History of the Alexander Technique

Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor and reciter who developed an educational process that is known today as the Alexander Technique. It is an educational method which is used to recognise and overcome habitual reactions that we accumulated through our lives.

Alexander suffered from constant hoarseness followed by periods when he lost his voice in the beginning of his career as an actor. He searched for medical help numerous times, but the problem persisted. Increasingly unhappy with the lack of progress from the medical field, he finally decided to use his own observations and knowledge to solve his problem.

He discovered, through years of self-experimentation on stage as well as his daily life, that his condition depended exclusively on the right balance of his neuromuscular system. He began applying his method on other people, and soon he had many people interested in having Alexander sessions with him, including celebrities.

In 1904, Alexander arrived in London where his reputation grew rapidly. He worked with many famous people, including George Bernard Shaw, Aldous Huxley and many doctors who recognised the scientific principles of the Technique. In 1931, he created the first school of Alexander Teachers in London, where he worked until the end of his days (1955).

Today, several actors and artists continue to use his method including Hugh Jackman, Dame Judi Dench, Jeremy Irons, Sir Paul McCartney, Christopher Reeves, Paul Newman, and Sting to name but a few.