The Alexander Technique is named after Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955). It was as a young man, living in Sydney that Alexander developed problems with his voice while performing as an actor and reciter. He sought medical attention, but doctors were unable to provide a solution to his becoming hoarse and losing his voice while performing. Alexander decided to investigate the problem for himself. This led him to the discovery that it was the wrong ‘use’ of his body that was causing the problem. Over time he developed and refined his methods and began to teach others. In 1904 he came to London and built a thriving practice giving lessons and later setting up a training course for teachers.
The body is a beautifully engineered mechanical structure designed to work efficiently from a delicate finely tuned balance. Most of us pay little attention to how we use it. Far too often we use force in even the simplest movements, rather than utilising balance and muscular freedom to achieve our aims. This can lead to problems such as fatigue, back pain, depression and anxiety.
Lessons in the Alexander Technique initiate a process of discovering how to shed unnecessary tensions by means of the simple everyday actions of sitting and standing. This gradually leads to an increased freedom of movement, improved general well being and a better quality of life. When applied to specific skills such as golf, playing a musical instrument, public speaking etc. the Alexander Technique greatly enhances performance.