F. M. Alexander
F. M. Alexander discusses the nature of addiction in MSI, referring to the examples of drugs, tea, alcohol, wine, sugar.
It is important to keep in mind that different men and different women fall victims to some particular stimulant or drug, whilst they are in absolute mastery of themselves where other seductive inﬂuences are concerned.
He discusses the following examples
. . . A became addicted to a certain drug habit, but although he had taken alcohol from an early age he never became an immoderate drinker. It was not until he came into contact with this particular drug that his latent abnormality or weakness or whatever one chooses to call it became fully manifested.
. . . B had lived in China, and had continually smoked opium with the Chinese. He did so for a year without the habit gaining any hold upon him, but the tea habit, on the contrary, became his danger.
. . . take the case of a person who is suffering from the ill effects of taking sugar in harmful quantities. If he happens to decide to abstain from satisfying his taste desires in regard to sugar, and actually abstains for, say, a week or ten days, it often happens that he loses the seductive pleasing sensation formerly derived from sugar, and frequently develops a positive dislike for it.
These examples are used to illustrate how habit, character and environment can cause (instinctive) domination of sensation (e.g. taste) over reason, and how sensory appreciation can be distorted (‘perverted’) when it develops a preference for things which the person knows and experience as harmful to their own health and wellbeing. Alexander’s point is that such distorted sensory appreciation in a specific area is connected with distorted sensory appreciation generally.
Later in MSI he uses the example of ‘the common idea that considerable quantities of sugar should be added to the milk’ for the purpose of inducing a child ‘to take food against its natural desire’. Such a child ‘is sent out into the world the slave of the sense of taste.’
‘The anatomy of addiction’ by Jeremy Chance; on using the Technique and Alcoholics Anonymous to quit drinking.
‘Sex and love addicts’ by Joan Diamond; on recovering through S. L. A. A. (Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous).
‘Mindful recovery practices’ by Becca Ferguson reports on three teachers using the Technique to deal with their physical and neuropsychological conditions (ASD, PTSD and ADHD), and on the author’s own Alexander Technique-based ‘mindful recovery practices’ developed for those wishing to recover from addiction and co-occurring disorders such as trauma, anxiety and eating disorders.
See also Diet, Pain.