The Alexander Technique

The Alexander TechniqueThe Alexander Technique is well known across the world to help people naturally overcome:

  • Muscle tension and stiffness.
  • Back, neck and joint pain.
  • Poor posture and poise.
  • Breathing and vocal problems.
  • Anxiety and stress related conditions.

The Alexander Technique is a method of mental and physical re-education, that helps a person become more aware of the ways they use or mis-use their body. An Alexander lesson is given individually. The teacher uses gentle guidance of the hands and verbal instruction to help a person recognise inappropriate tension and release to easier functioning. In a lesson a person seeking help is in a process of learning rather than that of a patient receiving therapy. A course of lessons is recommended for the beginner. Lessons normally last an hour and it is advisable that comfortable loose clothing is worn.

Helen started learning the Technique in 1982 from F.M Alexander’s niece, Marjory Barlow and later attended a three year training course with Mr and Mrs A. Nott qualifying as a teacher in 1992. Since 1992 she has been in practice as an Alexander Teacher and a qualified member of the Society the Teachers of the Alexander Technique. MSTAT. Post graduate studies with Mr Walter Carrington The Constructive Teaching Centre London in 2004. Marjory Barlow and Walter Carrington were both first generation teachers of FM Alexanders’s Technique.

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F.M. Alexander

F.M. Alexander 1868-1955

Who was F.M Alexander?

F.M Alexander was an Australian actor who developed the Technique. Early in his career as an actor in 1892, he was troubled with loss of voice on stage; the medical professionals recommendation of rest brought him only temporary relief. He came to realise that his loss of voice was something he was doing with the use of his head neck and back. He embarked on a long journey of critical observation in an attempt to identify what it was he was doing, to cause his difficulties and how he could prevent them. In learning how to prevent his habitual muscular reactions his voice problem was cured. While teaching singers and actors in Sydney he realised that such tension patterns were almost universal. In 1904 having perfected his knowledge and experience he brought his discovery of alignment to London and taught the leading actors of the day. Amongst those studying with him were Aldous Huxley, George Bernard Shaw, John Dewey and George Coghill and Charles Sherringham (physiologists).

“Alexander’s work is of first class importance and investigation by the medical profession is imperative.” British Medical Journal.

“This story of perceptiveness of intelligence and persistence shown by a man without medical training, is one of the true epics of medical research and practice.” Professor Nikko Tinbergen. Nobel prize winner in medicine.

“ I find the Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed.” John Cleese actor.