The Technique was developed around 1900 by Frederick Matthias Alexander, a famous Australian actor and Shakespearean reciter.
Afflicted by periodic loss of voice, for which medical treatments gave only temporary relief, Alexander suspected that the problem might be the result of something he was doing with his vocal mechanism. He began using mirrors to observe himself while he spoke, and discovered that what he was doing wrong did not stop (or start) with his vocal mechanism, but involved a pattern of malfunctioning that he carried out throughout his entire body.
He also realized that what he felt he was doing was quite different from what he observed in the mirror. His customary use of his body, although it caused his problems, felt natural and right, while new improved habits at first felt strange.
In the painstaking course of solving his problems, Alexander developed a new approach to physical education and health, an approach that has enabled thousands of men, women and children to use their bodies with ease, grace, flexibility and freedom from strain.
Alexander established a school in London seventy-five years ago; since then the Technique has spread throughout the world.
Here’s a short documentary about him by Charles Maxham: