I’ve been maintaining the Wikipedia.org website featuring Alexander Technique for some years now. Right now, it’s got a pretty interesting and rather encyclopedic tone. Anyone may edit Wikipedia, so people discuss what is on there on what is known as the “talk page.” What follows is some of the more recent discussion from that page, with my comment included below.
== Summary not explained == the line as well as improve other conditions related to overcompensation appears in the summary at the top, but nowhere else is overcompensation referred to or explained. —Preceding [[Wikipedia:Signatures|unsigned]] comment added by [[User:Stillflame|Stillflame]] ([[User talk:Stillflame|talk]] • [[Special:Contributions/Stillflame|contribs]]) 16:57, 3 September 2008 (UTC)
:Good point. I’ve changed the use of this jargon term to the more general “physical habits” to make it more understandable.–[[User:Vannin|Vannin]] ([[User talk:Vannin|talk]]) 16:04, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps the term “compensatory movement strategies for avoiding pain” should be substituted instead of your more general term, Vannin? It means when a person designs a work-around strategy of how to go about moving to accomplish their goals in order to avoid pain in the moment or to avoid further anticipated cumulative pain.
Also Vannin asked: “Also, please explain why movement to demonstrate its principles” differs from exercise.”
The reason for not using the word “exercise” is merely that using the word does not work to bring about in their student’s response what Alexander teachers are teaching. It creates misconceptions for their students that later need to be cleared up.
Exercises are done to be repeated at will with certain intended goals. The problem is that repetition sets up a new habit, which is against the intent of A.T. The challenge is to subtract current ongoing habits, not to put a new habit into place.
What is recommended is exploring quality, direction, sequence and timing of movement in the moment, rather than thinking of what you are doing as an exercise. So even though you may be paradoxically following a procedure to invoke discovery, it doesn’t work to anticipate results before they occur.
Let me know if that sounds like “jargon” OK?