1869 Tasmania – 1955 London
Alexander was a successful actor/reciter of his time who at a crucial point in his career had trouble with his voice to the point he could not perform. Doctors could not get to the bottom of this so he decided to observe himself to see if he could work out what it was what he was doing that may be causing his difficulty. After much time he noticed, particularly when he projected his voice that he tended to thrust his chest forward, hollow the back in and pull his head back in such a way that the neck/larynx area was compromised. He needed to find a way of preventing this happening, however it was so ingrained and automatic every time he went to project his voice – He developed a method that He noticed over time that not only did his voice come back but his breathing capacity improved.
He noticed he was not alone; he started to help other actors and became known as ‘The Breathing Man’, However over time it became apparent that the general health of a person greatly improved with the hands on work of the Technique.
And so came about The Alexander Technique Read about his discovery in: The Use of The Self by FM Alexander
FM Alexander working with a pupil
868 Tasmania – 1955 London
The history FM Alexander was a successful young actor who developed serious voice and breathing problems during his performances. When doctors could not find the root cause of the problem. he looked to see if he could help himself. After many dead ends, experimenting with close self-observation with mirrors he found that it was what he was doing with himself at the point of projecting his voice that was the problem. So embedded in his makeup, it was no wonder he could barely notice never mind stop what ever he was doing to himself. A long story short, he concluded it all came down to balance, the relationship of his head/ neck, back to each other…
He had found something that was common and had greater health implications for the wider public.