Fredrick Matthias (F.M.) Alexander (1869 – 1955) was a young Australian actor in the late 1800’s, who began to suffer from hoarseness whenever he performed. Dissatisfied by inconclusive medical diagnoses at the time, he set out to find a cure for his condition. Using mirrors, he engaged in extensive self-observation. Over time, he realized that his condition arose from excessive and habitual tension, which lead to ‘misuse’ in the coordination of his head, neck, and back, and interfered with his breathing. He found that this crucial relationship between ‘misuse’, vocal production and breathing led to other practical and far reaching discoveries about the relationship between ‘use’ and human functioning.
Through further experimentation and discovery, he gradually developed the Technique – which is now widely recognized as one of the world’s most effective and profound practices for the reeducation of neuro-muscular habits and tension as it relates to human functioning.
With letters of recommendation from a group of well-respected doctors in Australia, F.M. traveled to London in 1904 to continue his work. During the war years he brought the Technique to the United States; he returned to live and work in the UK until his death in 1955.