"One of the most remarkable of human beings’ characteristics is the capacity for becoming used to conditions of almost any kind, whether good or bad, both in the self and in the environment, and once they have become used to such conditions, they seem to them both right and natural."
Who was F.M Alexander?
F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor and Shakespearean reciter who struggled with periodic voice loss. When medical treatments only offered temporary relief he concluded that it must be something he was doing with his vocal mechanism that caused his problems and went on a mission to find out what he was doing. He observed himself, using a mirror, while speaking and discovered that his problem was not exclusive to his vocal mechanism but involved a pattern that he carried out through his whole body. He also realized that what he experienced, or "felt" he was doing was quite different from what he saw in the mirror. In spite of it causing him problems, the usual way of using himself felt natural and right, while the new improved ways he moved, at first, felt strange.
In the process of solving his problems, Alexander developed a new approach to physical education and health, an approach that has enabled thousands of people to use themselves with ease, grace, flexibility, and freedom from strain. Since Alexander developed the technique in the 1890s the Technique has spread throughout the world.
What is the Alexander Technique?
The Alexander Technique is a constructive educational method which teaches you to replace unnecessary muscular and mental effort with consciously coordinated responses. It maximizes efficiency, as well as prevent and relieves, if necessary, pain, stiffness and stress. It offers a way that cooperates with our human design and who you are, teaches you how to use your inherent kinesthetic intelligence and creates real, empowered and sustainable change which ultimately serves you in realizing your goals and dreams.
Applications of the Technique
The Technique is used by actors, dancers, musicians, singers and athletes worldwide to optimize performance in voice and movement. Its popularity with performers and athletes is due to the essential need to, in extraordinary activities and often under high pressure, use themselves with maximum ease and effectiveness . However, anyone that applies the technique will reap the benefits, which is why it is becoming more and more popular in other occupations as you can use it in everyday activities, in the work place, for public speaking, training and health. There really is no area of human life where it cannot be applied. It is an excellent tool in the evolution of self: personal development and self-realization, as well as creating more compassionate communication with the world around us.