Use refers to the habitual and characteristic manner in which a person moves and uses their body, all the time, whatever they are doing. Our use is influenced by our thinking and by our emotions and to bring about changes in our use, we need to allow changes to take place in our thinking and in our reactions to things.
The way we use ourselves affects the functioning of the whole body, our whole psychophysical being. As F M Alexander put it:
‘Talk about a man’s individuality and character: it’s the way he uses himself’ Aphorisms
Alexander also wished to make clear:
‘when I employ the word “use” it is not in that limited sense of the use of any specific part (of the body)….. but in a… more comprehensive sense applying to the working of the organism in general’.
When we interfere with our natural use (subconsciously most of the time) we can develop habitual patterns of mis-use and overuse, which generally lead to problems of distortion, tension and sometimes pain.