Photograph of F.M. Alexander © 2002, the society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, London

About the Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a practical method of self-help, developed by Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869 -1955), which you can learn to use for your health and well-being.

It can help you prevent and alleviate conditions associated with stress, tension and poor posture, e.g. muscle, joint and back pains. The Technique can aid rehabilitation after illness, injury or surgery and it can provide coping skills for chronic conditions.

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About F. M. Alexander

"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension."
F.M. Alexander, Aphorisms

F. M. Alexander was an actor who had vocal problems, which interfered with his work. As a result, he spent several years researching how and why this happened, observing himself when reciting. He discovered he had habitual reactions to situations, in which he tensed his neck - which resulted in his hoarse voice.

He realised this was related to a generalised 'mis-use' of his whole body and thought patterns. When Alexander taught himself to 'inhibit', to stop these habitual reactions, his vocal problems ceased and he found an improvement in the functioning of his whole body. He noticed similar reaction patterns of tension in most adults.

The Alexander Technique

"As soon as people come with the idea of unlearning instead of learning, you have them in the frame of mind you want."
F.M. Alexander, Aphorisms

Alexander gradually realised that the relationship and use of our head, neck and back acts as the 'primary control' of our whole body. Most children move freely and fluidly but because we 'translate everything, whether physical or mental or spiritual, into muscular tension' we gradually develop unconscious habits of 'mis-use'. These habits interfere with the fine tuning of the body's primary control, resulting in a general loss of poise and vitality, plus disorders such as backache, repetitive strain injury (RSI) and headaches. Alexander's first pupils began to report that not only were vocal problems improving but other aches and pains were also vanishing, so Alexander began to develop the Technique that we know now, for the whole body-mind organism.

Further Information