The Alexander Technique was originally developed by F. Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), an actor and teacher who originally developed it as a method of vocal training for singers and actors.
He could see that successful vocal training needed a good breathing technique. His methods made such a difference to their breathing that doctors started referring patients with respiratory problems for an Alexander Technique session. The process aims to change movement habits in everyday activities, helping people with chronic back pain, excessive stress and injury, by using simple and practical methods of balance in the body to release unnecessary tension.
It’s a method of teaching improved posture, too, which is beneficial for easing back pain, and helps facilitate movement.
It is said that posture problems and muscle tension are quite often the reason for some of your pain. The technique is safe for people of all ages and in fact, many elderly people and pregnant women benefit from this treatment. It helps millions of people across the world with back, neck and joint pain, muscle tension and stiffness, poor posture, breathing and vocal problems, and anxiety and stress related conditions.
A good book on the subject is entitled ‘How to Stand, How to Move, How to Live : Learning the Alexander Technique to Explore Your Mind Body Connection and Achieve self Mastery’ by Missy Vineyard.
The NHS held a study on the technique which involved over 500 people with chronic back pain. It found that people who received one-to-one instruction of the Alexander Technique, along with exercise, had reduced back pain. Details on the Alexander Technique are also available on the NHS website.