- Published Articles
- The Alexander Technique & the NHS
- Backstory: So who was FM Alexander ?
- Even More !
Here are some articles which have appeared in the media and magazines over the years. Click on the links beside each one to read more:
- ‘Want a Celebrity Posture for Summer ?’, The Yorkshire Times, 21 May 2012
- ‘All you need to know about the Alexander Technique’, The Guardian, 10 March 2007
- ‘One month of Alexander Technique classes’, The Guardian 27 January 2009
- ‘The Alexander Technique does ease back pain’, The Guardian, 20 August 2008
Several randomised controlled trials have been carried out to assess the benefits of learning the Alexander Technique to reduce pain.
You can read more about them here:
- Information on the Back Pain Trial reported in the British Medical Journal.
- Information on the Neck Pain Trial reported in the Annals of Internal Medicine.
See the latest news and research on the Alexander Technique by following this link.
I have found the following particularly helpful in explaining the Alexander Technique:
- ‘The Alexander Principle’, Wilfred Barlow. Prentice Hall 1990: ISBN-13: 978-057504749
- ‘Body learning’, Michael Gelb. Aurum Press: ISBN 1-85410-959-6
- ‘How you stand, how you move, how you live’, Missy Vineyard. Marlowe and Company: ISBN 13-978-1-60094-006-4
- ‘The Use of the Self’, F.M. Alexander. Orion Publishing: ISBN-13: 978-0752843919
The Alexander Technique and the NHS
Some NHS trusts offer Alexander Technique lessons as part of their outpatient pain clinics. It may be worth asking your GP if AT lessons are available through the NHS where you live.
The NHS has an Introduction to the Alexander Technique which you can read here.
Backstory: So who was FM Alexander ?
Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869 – 1955) was born in Tasmania. His early acting career in mainland Australia was threatened by his frequent loss of voice during performances. His doctors couldn’t find an underlying cause, but suggested he may be somehow misusing his voice during recitals.
Alexander decided to take matters into his own hands using mirrors to watch himself deliver his recitals. He noticed that in speaking he pulled his head back and down, tightened his neck and depressed his larynx. He then spent several years working out a way to overcome his habitual pattern of use during which time his health and general functioning improved and he was able to return to the stage. Crucially, he found it was his way of thinking which held the key to overcoming his problems. He discovered that by preventing himself doing the wrong thing, the right thing would ‘do itself’.
He was so successful that people began coming to him for help and doctors referred patients to him. Eventually, teaching his technique to others became his main occupation. In 1904 Alexander brought his technique to London where he established a very successful career, giving people lessons in the Technique, writing 4 books on the nature of the Alexander Technique, as well as training around 80 students to carry on his work. Throughout this time he continued to refine his Technique.
In London his reputation grew rapidly. People such as George Bernard Shaw and Aldous Huxley learned the Alexander Technique. His methods were endorsed by such people as Sir Charles Sherrington, considered to be the father of modern neurology, and Peter McDonald, who later became chairman of the British Medical Association.
In 1939 a group of physicians wrote to the British Medical Journal urging the inclusion of Alexander’s principles into medical training.
Alexander ran his teacher training course from 1931 until he died at the age of 86. Three years later in 1958 his graduates set up the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) to regulate Alexander’s work and maintain the principles and standards he had founded.
Even More !
If you are interested in finding out more about the Alexander Technique the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) website provides further information on many of the items which appear in this website. View it here.