"You translate everything, whether physical, mental or spiritual, into muscular tension."
- F.M. Alexander
"Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything"
- George Bernard Shaw
F.M. Alexander 1869-1955
Frederick Matthias (F.M.) Alexander was born in Tasmania and became a Shakespearean actor in Melbourne, Australia at the end of 19th century. Suffering from chronic hoarseness whenever he performed, he sought help from doctors and specialists only to be left dissatisfied with temporary remedies and ineffective prevention strategies. He decided to investigate if it was something he was doing that was the cause of his symptoms.
Through self-observation, hypothesis, and intentional practice, he began to notice a deeply ingrained habit of tightening the back of his neck as soon as he thought about performing. His discoveries about how unconscious everyday habits affect overall functioning are the basis of the Alexander Technique.
While he was initially sought out by people with vocal and respiratory issues - teaching in Australia in the 1890s, and later the United Kingdom and the United States - the practice soon captured a wider audience and today has global recognition and a wide variety of applications.
Generations of teachers since have brought the Alexander Technique to people of all ages and from all walks of life. The American Society for the Alexander Technique - with whom I was certified in 2013 - upholds the standards established by F.M. Alexander and requires 1600 hours of training and practice.