Origins of the Alexander Technique and FM Alexander

F.M. Alexander at the desk 1946

There is no doubt that the Alexander Technique is becoming more well known but where did it come from? The Alexander Technique is the work of Frederick Matthias Alexander, an Australian actor born in 1869. FM, as he was generally known, had always suffered from respiratory problems and often lost his voice during performances. He struggled to find medical treatments that were able to help him and therefore began studying himself moving and speaking using mirrors in an attempt to identify what the problem might be. Over time this self-study led to dramatic improvements in FM’s health and his friends and associates began to seek him out for advice.

So just what had FM learnt? In essence, he had learned that what he thought he was doing was actually not what he was doing. He learned how to work with his body’s own design to find the solution to his health concerns and became an advocate of the health benefits of consciously controlling movements and actions. FM realised that the body and mind were intrinsically connected and believed that the way a person thought would therefore play a powerful role in their physical wellbeing.

“We can throw away the habit of a lifetime in a few minutes if we use our brains.”
F.M. Alexander

FM began teaching the principles of the Alexander Technique in Melbourne in 1896 and his practice moved to London in 1904, where some of his siblings joined him. From 1914, both FM and his brother travelled between England and the United States, all the while growing the practice and refining the principles of the Alexander Technique. In 1931, FM began his first training course to educate others on how teach the Alexander Technique and this, and indeed all his work, continued until his death in 1955.

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The team at Sydney Alexander Technique use a positive, personalised approach to teach students the principles of the Alexander Technique, addressing issues ranging from the relief of chronic pain to injury recovery. We strongly believe that anyone can benefit from the Alexander Technique, regardless of their strengths and limitations.





About Kathy Driscoll

I want to share information, insights and a few stories about Alexander Technique with you. I’ve used Alexander Technique in some extreme circumstances including the birth of my twins and when I had appendicitis!  I also use Alexander Technique for everyday activities as well.

I have been involved with Alexander Technique for more than 25 years.  I meet Greg Holdaway (Director of Sydney Alexander Technique) just as he was transitioning from a professional career as a dancer into Bill Brenner’s  Alexander Technique teacher training program in Sydney.

Greg now has been teaching for decades, he remains passionate and totally focused on positive results for those he works with, which now include his own teacher training program.


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