What is the Alexander Technique?

 Human beings are creatures of habit - not only in what we do but also in the way we move, sit, breathe and react.  

From the natural poise and balance of small children, we develop bad habits as we grow older, so that our bodies become programmed into unconscious behaviour patterns.  

Stooping, slouching and general stiffening can interfere with our balance, increasing pressure on the whole body and requiring unnecessary effort to perform simple, everyday tasks. 


Over time, this can cause pain, poor posture and tiredness.  


The Alexander Technique helps us to restore our natural balance through a process of re-education. By increasing awareness, we become conscious of our habits so that change can take place. We then rediscover ease of movement, improved co-ordination and ultimately how to use less effort and tension in our everyday lives.

Who was FM Alexander?

FM Alexander (born in 1869) was an Australian actor who became well known for dramatic recitations.  However, he began to suffer from hoarseness and, at times, could hardly speak after a performance.  From observing himself in mirrors, he realised that this was in a large part due to the way he held his head when reciting. 


Over a period of many years, he gradually developed a technique to change such unconscious actions. This not only addressed his own vocal and breathing problems but also greatly improved his general health and well being.  

Alexander was encouraged to teach his technique to others, and eventually came to London in 1904. He continued to develop and teach his Technique in both London and America, still working and teaching into his eighties when he died in 1955.

The Alexander Technique is now taught across the globe, with over 2500 teachers world-wide.

Research about the Alexander Technique.

In August 2008, the British Medical Journal published the results of a six year clinical trial funded by the Medical Research Council and the NHS.  

The results showed that Alexander technique lessons provided long-term benefits to chronic low back pain sufferers, reducing the number of days in pain and offering significant improvement in function and quality of life. 

Of the various approaches tested in the trial, lessons in the Alexander Technique were found to offer the most benefit.  
The research revealed that, after 24 lessons, the average number of activities previously limited by low back pain had 
fallen by 42%.  

One year after the trial started, the number of days in pain had decreased from 21 days per month to just three.

The research concluded that one to one lessons in the Alexander Technique, given by a registered teacher, have long 
term benefits for patients with chronic back pain, compared to the short term benefits of other treatments, such as massage *.  

The trial authors concluded that the long-term benefits of taking Alexander Technique lessons are unlikely to be due to the placebo effects of attention and touch and were far more likely due to active learning of the Technique.

Significantly, a series of six Alexander Technique lessons followed by GP-prescribed general exercise, was found to be only 70% as beneficial as 24 Alexander Technique lessons alone.

* The full results of the research can be found on the following link:-


© Copyright. All rights reserved.