F.M. Alexander and his work
Having developed chronic voice troubles and enjoying only temporary relief by following his doctor’s advice, Alexander turned inward and asked the question:
Could it be something I am doing in using my voice that causes this condition?
He came to understand that there exists an innate, dynamic and critical relationship of the neck to the head, the neck and head to the torso and limbs: a Primary Control that regulates tensional balance throughout the musculature to facilitate coordination for ease in motion. It’s misuse greatly interferes with proper functioning of the organism, accelerating the wear and tear that contributes to discomfort and injury.
Alexander devised a means for consciously preventing the improper orientation of the head to neck and back at rest (an inner state of poise, or a dynamic resting pattern, ready to be mobilized) and in activity (movement in space whose quality is based on the resting pattern).
His experiences demonstrated, in a time where disease was clearly divided into purely physical or mental categories, that an individual, under all circumstances and in all spheres of human activity, responds to a stimulus as a psycophysical whole. Something we are now more familiar with while treating dis-eases and educating ourselves in the art of living.
He dedicated his lifetime to teaching the principles of his technique. His work is taught throughout the world.
A detailed account of his brilliant journey can be found in The Use of the Self by F.M. Alexander.