Alexander Model Or Technique

The Australian actor/physiotherapist Frederick Mathias Alexander (1869-1955) developed this technique for improving one's posture, breathing, and bodily movements. This physical model attempts to reduce stress, promotes mental well-being, and increases confidence in individuals who practice the method, and is especially popular among performing artists such as actors and musicians. Alexander developed his technique initially to deal with a voice difficulty he had as a young Shakespearean actor; he observed how his bodily movements/tension around his head and neck affected his voice. Following the correction of his own problem, Alexander applied his approach to a wide range of problems, as well as training teachers in the technique. Alexander's technique involves the following steps: allow your neck to be free of tension before beginning any movement of the body; let your head move up rather than pulling it down or back, as movement begins; and allow your entire torso to lengthen, and follow the head upward, rather than slouching down to arch or twist the spine. In advocating the wholeness and integration of one's body and mind, Alexander maintained that one's emotional and mental problems may be mitigated, also, by use of his technique. See also MIND-BODY THEORIES; PERSONALITY THEORIES; STRESS THEORY.

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