F. Matthias Alexander working with John Dewey (1859-1952), one of the most prominent American scholars in the first half of the twentieth century. A philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer whose ideas have been influential in education and social reform.
He wrote the introduction to three of Alexander’s books.
“We already notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures, and in such a refined skill as playing a musical instrument.”
Professor Nicholaas Tinbergen
Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology
The Alexander Technique makes a real difference to my often tense and busy life. Its thoughtful approach has made me calmer, improved my concentration and given me a clearer sense of my own wellbeing. I am grateful for it.
Joan Bakewell, TV presenter and journalist
Good acting is revealing yourself, not covering yourself up. If your body is free, your mind is free. [The Alexander Technique] allows you to feel what it’s like to stay open physically, and also stay fully involved in whatever you’re supposed to be doing.
Annette Bening, actor
[The Alexander Technique] is a way to transform stress to joy. It’s my way of keeping on track with work and truth and the world I’m in which is working with people and creating. It’s for anyone who wants to be in contact with their own body and the way we tense ourselves and relax ourselves. It’s another way of moving.
Juliette Binoche, actor
The Alexander Technique transformed my life. It is the result of an acknowledged genius. I would recommend it to anyone.
Tony Buzan, author of ‘Use Your Head’ and inventor of ‘Mind Mapping’
I find The Alexander Technique very helpful in my work. Things happen without you trying. They get to be light and relaxed. You must get an Alexander teacher to show it to you.
John Cleese, actor
Alexander’s method lays hold of the individual as a whole, as a self-vitalising agent. He reconditions and re-educates the reflex mechanisms and brings their habits into normal relation with the functioning of the organism as a whole. I regard this method as thoroughly scientific and educationally sound.
Professor George E Coghill, prize-winning anatomist and physiologist
Through the Alexander Technique, I was able to rehabilitate my running after 25 years of being unable to run through injuries, to the extent that I was able to set ten world records for veterans in 1982.
Paul Collins, Canadian National Marathon champion 1949-52 and Veterans World Record holder
I regard it as one of the fortunate experiences of my life that I should have met F. Matthias Alexander at a time when I had been suffering physically for many years. There can be no doubt as to the value of his technique judged by the practical results which I myself have experienced. Instead of feeling one’s body an aggregation of ill-fitting parts, full of frictions and deadweights pulling this way and that so as to render mere existence in itself exhausting, the body becomes a coordinated and living whole, composed of well-fitting and truly articulated parts. It is the difference between chaos and order and so between illness and good health.
Sir Stafford Cripps, British Chancellor of the Exchequer 1947-50
The Alexander Technique works… I recommend it enthusiastically to anyone who has neck pains or back pain.
Roald Dahl, writer
I have been a pupil of the Alexander Technique now for over forty years – the benefits to me have been immeasurable.
Sir Colin Davies, conductor
In the hands of a good teacher the Technique is invaluable to anyone who seeks to maintain health physical posture and alignment.
Ralph Fiennes, actor
Alexander Technique really helped my posture and focus during my stint as Othello… Imagine how excited I was when arrived at the National Theatre for Comedy of Errors and found I could have Alexander taught to me once a week, I was chuffed to little meatballs.
Lenny Henry, comedian and actor
The Alexander Technique has played an important and beneficial part in my life.
John Houseman, actor, producer and director
The Alexander Technique has helped me to undo knots, unblock energy and deal with almost paralysing stage fright.
William Hurt, actor
It gives us all the things we have been looking for in a system of physical education: relief from strain due to maladjustment, and consequent improvement in physical and mental health, increased consciousness of the physical means employed to gain the ends proposed by the will and, along with this, a general heightening of consciousness on all levels… We cannot ask more from any system of physical education; nor, if we seriously desire to alter human beings in a desirable direction, can we ask any less.
Aldous Huxley, writer
Describing the Alexander Technique in an interview: “Incredibly good posture, with incredible relaxation.”
Hugh Jackman, actor
The Technique’s many benefits for actors include minimized tension, centeredness, vocal relaxation, and responsiveness, mind/body connection and about an inch and a half of additional height.
Kevin Kline, actor
Alexander students rid themselves of bad postural habits and are helped to reach with their bodies and minds, an enviable degree of freedom of expression.
Michael Langham, Director, the Juilliard School, New York USA
The Alexander Technique changed my life. It enabled me to devote more time to creating beauty. This inner strength is essential for all.
Andrew Logan, sculptor
The Alexander Technique can be sustaining; it is something that if learned well, can be carried along with you for the rest of your life. It gives you confidence to be who you are when you are up in front of an audience.
Patrick Maddams, Managing Director, Royal Academy of Music
There are an overall flexibility and tonic ease of movement, greater freedom in the action of the eyes, less tension in the jaws, more relaxation in the tongue and throat, and deeper breathing because of the effect of the new alignment on the diaphragm. There are also a sense of weightlessness and a diminution of the effort previously thought necessary to move one’s limbs. Activity is now more free and flowing – no longer jerky and heavy with strain.
Edward Maisel, Director of the American Fitness Research and Consultant to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness
I love the Alexander Technique. It has corrected my posture, improved my health and changed my life.
Alec McCowen CBE, actor
It is a particular pleasure to bring to the attention of the public an approach to the general problems of motion and technique…which rests on a broader basis, one of balanced effort, than is usually the case. So often the apparently specific defeats itself as any problem can only be successfully conquered by an understanding of its whole rather than of only a limited section of its circumference. I can only suggest from my sympathetic interest in my colleagues, of all ages and all levels, that it is a useful one and especially welcome in such cases where continued and renewed efforts seem only to dig more deeply into a rut.
Yehudi Menuhin, violinist and conductor
From his foreword to an introduction to the Alexander Technique for musicians, ‘Posture, Tension and Technique’ by Niso Ticciati, 1953
The Alexander Technique helped a long standing back problem, and to get a good night’s sleep after many years of tossing and turning.
Paul Newman, actor
The Alexander Technique gave me a glimpse of the possibility of freedom.
Edna O’Brien, celebrated Irish writer
With the best intentions, the job of acting can become a display of accumulated bad habits, trapped instincts and blocked energies. Working with the Alexander Technique has given me sightings of another way… Mind and body, work and life together. Real imaginative freedom…
Alan Rickman, actor
Alexander established not only the beginnings of a far-reaching science of the apparently involuntary movements that we call reflexes, but a technique of correction and self-control which forms a substantial addition to our very slender resources in personal education.
George Bernard Shaw, Writer, Nobel Prize Winner for Literature
Alexander has done a service to the subject by insistently treating each act as involving the whole integrated individual, the whole psycho-physical man. To take a step is an affair not of this or that limb solely, but of the total neuromuscular activity of the moment – not the least of the head and neck.
Sir Charles Sherrington, Nobel Prize Winner in Medicine
97% of people with back pain could benefit by learning the Alexander Technique – it is only a very small minority of back pain sufferers that require medical intervention such as surgery.
Jack Stern, spinal neurosurgeon
Of all the disciplines that form the actor training program, none is more vital, enriching and transformative than the Alexander Technique.
Harold Stone, Associate Director, Theatre Department, The Juilliard School, New York USA
I can definitely say without hesitation that I wouldn’t have had the rowing success that I have had the luxury of experiencing in my short time on the water, without finding the AT and the great teachers that I have had the privilege to work with.
Valerie Thompson-Williams, Rowing Masters Gold Medallist
Neck problems are virtually an occupational hazard for Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons. I had serious problems during my working years, but hoped for relief on early retirement. This was not the case and limitation of cervical (and thoracic) movement became quite an intrusion on my life. Physiotherapy and medication gave only short-term improvement. On being introduced to the Alexander Technique I was somewhat sceptical that anything was going to work, but can only describe the relief gained, and maintained, as quite incredible. General posture has improved and neck mobility has returned to that last experienced more than twenty years ago. What more could one ask for?
Kieran Tobin, M.B, B. Ch, BAO, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Irl), D.L.O., Senior Surgeon, University College Hospital Galway Ireland. Past President of the Irish Otolaryngological, Head and Neck Society and Past-President of the E.N.T. Section of the Royal Society of Medicine of Ireland