An actor, F. M. Alexander (1869-1955) was responsible for the invention of the Alexander Technique, which is named after him. He toured Tasmania and Australia as part of a Shakespearean troupe. When he started having problems with his throat, he developed a method which has put his name down in history for posterity.
As Alexander’s throat started becoming hoarse, he began to visit all the doctors he could, wherever he was. It was all in vain for him. There was nothing physically wrong with him as far as they could see, and they could not treat him. Alexander was a stubborn man, and when doctors could not solve his problem, he took matters into his own hand. Thus was born the Alexander Technique.
Alexander worked alone, as no one would help him. He watched whatever he did, and observed his reflection in mirrors as much as he could to determine where he was going wrong. Continuing this practice for nine long years, he devised the Alexander Technique.
His diligence and hard work paid of for him. He recovered the use of his voice. In his eyes, it was as good as a miracle. As an actor, his voice was most important to him. When he formulated this technique, he called it the Primary Control method.
The Alexander Technique is built upon a simple hypothesis. According to Alexander, the upper body, i.e. the head, the neck and the torso are the major determining factors for function, posture, and movement. Anatomically, they control these features.
He realized through observations that the technique of Primary Control could be useful in solving a number of problems. If these body parts were compressed, it could not function to the best of its ability. In his case, because of his poor posture, his voice had become hoarse.
According to Alexander, the correct anatomical positioning of the head, neck, and the torso allows the body to function normally. Alexander Technique is now employed in physiotherapy clinic across the country. Both young and old are administered this technique. Anyone who wants to learn it is welcome to join.
Physiotherapists dealing with the Alexander Technique prefer teaching individuals rather than groups, though groups may also be taught. The routine however is to teach individuals rather than groups. The therapist, or practitioner, teaches the person physiotherapy techniques to help them function in better ways and use their body to the best of its ability.
Alexander Technique allows the body and it’s muscles to relax through the practice of physiotherapy. This enables a person to return their body to it’s original, anatomically correct posture. Since the technique works upon the entire body and affect the whole form, it positively affects the entire body structure.
Physiotherapy has several areas. Alexander Technique is a specialized form of therapy. Though it only deals with correct posturing of the body, several other problems are also addressed along with it. For those with severe disabilities or medical conditions, this technique is not employed. as there are other forms of therapy which may prove more useful. For minor problems, however, Alexander Technique is like a miracle cure.