An Australian born in 1869, F. M. Alexander was not a healthy child receiving private tuition rather than attending school. His tutor encouraged him to read Shakespeare which led to an interest in acting and reciting, which he pursued when he grew up. Alexander enjoyed early success as an actor - a success marred only by problems with his voice. These problems led increasingly to his voice, failing him in performance and threatened his career.


The doctors and specialists he consulted could find nothing organically wrong with his vocal mechanisms and advised rest. He did as they asked, but his voice continued to fail in performance. Alexander then concluded he must be doing something with his voice that caused the problem. However, while his doctors agreed, no one could tell him what this was. Alexander determined to find out by observing how he spoke using a set of mirrors.
As he watched, he became aware of what he was doing wrong and worked out a technique to re-educate himself. His voice use improved, and his career resumed. The results of his re-education were impressive enough for others to notice and ask him to teach them. When Alexander did, he found his career-changing from acting to teaching.

Although he had developed his technique to re-educate his voice, some doctors became aware of his work and sought lesson for themselves and their patients because they perceived the health benefits of integrating their movements and speech with their breathing.
An eminent surgeon of the time, Dr Stewart Mckay, recommended Alexander to leave Australia and take his technique to London to make it more widely known. In 1904 he established himself there and published his first book, "Man's Supreme Inheritance".

Alexander was to teach in London for the rest of his life with regular spells in America, including the world wars. As his practice grew, he was joined in teaching, first by family members and then by assistants who were pupils and had become interested in his work. A second book, "Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual", was published in 1923, and this helped fuel the steadily rising demand for new teachers. In 1930 Alexander started a formal training course which was to continued until he died in 1955. Alexander published two other books. The most successful, "The Use of the Self ", in 1932, tells the story of his discoveries. Then in 1943, came the last book, "The Universal Constant in Living". 
Alexander continued to teach and train full time until a stroke in late 1947 when he was seventy-nine. The stroke left him with paralysis of his left side. His doctors saw little chance of recovery. Once again, he used his technique to help himself. By March 1948, he had recovered and returned to regular work, continuing to teach until his sudden death on October 10th 1955.

Conditions where the Alexander Technique has proved useful

  • Back and neck pain
  • Stress
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Osteoporosis
  • Breathing disorders such as asthma
  • Anxiety attacks
  • Tension Headaches Migraines
  • TMJ
  • ME
  • Parkinson's
  • Prevention of backache during pregnancy
  • Recovery from major trauma such as strokes, accidents or operations

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