This body-oriented therapy aims to reinstate the natural poise we are all born with. Years of bad posture and 'patterns of misuse' can compromise the correct movement of joints and muscles. But it is never too late to improve the way we move our bodies to help our entire systems function more effectively and with minimal strain. The Alexander Technique is often recommended by doctors, and has become a very well respected method of alleviating chronic back pain. It can also be used to help repetitive strain injuries, postural pain in pregnancy and gastro-intestinal disorders. It is believed that poor posture can also affect our mental state; with instruction, it is possible to relieve emotional problems, such as stress and anxiety.
When an Australian actor had problems with his voice, he studied how he moved his head and body and noticed that unnecessary strain and tension were affecting his ability to project and use his voice effectively. Since this discovery in the late 19th century, the technique which Matthias Alexander perfected has helped many performers, particularly musicians.
What to Expect
People of any age can benefit from the Alexander Technique. Lessons are usually conducted on a one-to-one basis; at the first session, the teacher will make an initial assessment by observing how you stand. You will then be asked to lie down when you will be made aware of how your body should feel. With light adjustments, your teacher will help you recognise the sensation of re-educated muscles which create the right support for you to sit and stand effortlessly, and without unnecessary stress. Naturally, it is important that you continue to put this into practice in your everyday life. In time, the 'correct' way of moving will again become second nature, counteracting a lifetime's bad habits.
Training & Colleges
Practitioners will be registered with the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. As members, they will have completed three years' full training and have the letters MSTAT after their names. Certified Americans will have the letters STAT or AmSAT after their names. The societies are affiliated and have the same certification requirements.
American Society for the Alexander Technique
P.O. Box 60008
Florence, MA 01062
Phone: 800.473.0620 or 413.584.2359
Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
20 London House
266 Fulham Road
London SW10 9EL
This body represents some 90% of Alexander Teachers
Interactive Teaching Method Association
3, South Road
This body was set up in 1993 to reflect the diversity within Alexander Technique.
Other National/International Organizations