I say that anything that helps to rid of counterproductive tension is good. There is a huge difference in understanding something intellectually and actually experiencing it physically. When we get into more subtle forms of physical poise, there really is no way to observe counterproductive tension from the outside; it must be felt. I'm also reminded of F. M. Alexander that he was unable to ride himself of counterproductive tension even when he worked on it.
It creeps up on you: even if you know what you are doing. As a general rule, I'm very cautious of someone claiming to have no problems, or saying they have overcome those problems from the past. I have always believed that it is something that always be sought out and that further improvement can come as a result of more heightened and subtle awareness. I doubt anyone has arrived. It is always a matter of perspective and in relation to everything else. If one is always playing with lots of excess tension, gaining some control of that can be a tremendous relief.
It works the other way too. For example, I've never been a particularly fast player. I'm one of those players that often make very good use of P when fast scale is needed. Lately, I've spent far more of my time teaching, and enjoying other aspects of my life. My ability to play as fast as I used to (which is modest) has decreased. The truth is, it is doubtful that I would suddenly hear new information. I have the textbook answers. So, I've taken a different approach. I've tried to glean information from the flamenco world. In a sense, there is no new information. I suppose it is a combination of hearing a new perspective, having some faith, putting in some honest work, and most importantly: stumbling on something that quickly got me to a higher level of relaxation. So, gradually my scale speed is improving. But it has had some unexpected results: my overall playing is becoming more effortless and I am better able to control my hands and more easily play with brilliance.
In hindsight, I better understand what had happened. Although I didn't explicitly use these words, there was a part of me that felt, "I have arrived." As a result, very subtly and gradually, excess tension began creeping into my playing. My lack of ability to play fast scale passages was merely a symptom of some larger problem, and I accidentally discovered it.
I firmly believe that physical poise is something that always needs to be maintained. I believe it can never be perfected. I believe that by continuing to strive for perfection, our ability to play well is elevated. I believe that we must accept that by not always focusing on it, it will gradually go away. Any teacher, book, video, or anything else that gets a person settled down enough to pull out the microscope and discover excess tension is a very good thing.
Dr. Todd Tipton, classical guitarist
Cincinnati, OH, USA (available via Skype)