About FM Alexander
Alexander discovered his technique whilst trying to relieve a voice problem. He was an actor whose voice used to get so hoarse he could barely speak. The only thing that seemed to help him was a few weeks of vocal rest. However, resting his voice only brought temporary relief. As soon as he returned to performing, the problem would come straight back.
He noticed that he performed a series of actions before speaking that were completely unnecessary. He would tighten the muscles at the back of his neck, pull his head back and down and take a sudden gasping breath. When he actually spoke, he compressed his whole body. He tried to stop doing these things but found that the compression and exaggerated breathing were quite habitual.
He also found that this same pattern of unnecessary effort was present in varying degrees no matter what he did.
He eventually learnt to maintain a state of poise before, during and after any movement that he made. As a result, his voice problem disappeared and he experienced a general improvement in his health and sense of wellbeing.
He looked so different that other people began to seek his help. He noticed that other people organised their bodies as inefficiently as he had. They compressed themselves before moving, tightening their necks as well as shortening and narrowing their whole body. The problem was they were as unaware of their actions as he had been.
When he helped them become more aware of the way they used their bodies and to find the poise in action that had helped him, they too found relief from long-term problems and a general improvement in everything they did.
He was advised to take his work to London and make it known to the wider world. He did so in 1904. He never returned to Australia, living between England and America.
He continued developing the work for the rest of his life. He qualified his first teacher in 1931. Today there are thousands of teachers all round the world helping people from all walks of life.
Alexander wrote four books
Man’s Supreme Inheritance
The Use of the Self
The Universal Constant in Living
Conscious Constructive Control of the Individual