Thanks to the intelligence, creativity, and perseverance of Frederick Matthias Alexander, a technique of constructive, conscious control of human reaction has been developed, enabling habitual reactions to be replaced by more intentional, conscious ones.
What is the Alexander Technique?
Frequently Asked Questions
Fortunately for us there is not a single one of these habits of mind, with their resultant habits of body, which may not be altered by the inculcation of those principles concerning the true poise of the body which I have called the principles of mechanical advantage,* used in co-operation with an understanding of the inhibitory and volitional powers of the objective mind, by which means these deterrent habits can be raised to conscious control. "
Man's Supreme Inheritance by F. M. Alexander
The Alexander Story
In the process of trying to understand the causes, and develop a treatment for his own vocal problems, Alexander came to an extremely clear understanding of the unconscious habitual patterns that make up almost all of how we react to the stimuli of life.
He discovered that many of these habitual patterns are undesirable, as they interfere with functioning and health. As he persevered in trying to remove these patterns, he came to realise how they needed to be prevented through a process he called inhibition, and be replaced through a process he called direction. Both of these are conscious, thinking activities.