The startle reflex occurs, for example, when you hear a sudden noise or something flashes into your view. Your head goes back and down, scrunching into your back, and your shoulders come up to protect the vulnerable area at the back of your neck. Your arms may stiffen, your hands contract, and your legs flex. If repeated often, this momentary fear response can persist, creating a subtle yet continuous imbalance in muscle tone throughout your body, and slipping beneath your threshold of observation. The Alexander teacher helps you identify this and shows you how to stop doing it.