find them useful, from actors to athletes, to office-workers, to dishwashers.  She has reportedly spent the all past week hunched over her computer, looking for a proper way to file literature on the technique and is now suffering such severe neck and back pain that she's filing for worker's comp.  

Ms. Gory placed a call to the Posture Police to see if she could get some help.

Posture Police:  Hello, Posture Police.

Cat E. Gory:  Yes, My name is Cat E. Gory.  I'm a librarian at the district library and I'd like to make a  request, no, really a demand of Mr. Alexander.  His new Technique has wreaked havoc on my classification system.

Posture Police:  Mr. Frederick Matthias Alexander?  The Alexander who developed the Alexander Technique?

Cat E. Gory:  Yes, that's him.

Posture Police:  Mr. Alexander's Technique is around 100-years old.

Cat E. Gory:  Hold on, let me Google that.  Oh, yes.  I see.  I see.  Yes, now I recall reading that.  Oh my!  It's been filed incorrectly all this time!  Dewey isn't due to be revised for another two years, so I can't change the classification categories.  I've got to find a way to fit it in and it's just impossible!

Posture Police:  Do you mean John Dewey, the renowned American educational philosopher and contemporary of Alexander's who was an avid proponent of Alexander's work and the significance of it to education?

Cat E. Gory:  No, I mean the Dewey Decimal Classification System devised by Melvil Dewey.

Posture Police:  Oh, yes, of course.

Cat E. Gory:  Though what you just said complicates things even more.  Educational philosophy!  My word!  I was moving toward the "Health" category again.  Is this about health?  Education?  Posture?  Acting?  Ow, my neck.  (sigh)

Posture Police:  All of the above, really.

Cat E. Gory:  I was afraid you'd say that!  I'm really trying hard to get this subject to fit neatly into a category.  Would you please help me?  I was already in a bit of a tizzy when I tried to put it in the "health" category, but then I found out that not only did it have something to do with health, but it was also related to education.  I mean, really, why would someone want to be educated about their health?  Then I began to wonder if it had something to do with saving time, like, I don't know, getting vaccinated for measles while doing Math homework, so that health and education would be happening simultaneously.  I was relieved when I discovered that F.M. Alexander was an actor and that the technique is offered as a course in many acting school.  I figured the whole health thing was a rumor, so I stuck it under "Theatre Education" next to Stanislavski.  I had just started feeling ok with the whole thing when that study from Cincinnati came to my attention.  (gasping for air)  I just I just couldn't handle it!  Surgeons and actors using the same technique to improve their jobs!  What on earth could they have in common?  (Choking back tears).  Things really began to unravel when I googled "Alexander Technique" and discovered that all sorts of people use it who have absolutely nothing in common.  I mean absolutely nothing! Oh, God my neck hurts so badly and I've hardly moved from this computer for the past week!  What on Earth could I have done to it?  So, after reading the study, I was looking a the Health classifications again, but now you're talking about educational philosophy and I've just about had it.  Anyway, my neck and back hurt so badly.  I guess it's from all the stress of trying to figure this thing out, though I don't really know.  In any case, it hurts so badly that I think I'm going to have to stop working.  I demand that Mr. Alexander present me with a proper Classification of his work that will fit into the system.

Posture Police:  Ms. Gory, F.M. Alexander passed away in 1955.  

Cat E. Gory:  Oh, yes, that's right.  I'm reading that now.  Well, what should I do.  Who can I blame for my neck and back pain.

Posture Police:  I suggest that you take some Alexander lessons and learn how to stop your neck pain and how to avoid it in the future.  Hello?  Hello?

(several minutes later)

Cat E. Gory:  Hello Doctor.  My neck and back are in terrible shape.  Could you proscribe me some pain killers.

Doctor:  Why do your neck and back hurt?

Cat E. Gory:  I don't know.  I've been working very hard at my desk all week and I'm in agony.  Could you prescribe me something?  I'll need surgery, won't I.

Doctor:  I suggest taking some Alexander Technique lessons.  I was just reading some recent research on the technique.  I think that it could really help you.

Cat E. Gory:  Oh.  Thanks.

(several minutes later) 

Cat E. Gory:  Is this the Posture Police?

Posture Police:  Oh, it's you again.  We must have had a bad connection.  Did you find your answer.

Cat E. Gory:  I'm going to take an Alexander Technique lesson and find out about it for myself.  My doctor says that it will help my neck and back and maybe I'll finally understand how to file the topic.  Can you tell me where I can find a teacher?

Posture Police:  Of course.  Visit www.lindsaynewitter.com

Cat E. Gory:  And one more question.  What on earth do actors and surgeons have in common?  I must know.  There must be something!

Posture Police:  They are all human, and like most humans they tend to misuse themselves by creating unnecessary strain in order to maintain upright posture.

Cat E. Gory:  Oh my.  The answer was right under my nose.  I'm so sorry that I hung up on you earlier.  I don't know where my mind went!  Of course.  We're all human, so we must all have some common issues regardless of our professions.

Posture Police:  Yes, but I should amend what I said about all actors being human.  My cat is a pretty good actor sometimes!

Performers (actors and musicians) have know the value of the Alexander Technique for a long time.  Most MFA acting programs include The Alexander Technique in their program of study.  The Alexander Technique deals with how we use ourselves on a very fundamental level.  Therefore,  it  is just as much an acting or singing technique as it is a walking or running technique or a technique for doing the dishes or maintaining comfortable posture while performing surgery.

Click below to read "Artistic Discipline Meets Modern Technology to Enhance Surgical Proficiency"

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/artistic-discipline-meets-modern-technology-to-enhance-surgical-proficiency-104198763.html

"Minimally invasive procedures require surgeons and assistants to maintain awkward, non-neutral and static postures of the trunk and extremities. This limits the natural shifting of their posture and can lead to discomfort, fatigue and even injury."

Image credit:  <p><a href="http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/view_photog.php?photogid=2692">Image: taoty / FreeDigitalPhotos.net</a></p>

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