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F. M. Alexander

F. Matthias Alexander (1869 – 1955)
 
Was born in 1869 in Tasmania and became a professional reciter. It was his search for the cause of his frequent voice loss which initially led him to develop the Alexander Technique. He gradually realised that the Technique was applicable to all activities of living and that it was a fundamental contribution to health and well-being.

Alexander moved to London in 1904. He had immediate success reaching his technique, and actors and doctors in particular recognised the significance of his work. Alexander wrote several pamphlets on the health benefits of the Technique. It was, however, with Man´s Supreme Inheritance (1910), that he first presented his evolutionary hypothesis developed from his practical experience: that we are evolving from the instinctive to the conscious in the use of ourselves.
 
During the period 1914-24 Alexander taught regularly in New York and Boston where John Dewey became his pupil and supporter and wrote forewords not only to the next edition of Man's Supreme Inheritance (1918), but also to Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual (1923) and The Use of the Self (1932). In these books Alexander developed and expanded his theme, including examples and case histories.
 
At the outbreak of war in 1939 Alexander moved to the USA. Here he finished his last book, The Universal Constant in Living (1942), re-emphasizing his message that we are constantly using ourselves, that our use continuously affects our functioning, and that we can co-ordinate and control that use to great advantage.
 
In 1947, back in London, Alexander suffered a stroke which paralysed his left side. He used the Technique to fully recover from his stroke and continued to teach to within a few days of his death.
 
Text: Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, STAT books

 

Alexander Technique

The Alexander Technique is a method for developing conscious use of oneself in all activities of living.

F. Matthias Alexander (1869 – 1955) maintained that because of the influence of  civilization we can no longer depend upon our instincts. By continuing to rely on instinct instead of intelligence, man will no longer evolve but degenerate:

if we are to grow and develop as individual human beings, our behaviour must be consciously determined.

Alexander saw his technique primarily as a method of substituting conscious for instinctive control of human reaction. This is achieved in a practical way by co-ordinating the mental and the physical, reducing effort and tension in everyday life.

Text: Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual, STAT books

 
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Links

Schweizerischer Verband der Lehrerinnen und Lehrer der F.M. Alexander-Technik
www.alexandertechnik.ch 
Alexander Technique and Vision
www.altevi.com 
Alexander Technique International
www.ati-net.com
AT International Kongress
www.atcongress.com
www.collolibero.it
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