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Alexander Technique — Better Posture,
Better Health, Better Life

Alexander Technique in Brief

A self-help therapy in which people are taught postural and physical skills to improve usage of their own body and eliminate unnecessary stress and tension.

Background and History

The creator of this technique, Frederick Matthias Alexander, was an Australian who lived in the late 1800s. A promising actor, he had problems with his voice that began to impact his career. Doctors could find nothing wrong so Alexander began to wonder if he was somehow putting undue stress and strain on his vocal organs. He began to observe himself and others to try to understand the mechanisms that influenced speech.

Over many years his observations lead him to conclude that speech was influenced by the entire posture and the balance of tension in the whole body. He further observed that these factors influenced not only speech, but also the ability to maintain tranquil under pressure, as well as breathing, correct use of the limbs, and overall health. He concluded that in fact these things were crucial for correct and healthy functioning of the body. As his voice and general health improved he gradually began to show others his technique and eventually set up a practice.

By 1904 he was very successful and moved to London, England to continue his work. Alexander proved popular in London, his client list including such eminent names as George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and William Temple, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Furthermore, his method was endorsed by many leading scientists who agreed that it was consistent with modern scientific discoveries in neurology and physiology. Sir Charles Sherrington, the 'father of neurology' was one such scientist who backed Alexander's method.

In 1931 Alexander began to train teachers of the technique. He ran 3-year training courses, which he continued until his death at the age of 86.

Alexander Technique Today

There are an estimated 2500 teachers of Alexander Technique around the world today, with the highest concentration in the UK. It is well known among performing artists and indeed is part of the curriculum at many schools of performing arts.

How Does it Work?

Alexander Technique teaches self-awareness so that the underlying causes of pain and discomfort can be identified and remedied. By using the body more efficiently, less stress and strain is put on the joints, muscles and ligaments.

Despite the backing from the conventional medical establishment since the beginning, there has been little formal research in the technique. Small pilot studies have shown improvements in balance, depression associated with Parkinson’s disease, and ease of breathing, among other things.

Article by Neil Kingham


The Complete Guide to the Alexander Technique
Do you suffer from Repetitive Strain Injury or Carpal Tunnel Syndrome? Do you have a backache or stiff neck and shoulders? Do you become uncomfortable when sitting at your computer for long periods of time? Are you a singer, musician, actor, dancer or athlete and feel you are not performing at your full potential? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, the Alexander Technique could be of great benefit to you. The links below will provide you with a systematic guide to Alexander Technique information and resources. If you are completely new to the Alexander Technique, you may want to start by clicking on the first link below. Read more…

Alexander Technique International
The Alexander Technique is an educational process that focuses on the individual; therefore what happens in a lesson depends very much on the needs of the student at the time. How we are using ourselves- the way we do things- affects the results we get. The Alexander Technique is a means of improving that use wherein people can further their own personal skills and activities. Olympic level athletes have used the Technique to improve their performance, as have leading golfers and business people. The person who learns to stop and take time, to think constructively about how he/she uses him/herself in every day life will find that this simple procedure can have far reaching results. Read more…

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