Gerda Alexander

Gerda Alexander (February 15, 1908 – February 21, 1994) was a Danish teacher who devised a method of self-development called Eutony. She was born in Wuppertal, Germany, but moved to Denmark in 1929. Alexander's parents were believers in eurythmy, passing on to her a similar interest in the movement. Alexander as a young woman contracted rheumatic fever and endocarditis, suffering several crises. This inspired her to find ways to move that did not exacerbate her symptoms. Long periods of rest stimulated her to look within herself looking for a "more economic" and more spontaneous form of movement, starting with learning regulation of muscle tone. By means of observation and reflection on her students, their own ailments and difficulties in mobility, and the investigation of the neuropsychological bases of human movement, she molded her own method. She postulated that "it is important, in treatment, not to give and do more than is necessary, so that the other can rely on himself. It is not that I am a great master who gives you help. Rather, I can introduce you to my work for your own self-discovery." Quackwatch describes Alexander's invention, Eutony, as "form of body-centered psychotherapy" which "posits 'blocked energy' and a collective unconscious".


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