Who was F.M Alexander?

The Alexander Technique was developed in the 1890s by a professional Shakespearean actor called Frederick Matthias Alexander.

Alexander suffered from chronic voice problems and kept losing his voice when he was performing on stage. Alexander sought the advice of many different doctors and voice trainers but none of them could find a solution to his voice loss – even when doctors examined his throat they couldn’t find anything wrong.

Alexander concluded that if there wasn’t anything physically wrong with his voice then it must be something he was doing whilst reciting that was causing the problem, and he decided to watch himself recite in front of a mirror.

After months and months of observing himself, Alexander realised that every time he spoke he was pulling his head back onto his spine which was causing excessive tension in his neck muscles and thus damaging his vocal cords.

F.M. Alexander
Alexander went on to discover that many of the aches, pains and postural problems we suffer from are also caused by unnecessary muscle tension. When we learn how to release this tension, everyday movement (including breathing and digestion) becomes easier and physical pain and discomfort often improves. Our nervous system becomes calmer, and we experience less stress and anxiety as a result.
When Alexander was able to stop pulling his head back and use his body in a more balanced and coordinated way, his voice returned to normal and he began to teach other people his discoveries – the Alexander Technique was born.

By becoming aware of these response patterns and learning to change them, our breathing becomes much calmer. As a result, we experience greater freedom of movement and better digestion, feel more at ease, and become more confident.