Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955) was an Australian actor. Alexander’s promising carrer was threatened by recurring vocal problems. He sought the help of doctors, but to no avail. They would recommend him to rest his voice for several days or weeks, but when he went back on stage he would loose his voice again. Since there was no clear medical cause for his problem, Alexander thought that the way he used his voice was probably the cause, and therefore he started investigating his own use.
It gradually became clear to him that the problem with his voice was part of a pattern of tension involving the whole of his body. This tension pattern manifested itself at the mere thought of reciting. Furthermore, he observed that most people around him showed similar patterns of tension through their whole bodies.
Alexander spent several years working out a way to change his habitual reaction and learn how to prevent this harmful misuse pattern, thereby improving his health and functioning in general. Later on he also found ways to teach others how to change their harmful use, and dedicated the rest of his life to teaching the Technique called by his name. Since then the Alexander Technique has become widely known and is continuously gaining new followers.
© 2017 The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, London