People sometimes ask why the Alexander Technique is called that. Well, it’s named after
one Frederick Matthias Alexander, who was born in Tasmania, Australia in 1869. He
was an actor and particularly liked reciting Shakespeare monologues. However, he started
to suffer from hoarseness when on stage so sought medical advice. The doctors told him
to rest his voice which he duly did, but when he tried to recite on stage, the hoarseness
returned. This made him conclude that it must be something he was doing to himself
while reciting which was the cause of his problems and that he would have to find
out what that was for himself. And that’s precisely what he did and so discovered the principles of
human functioning which are the foundation of what is now called the F.M. Alexander
Technique. He moved to London in the early 1900’s, where he abandoned his acting career
and instead propagated his ideas and taught others. His work was highly respected and
had several famous supporters both in the UK and USA. He died in London in 1955.
Now there are teachers of the Alexander Technique in many countries of the world.
This photo of F.M. Alexander was taken shortly before he died.
(Photograph of F.M.Alexander copyright 2010, The Society of Teachers of the
Alexander Technique, London)