Are you an Alexander Technique teacher or student?

Are you interested in CranioSacral therapy and Reflex Inhibition Therapy in relation to the Alexander Technique? Then this page is for you.

CranioSacral Therapy for Alexander Technique Teachers
Our bodies are made up of systems with which we are more or less familiar. Like the respiratory system and the digestive system. Most of us are much less familiar with the CranioSacral system. Even though it is explained in every anatomy book it rarely receives teh attention it deserves. Problems within the CranioSacral System often have their origin in dentistry, accidents or trauma. These problems may appear to be habits of misuse but actually are not. Learning to distinguish a habit from a CranioSacral imbalance is helpful when teaching or applying the Alexander Technique for yourself.

I offer workshops, lectures and private CranioSacral sessions for Alexander Technique colleagues. The next course is planned from June  23rd until the 26th 2017. You can download the leaflet with full course details here: CranioSacralCourseforAT2017

From Primary Reflexes to Primary Control – Reflex Inhibition Therapy for Alexander Teachers
Inspired by our colleague Gitte Fjordbo’s plenary lecture at the Lugano Congress 2011 “when conscious control is not an option” I became interested in early childhood development and Reflex Inhibition Therapy. For obvious reasons I was not only interested in knowledge of the the early childhood.  Since I have known that  there is another method out there which works with the concept of inhibition. I was intrigued. What did they mean by inhibition, how did they work with this concept? Did it work?  My curiosity led me to a unique training course in the Netherlands run by Margaret Mulder who uses techniques from Kinesiology (Touch for Health) to inhibit Primary Reflexes. Early 2015 I graduated from her training course with a whole new perspective on the working of the brain the nervous system, posture, poise, balance and inhibition.

Why knowledge of early childhood reflexes is relevant to Alexander Technique Teachers and students

We know that for some pupils it is much easier to apply the Alexander Technique than for others, regardless of the number of lessons. Knowledge of early childhood development helps you understand the possible influence of the seven Primary Reflexes which are key to early childhood development. These reflexes organise a baby’s nervous system in the womb and after birth and provide the foundation for attention, balance and coordination skills later in life.

Primary Reflexes should be naturally inhibitied through movement as the baby develops. If there are disturbances in early childhood (such as prolonged sress, hospitalisation, feeding or crawling problems Primary Reflexes may not be fully inhibited. This creates compenstation mechanisms which disturb postural reflexes and fine motor skills later in life to varying degrees. In pupils with uninhibited Primary Reflexes there can be powerful reflex and muscular reactions which conflict with Alexander Technique Inhibition and directions.

I offer lectures, workshops and private reflex inhibition sessions for Alexander Technique colleagues.

Private sessions with me in Amsterdam
Do you suspect you have a CranioSacral problem or a problem with Primary Reflexes and would you like to schedule a number of private sessions with me? It is easy to book a series of sessions with me in Amsterdam. I can recommend a wonderful Bed & Breakfast in the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam which is a quiet and wonderful retreat where you will have your own bedroom, bathroom, living room and roof terrace. It is 20 minutes away from my practice by public transport. To secure availability please book your sessions with me at least four weeks in advance if you are planning to come over. Don’t hesitate to contact me for more details.

A workshop or lecture in your country
I am available to travel. If you wish to organise a workshop or lecture in your Alexander Technique community or training course do not hesitate to contact me about the possibilities. I speak English, Spanish and Dutch fluently.

What colleagues have said about my work and my courses
“After I had taken three single sessions with Elke Mastwijk in 2011, I have experienced – especially regarding my head – such a release as never before; not even in my own work with myself since 1987, nor in my work with some excellent Alexander teachers. This has motivated me to participate in the course, „Alexander Technique and Cranio-Sacral Therapy“. After this week, I am convinced that – though only one week’s duration – the cranial work, as Elke has taught it, means a significant broadening of the Alexander work for me. In an open, simple, accepting manner, with a 10-step protocol, she acquainted us with the underlying laws of Cranio-Sacral Therapy. As I experienced it, she creates a connection between the unconscious and the conscious control. A big experience for me was, for example: in contacting the sphenoid bone I felt a ‘forward up’ movement. I thank Elke for these new tools that I can use to solve many problems that I have not been able to address with Alexander Technique alone.”

“One week of learning and experiencing Cranio-Sacral therapy with Elke Mastwijk from Amsterdam
A ‘wonderful week` in the true sense of the word: ‘full of wonder’. 
The competent introduction which Elke has given us; the inspired sharing of her knowledge; her work with the participants; and, astonishingly, even the demonstration of her experience with horses – it was all truly: wonderful!”

“Alexander Technique and CranioSacral therapy was my favourite workshop at the Lugano 2011 congress, I learned something new”.

“Elke presented her knowledge with a great sense of humor which made her workshop light and entertaining. She was also able to present new information to the group in a clear, straight forward manner with excellent visual aids. I gained many insights from her two hour lecture at the recent Congress in Ireland in August 2015.”

“I have attended two of Elke’s four day courses “CranioSacral therapy for Alexander Teachers” from which I have taken home a lot of knowledge and ‘hands on’ skills that I can use in my own teaching practice. Also I was able to resolve some issues I had with my neck thanks to the amount of specific hands on work I exchanged on the course with other teachers under Elke’s guidance.”

“I attended Elke’s lecture on Primary Reflexes for the Dutch Society of Alexander Technique Teachers in the spring of 2015. Once again Elke was able to open my eyes to relevant nsights from another discipline. I want to learn more.’