The Alexander Technique

Angelique Swallow
Registered Member of:
Angelique Swallow MSTAT  

The Alexander Technique- Frederick Matthias Alexander (20 January 1869 – 10 October 1955) was an Australian actor who developed the educational process that is today called the Alexander Technique.

The Technique is a method of re-education that will give you the necessary skills for self-awareness and self-development to allow you to make changes of long-standing undesirable habits and unnecessary tension in everything you do. It will help you, whatever your age or abilities are, to relieve the aches and pains caused by postural habits and stress. It will teach you to carry out all your daily activities with ease, whether it is sitting long hours at a computer or meeting deadlines.

Quotes: The Alexander Technique eludes precise definition because it involves a new experience - the experience of gradually freeing oneself from the domination of fixed habits. Any attempt to put that experience into words is necessarily limited, rather like trying to explain music to someone who has never heard a note. 'Michael Gelb'

The technique doesn't teach you something new to do. It teaches you how to bring more practical intelligence into what you are already doing; how to eliminate stereotyped responses; how to deal with habits and changes. It leaves you free to choose your own goal but gives you a better use of yourself while you work towards it. 'Professor F.P. Jones''

The Technique is not a method of accumulated information nor the art of learning something new. It is, instead, the art of unlearning, which is much more subtle, and sometimes a more difficult endeavor - unlearning that which is habitual, instead of natural; letting go of old patterns and of those repetitious opinions arrived at in times and circumstances totally different from those of the present. 'Aldous Huxley'"

The great phase in man's advancement is that in which he passes from subconscious to conscious control of his own mind and body" F M Alexander

Scientific Research:

British Medical Journal 2008; 337:a884 - Little P, Lewith G, Webley F, Randomised controlled trial of Alexander Technique lessons, exercise & massage ATEAM) for chronic & recurrent back pain

One to one lessons in the Alexander technique from registered teachers have long term benefits for patients with chronic lower back pain. For full article and results go to: The BMJ and for further medical research and articles:

UWE Bristol.2012: Research and evaluation of Alexander Technique lessons for pain clinic patients (SEAT). Project Report - McClean, S. and Wye, L.

Chronic pain sufferers may benefit from learning the Alexander Technique in NHS outpatient pain clinics according to a service evaluation project. More than half of the service users in the study stopped or reduced their use of medications between the start of the lessons and three months, making cost savings to the NHS. These preliminary findings warrant further investigation in a large controlled trial.  Read more about this study here:

Journal of Body & Movement Therapies 2015;19:473–481 - O'Neil M,  Anderson D, Allen D, Ross C, Hamel K 

Balance in movement (dynamic stability) is often impaired in older people. They tend to have greater sideways (medio-lateral) sway when walking, which is a known risk factor for falling. The researchers investigated the walking patterns and medio-lateral movement. The results showed that those who had had Alexander Technique training walked with greater stability and were therefore potentially at less risk of age-related falls compared with the control group.  In conclusion, the authors stated there was superior control of movement among the Alexander Technique participants compared with the control group.