F. Matthias Alexander

"Stop what is wrong and the right thing will do itself." F. M. Alexander

What is the Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique is a hands-on method of education that teaches us how to un-do acquired habits of thought and movement that interfere with the inherent design of the body. When this innate and perfect design of the body and mind is distorted or imposed upon by stresses and misuse, we have pain, are uneasy, uncoordinated, and uncomfortable, which can lead to poor performance, surgery, depression, and an inability to enjoy what we love to do.

Humans from birth have an inborn pattern of movement and a readiness to explore life. This instinctual growth process provides the means to ideal upright movement and a beautiful relationship to gravity.

When we apply the principles and methods of the Alexander Technique to our life, we begin to return to our natural ease, poise, and health and enjoy activities of life again.

History of the Alexander Technique

F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor and teacher. The original purpose of the his work was vocal training for singers and actors in the 1890s. Through his teaching, Alexander learned that success came about for his students when he brought about an improved functioning of the respiratory system. This led to vocal proficiency, and also solved their respiratory aliments. Doctors began to provide him with patients who suffered form respiratory problems. This led Alexander to call his work a “Method of Respiratory Education.”

Alexander discovered that the breathing and vocal problems were part of a basic disintegration of the total mechanism of support of the body. The habit patterns used in the breathing and vocalization were a part of the interference and misuse of the general coordination of the whole body. Habitual misuse of the basic and instinctual coordination of the body is often the cause of other troubles in a part of the body; such as lower back pain, carpal syndrome, and other injuries.

Alexander also had vocal problems as an actor that led him to years of self-discovery and developing the unique principles of the Alexander Technique. He observed that the mind played a major role in the disintegration of the coordination, and therefore the muscular/skeletal and nervous system. In other words, the way we think also determines how well we function. Alexander recognized that the mind and body were psychophysical in nature and operated in agreement.

The path Alexander traveled in his development of what is known as the “Alexander Technique” today, created a comprehensive method of psychophysical reeducation that is now taught worldwide and is helping people of all ages have pain free movement and reach optimal performance goals.

The British Medical Journal published results of an 2008 NHS study of over 500 people, showing 86% less back pain after a series of Alexander Technique lessons. This Technique is now included in the government’s NICE guidelines for back pain. The Guardian and the BBC now offer Alexander Technique lessons.

O Magazine Articles on the

Alexander Technique

A Dramatic Cure for Back Pain
By Tim Jarvis
O, The Oprah Magazine
From the April, 2009 issue

When Ibuprofen Won't Cut It
By Paige Greenfield
O, The Oprah Magazine
From the August, 2010 issue

“The reality came crashing down on me one day when I caught sight of myself passing a full length mirror. There I was hobbling along all hunched over, taking small careful steps. It was clear I was in pain and didn’t take care of my body. Something had to change if I wanted to be that limber, active person I imagined.
My massage therapist introduced the Alexander Technique to me and she directed me to Rochelle. I’ve now been working with Rochelle for several months and am impressed with every session about how much better my body feels. I think the thing I notice the most about my progress is that I’m spending less effort when my body is in the correct alignment. I have more energy and feel like I’m well on my way to that limber, active life.”
Diane T. Tucson, AZ

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