What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is the name given to the work and discoveries of Frederick Mathias Alexander (1869-1955).
Alexander’s work offers us skills we can learn that can bring many significant improvements in our general wellbeing.
By studying the relationship of how we think and move, we can create new ways of going about our everyday activities which bring new freedoms and greater ease to our lives.
People of all ages have benefitted from learning how to apply the simple principles of Alexander’s work.
Some of the benefits people experience from learning the Alexander Technique:
increased freedom and ease of movement
relief from general stiffness, pain and excess tension
relief from neck and back pain
improved co-ordination and balance
help with rehabilitation after injury, illness or operations
better awareness of how you use yourself in your activities
finding more ease at work
discovering more confidence
more emotional stability and awareness
Who was Frederick Mathias Alexander?
F.M.Alexander was a reciter and actor, who at the beginning of a successful career found himself struggling with hoarseness and eventually loss of voice while performing. He sought help from doctors and voice coaches, but no one was able to find the cause of his problem.
As his problem did not seem to be a medical one, and only troubled him during his performances, he concluded that his loss of voice must be caused by something he was doing to himself whilst performing.
Determined to find a cure for his problem, he began a long process of self-examination and experimentation, which led to some amazing discoveries. These discoveries enabled him to develop processes which he could use to stop the unconscious and habitual patterns of thinking and movement that had been causing his problem.
He began to share his discoveries with those experiencing similar difficulties, and quickly realised that his Technique was applicable to many other conditions which had previously had no cure.
In 1904 he left Melbourne and moved to London, where he soon established a successful practice, and worked with many well known figures of the time. These included John Dewey, George Bernard Shaw and Aldous Huxley.
Alexander started his first teacher training course in 1930, continuing this work until his death. His work was carried on by his students, and today is taught around the world.
During his lifetime F.M. Alexander wrote four books illustrating and explaining his work:
Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1910)
Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (1923)
The Use of the Self (1932)
The Universal Constant in Living (1941)
For more information about the Alexander Technique:
The Interactive Teaching Method Association www.itmalexandertechnique.org