I had previously written a very short intro post about the possibility of using the Alexander Technique to Increase Height (HERE). I was getting into the research to see what others have found.
From this Resource (a SHE magazine article on the Alexander Technique website), it seems that a women who has had very bad posture for a long time increased her height from 5′ 5″ to 5′ 7″ after a few weeks of using the Alexander Technique sessions.
From this PDF HERE, we learn that the technique has been used by movie stars, musicians, athletes, and actor students in Julliard and the NYC Actors Studio Drama School for over 70 years. The quote I will take is ,
” The results can be very dramatic; people can gain up to an inch and a half in “lost” height that was due to collapse….”
From the Resoouce HERE it is stated also that “commonly adults gain height”. I found this link to be very useful and informative on what the Alexander method does.
Of all the resources on the internet, the best resource is TheAlexanderGuide.Com . From the website, I copy and pasted the first intro paragraph…
The Alexander technique is a way of becoming more aware of your balance and how you move. It’s based on the premise that most people have bad postural habits that, over time, stop us using our bodies as easily and comfortably as we should. Wrongly used muscles contract and pull down, giving to the classic sign of bad use: head tipped back at the start of any movement, especially sitting or standing.
The way of modern living leads to bad postural habits; shoulders raised and stiffened by stress, neck poked forward over desk work, tired bodies slumped into saggy armchairs. Soon we’ve lost all sense of how we really are, so that what feels natural (because it’s habitual) is widely out of line. That’s why it’s hard to correct our own posture without expert help. The Alexander Technique aims to re-educate the body into moving more easily – relearning the natural grace all children have until they all go to school and start slouching over desks.
How can Alexander Technique make you grow taller?
It’s based on what Alexander Technique teachers call ‘good use of the body’ – allowing the spine to regain its natural curves, holding the head effortlessly in the easiest position and distributing weight evenly over your feet. The bonus is that you look taller and feel lighter.
The Alexander Technique teaches you how to stand, how to sit and how to use a chair. Posture is perfected and the body is taught to move with ease. It is not unusual for Alexander Technique practicioners to have grown by 2-3 cm. It can simply be that their spine was curved or they held their head too far forward. It’s about letting the spine reach its full length. Many of us carry our heads too far back and tilted skywards. The technique teaches you to let go of the muscles holding the head back, allowing it to resume its natural place on the summit of our spines. The head weighs 4-6kg (10-12lb), so any misalignment can cause problems for the neck and body.
How is Alexander Technique different from Pilates or Yoga?
Alexander Technique is not like Pilates in that it does not involve actual exercise (like on the cadillac or reformer) but has some of the same ideas about being centered.
Pilates was developed to strengthen the body core (Pilates originator, Joseph Pilates, was a gymnast who wanted to speed up recovery). Alexander Technique was originally developed for stage performers to “free up” their bodies (Mr. Alexander was an actor). That is, you would not get stiff after an Alexander Technique session like you would after your first Pilates sessions, nor will Alexander Technique do anything for your muscle strength.
Alexander Technique is more about realignment, which is where it comes closer to Yoga. But it does not have the meditative and stretching/relaxing element of Yoga. Alexander Technique is stricly about using your body better and more efficiently.
Me: If I was to go out into the street right now and put adult 10 people in 10 sessions with a licensed Alexander Technique instructor, I would guess that half of them but the end of the 10 sessions would have added at least 1 extra cm of height. The Alexander Technique helps normal people who often live lives where they are slouching and hunched over gain what I have termed “lost height”. In the US based on our living habits, I would say 60% (or higher) of people have at least 1 cm of “hidden height” that they don’t realize. If they were worked on, I would guess a good number of them can increase their height by up to 1-1.5 inches in extra height.
It is because they are choosing not to stand and walk in the right posture. The alexander method redirects the person who goes into the session to learn how to direct and focus the movement of their body. They learn how to stand, walk, and move better.
So in conclusion, the Alexander Technique can help a person gain “hidden height” from better posture and spinal realignment. The technique will NOT give another 2 inches to a ballet dancer or figure skater, or anyone who had already learned how to stretch out their body to the body’s natural limit through training and exercises. It works, and it also doesn’t work.