Hélio de Oliveira

The Professional

Meeting with the
Alexander Technique and the
development of

At the age of fifteen, after two years in a back brace, I was recommended to take up classical ballet to help my scoliosis (curvature of the spine). Nearly ten years of classes didn't lead me to becoming a dancer but it did make me extremely aware of the physical and postural limitations that were restricting my development in dance technique.

Seeking a solution, I moved to London where I was fortunate to come in touch with the Alexander Technique. This remarkable approach provided a path to resolving many of the conflicts dance had revealed to me.

So intrigued was I by the discoveries of Frederick Mathias Alexander, the man who developed the technique, that I decided to invest in a three year full-time training course approved by the STAT (Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique) to become a "practitioner" of the technique.

I realized that solving my physical problems was fundamental to resolving other conflicts in my life. The emotions, self-esteem, personal relationships, professional barriers; all these aspects I saw were deeply related to posture.

The technique also opened a new existential channel through which I could successfully manage many of my everyday problems; stress came more under control and at the age of forty I felt happy and positive about prospects for the next phase of my life. I could look forward with security and peace of mind instead of the doubt and uncertainty that had plagued me previously.

The insights the Alexander Technique brought, led me to understand the importance of good physical form, not only from an aesthetic and artistic point of view but also from a health, quality of life and personal development aspect.

While in London I also had the opportunity to qualify as a fitness coach for the British Gymnastics Association. The course I followed majored on working with recreational gymnastics for adults and senior citizens.

The process of ageing interested me greatly and I saw that the combination of the Alexander Technique and gym training could contribute to the healthy physical condition that, even with the inevitable degenerative process, held out the promise of wellbeing and a full and active later life.

Returning to Brazil, I enrolled in the undergraduate program of Physical Activity Sciences, today called physical education and Health at the University of Sao Paulo.

During my studies in College, working mainly with patients with back and muscle pain, I was strongly attracted by the issues of physical and mental stress, tensions and the Biomechanics of postural body movement.

These issues that led me to a dip in the practice of Yoga breathing (Pranayama) and the alignment of the chakras from the Hindu tradition.

After many years of practice and experiment with the postural alignment of biomechanics, I found, not a merger, but a coming together of Eastern and Western knowledge. It is this that continues to intrigue me and drives my search up to the present day.

My perceptions, experiences, insights and revelations coupled with the academic study of posture, back pain and emotional states have led to the creation of the Integratus Method.

Other Skills

- I play guitar and piano. I have sang in choirs for several years.

- I did dance for many years. Participated in numerous performances of music, theatre and dance.

Olympic Gymnastics
- I practiced gymnastics for several years in London. I'm a qualified trainer of Olympic Gymnastics.

- I'm a practitioner of advanced level of Ashtanga Yoga..