Mind and Muscle REVIEW EXTRACTS

 

Direction (A journal on the Alexander Technique)
Langford's book, Mind and Muscle is the very model of astuteness and bears the formidable imprint of a thirty-plus year career in the Alexander profession. This is a far cry from the "quickies" that clutter the bookshelves. What we should be striving for, says Langford, is accuracy, integrity, and professionalism.

STAT News (Journal of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique)
This is a substantial book... clear, lively and well expressed... does not settle lazily for the easy over-simplification... will repay careful reading and re-reading and enrich your understanding... I recommend it to anyone who wants to understand more about how the bodymind works and how its functioning can be improved.

AUSTAT News
Mind and Muscle is a fascinating exploration of the relationship between our thinking and our bodies. It is evidently the fruit of decades of teaching experience, many years of thoughtful mulling and careful writing... It's a book I feel I've always needed to read, but there was nothing like it available...well-structured, accessible and engaging... an impressive and thoughtful book, achieving a rare combination of scholarship and the warm wisdom of experience.

VIGoureus (Journal of the Flemish Institute for Health Promotion)
This book is strongly recommended to all those concerned with physical education, and to anyone who understands that we cannot misuse our bodies with impunity. By helping us to deal with ourselves in a way that respects the natural functioning of the body, and thus teaching us how many physical problems can be avoided, this book certainly has a place in health promotion.

Artsenkrant (Belgian weekly for G.P.s)
... a critical look at a lot of deep-seated ideas that may not be as scientifically well-founded as is usually supposed... offers the reader practical help so that he is able to let his whole body function in the optimal way.

ISSTIP Journal (International Society for the Study of Tension in Performance)
... explores the connections between our thinking processes and how our muscles work in two related ways: the effects of our often mistaken ideas ... on how we function... and the effects of accurate concepts guiding clear ideas about what we want to happen and not happen... clearly presented, accompanied by excellent drawings and interesting photographs... a thoughtful, thorough exploration of the subject...

Piano Journal (Journal of the European Piano Teachers' Association)
... tour de force... the distillation of a lifetime's experience... management of oneself to achieve optimum performance... style is direct and matter-of-fact, drawing on physiology and anatomy to dispel myths and misconceptions.

The Bulletin (Brussels newsweekly)
... a technical but readable explanation of how the body functions in movement.

Wooster Sauce (Journal of the PG Wodehouse Society UK)
... this invaluable handbook...

The Gleam (Magazine of Bruton School for Girls)
... how we can use our bodies to complete everyday tasks in a more comfortable and less damaging way... a very accessible read with numerous diagrams and photographs... interesting little experiments to carry out on yourself, to see how you use your body, which can be very revealing... would also prove exceptionally useful to those people who suffer from back pain - or indeed for those who simply want to prevent such problems in later life.

Direction
...detailed, anecdotal, and beautifully illustrated... The book is very rich in personal experience and conviction.

ExchangE
Mind and Muscle
reads as an experienced Alexander teacher's response to a perceived need for accurate and understandable information about the functioning of the body. Elizabeth Langford weaves together observations from her many years of teaching with anatomical information she has researched and brought into plain language. Interspersed throughout are descriptions of experiments the reader can make to understand practically what has just been described verbally.

www.amazon.co.uk (customer comments)
An amazing discovery of ourselves, how we work and some experiments to make with muscles, bones and mind... Well written... well documented, with many references...

  • Essential reading for those who care about themselves.
    It is almost 30 years since I had my first lesson in the F. M. Alexander Technique. My teacher was Elizabeth Langford, the author of Mind and Muscle. Reading this book, I am reminded of her clarity as a teacher, her sense of humour and the inspiration she gave me to become an Alexander teacher myself. Few will have the good fortune to pass through such expert hands. Nevertheless, in the absence of an Alexander teacher, careful study of Mind and Muscle could take the reader a long way towards a better "use of the self". Anyone not wanting to allow their body to fall into disrepair should buy this book tomorrow!
  • I thought I knew where my hip-joint was until reading this! A concise, well structured, immensely readable book, well illustrated. The author knows her subject, how to write about it, and yet remains incredibly human at the same time. A practical book and excellent read - particularly for back pain sufferers, buy it and read it!

balletdance.about.com
At last dancers have an additional tool to increase their awareness of movement! The connection between the body and mind is explored in Mind and Muscle by Elizabeth Langford, a wonderful book that is the missing link in Alexander Technique literature.

www.ottakars.co.uk


A must for all back pain sufferers
As a chronic back pain sufferer, I am always on the look out for books to help relieve my condition. Mind and Muscle seeks too unlearn the bad habits of a lifetime through a series of experiments. Her well researched book is rich with illustrations and common sense approaches to daily living. Elizabeth writes in an easy style and I have no hesitation in recommending this book as a must for the family bookshelf.
Brian Wilson, Honorary Regional Director BackCare - the National Organisation for healthy backs.

www.synergy-health.co.uk
Mind and Muscle is a wonderful book that fills an enormous hole in the Alexander Technique literature. Mind and Muscle takes the reader through a fascination exploration of the way our bodies work, gives us a firmer grasp on the physiological basis for movement, and challenges our preconceptions about our bodies as we move through space...She has successfully created a book that is both an introduction to the Alexander Technique and a book of value to teachers with decades of experience.

www.bol.com
Misunderstanding explained.
Through reading and working with this book, I came in contact with all the aspects of movement that once had raised questions for me. In plain language a lot of misunderstandings are uprooted by clear explanation and clarifying 'experiments'. For example, where is your hip-joint? For everybody who wants to know more about his body!
dr.verelst@hotmail.com, Wilrijk, Belgium


The author of Mind and Muscle has also received many personal letters, for example,

from medical experts :
"...an original approach, which I am keen to see better known in medical circles. I am of the opinion that such convergence of experience can be developed with considerable benefit to patients."

"Marvellous and beautifully produced book - hugely enjoyed it. I would love to be able to take slides of some of the drawings..."

"It should be on every GP's bookshelf."

"I suppose it will stay in print and become a classic."

"Convinced though I am of the value of the Alexander Technique, it has often been difficult for me to discuss it with my medical colleagues. At last, a really precise book to show them what I am talking about."

A physiotherapist writes: "I admire the patience with which things have been unravelled so as to present simply that which seems complicated when one learns it ''scientifically' ".

A letter from the British Performing Arts Medicine Trust says "...delighted that the research and all the hard work has come to such a magnificent and useful conclusion. The book will be of enormous use to us here at BPAMT."

From Alexander teachers in many countries:
"What an incredible amount of research and hard work! ... It is required reading."

"A refreshing look at the subject... I did enjoy the startle-derived photos, which are quite instructive! I also love those beautiful anatomical illustrations."

"It is such a pleasure to read a book on Alexander's work that actually conveys real information."

"...really does fill a need for teachers and students... beautifully designed and illustrated, and your writing is clear, intelligent and engaging. What a pleasure! Thanks for taking the trouble to provide this resource for us all!"

"...beautifully written, admirably clear and simple, well-thought-out, and interesting. It cuts away a lot of the encrusted mystery ... I'm telling all my colleagues about it and will recommend it as a supplementary text for my classes at the university."

STAT's Professional Development co-ordinator writes "...wonderful book. I will, of course, be recommending it."

And a very senior teacher, with a world-wide reputation, says "I leave it where everyone can see it. I tell everybody they must read it."

And from people in many other walks of life, those for whom Mind and Muscle was chiefly written:
"I find your book a prodigious achievement in knowledge and clarity. It is a big help for me continually to be able to refresh my thinking about things."

"I am someone who has never in his life had a biology lesson, let alone any tuition about what fits into which, and why...it is a fascinating book and I will complete it!"

"This is a monumental achievement of lucidity and practical wisdom. The chapter on 'muscles and fear' is a wonderful, cogent, and moving piece of writing."

"I discovered your book only by accident. It will be valuable to so many people. You must make sure it gets proper publicity."

"I thought I understood this sort of thing, despite 'having a problem' with one knee for many years. Reading your chapter on legs and how they work seems to have done the trick! Your book deserves to be a great success. It could become a cult book if it gets the publicity it merits."

"...it looks splendid and reads in a very chatty way."

"It will be a best-seller...We all say 'This is the book we need!' "

"Somehow it makes me think of P.G. Wodehouse - there is a flow to it that draws you along."

"...gratitude and admiration for such an extraordinarily human and helpful book. You understand people's difficulties so well, you describe them in a way we would be incapable of doing ourselves and you throw such a clear light on them. Your book really comes as the missing link between 'learning' ... and everyday 'living' - which is so difficult to do alone."

 

That final quote was the real reward for many years of hard work. It describes exactly the effect the author hopes to have on all her readers.

Alexandertechniek Centrum vzw