I have taken Alexander Technique lessons with Malcolm over a period of several years. I am a lawyer by profession, with an analytical, end-gaining mindset that is not always helpful in learning something like the AT. Malcolm has been a superb teacher for me. He always maintains perspective on the overall learning process of the student, adjusting his teaching to what will be most helpful at each stage. He is sensitive to the subtleties involved, yet keeps things simple. His depth of knowledge and and length of experience of the AT are difficult to match. In my view, he is truly a world class teacher.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Malcolm is a thoughtful and expressive teacher. A positive thinking and upbeat person, he adapts AT to his clients’ needs with ease. For me, he has boldly gone where no one would go before! I would highly recommend him.
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐I”ve used Malcolm’s services ongoingly since 1997 originally in regards to running injuries after consulting with other health professionals. He’s solved my injury problems over the course of 20 years! I’m a long time practitioner of mindfulness meditation and have found the Alexander Technique complements that practice in ALL areas of my life so that I “use” my body and mind in more optimal ways. Malcolm is an excellent coach/ teacher who uses a “light” touch in dealing with his clients. I highly recommend his services!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐I am a professional musician and first took lessons with Malcolm several years ago. He is a patient, experienced, compassionate and knowledgeable teacher. He adapts his approach to each student, and I would recommend his teaching to anyone who is curious to find out more about Alexander Technique. Alexander lessons have been invaluable to me. Using simple but varied exercises, Malcolm helped me build awareness of how subtly but distinctly the body reacts to various thoughts, intentions, and emotional stimuli. I am continually learning and relearning what power the mind has to stop or adjust these physical reactions wherever necessary, and in all sorts of life situations (including live performances, but certainly not limited to these). Highly recommended!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Since 2006, I have had the great chance to start learning some principles of the Alexander technique with Malcolm Balk. This encompasses a great many situations in which I now experience thank’s to Malcolm a much better life quality. Ranging from the “Alexander squat” (an exercise that I always massively do) to the “active rest”, where we learn to relax & energize all our muscles , to how to effectively balance our bodies for the better use of ourselves in everyday situations (just bending down, cutting vegetables, sitting down and getting up, washing our teeth, writing, etc etc), to the application of these very principles on my musical instruments, the piano & clarinet, minimizing the tensions of repetitive movements and again developing a better balance of all the body’s parts, without forgetting the last but really not the least, running & jogging for which Malcolm is also a master! Malcolm is a great master of the Alexander technique who can certainly help anybody have a much better quality of life with the better use of one’s self. Thank you Malcolm!!
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Outstanding, dedicated, observant and insightful teacher of Alexander Technique plus world-class running coach
Recovering from injury (and preventing further injury)
I went to Malcolm Balk to learn to walk properly again after a couple of severe injuries to my right hip and my pelvis, the result of treating yoga as an extreme sport. Despite two years of rehab with a physiotherapist, an athletic therapist, two chiropractors, and an acupuncturist, who between them managed to rid me of most of my pain, I was still walking like a drunken camel. With Malcolm, I got much more than I expected. Not only does he have me walking smoothly and effectively, but he has also improved my posture, taught me to stand up and sit down efficiently, and deepened my forward bends (an unforeseen bonus). Because of Malcolm, I am a lot less likely to repeat the same mistakes and reinjure myself. The Alexander Technique is an excellent method that teaches one to move with much more awareness and much less effort, and Malcolm Balk is a very experienced, very capable teacher of it. Whatever your problem is, he can help.
Stewart Cooke, June 2012
Malcolm Balk’s approach can perhaps be described as minimalist, but the expression «less is more» does it more justice. Briefly, Malcolm will help you get in tune with your body and rediscover the instinctive movement you had as a child.”
Yves, June 2012
Alexander Technique and musical performance
Malcolm Balk’s lessons in Alexander Technique with have re-connected me with aspects of my playing that I had lost touch with over the years, and helped me to discover new avenues towards musical expression. Overall, they have served at jump-starting my enthusiasm about playing the saxophone. For younger players, the awareness gained of the use of our arms, legs, back, neck and head, especially in relation to how they move, can be invaluable in avoiding some of the pitfalls encountered over the course of a performing career. Really great for breathing, support, articulations and rhythm, with an approach that is different and refreshing.
Janis, June 2012
Finding a better way to use the body
AT, for me, is instruction, guidance and inspiration to find and keep better use of our body in a world that does not support nor value this. The benefits I have noticed are increased energy, relaxation and attention. I have also found increased performance and enjoyment of running and golf.
Matt, June 2012
Help with migraines
A few years ago, I was at a crossroads. I knew I needed help dealing with the debilitating weekly migraines I was suffering from.
Being a flutist, I had read about the Alexander Technique, and how it improves body use. A book on the subject was helpful, but I wasn’t getting very far with it. I found Malcolm Balk’s name on the internet, and immediately contacted him. I’m glad I did.
I was holding a lot of tension in my body, particularly in my neck and shoulders and had reached point at which my poor posture and body use became a part of me. By following Malcolm’s direction, I became aware of the circumstances that would trigger my reaction to tense up. With his ongoing guidance, Malcolm helps me realize when my body is not aligned and provides me with tools to help with awareness. There have been many Aha! moments both in my lessons and in everyday life.
Malcolm has proven to be the catalyst that allows me to actively pursue the self-awareness necessary for me to care of myself. In the process, he has become a friend who I look forward to seeing, knowing that our lesson will bring me closer to correct body use.
The migraines? Although not completely cured, they have certainly decreased in frequency and intensity. In fact, I can’t imagine how I was able to function before meeting Malcolm.
Louise Fabris, June 2012
Parkinson’s and the Alexander Technique: my observations
Six months of regular sessions with Malcolm Balk allowed me to develop a certain control over Parkinson’s symptoms:
- Rigidity in neck and shoulders: I was made aware of my ability to relax my shoulders and back. Until then I had allowed Parkinson’s to control those muscles and to keep them tense and uncomfortable. Now my brain is able send the message NOT to tense up.
- Posture: I was taught about the importance of the position of the head. Allowing my head to hang forward pulls my neck and shoulders forward and the result would be the classic Parkinson stoop. Now I know how important the position of the head is and try to send the right brain message to maintain the right balance.
- Gait: As my medication wears off, my gait starts to veer towards the Parkinson’s shuffle. I have learned that tightening the muscles in the abdomen and “bum” have allowed me to postpone foot dragging and to maintain a lively gait.
A good massage lasts three hours. An Alexander Technique session lasts for weeks.
Sarah Humphrey, December 2011