Frederick Matthias Alexander was a man far ahead of his time and his discoveries are still revolutionary today, 50 years after he died.
In the 1890s, a successful Australian actor realised that his career prospects were threatened by recurring hoarseness. The young man, Frederick Matthias Alexander, visited specialists, but doctors were unable to diagnose a medical cause for his loss of voice.
Through a painstaking process of self observation and experimentation, he found that when he spoke, and especially when he performed, he habitually used not just his voice, but his whole self in ways that led to extreme tension. Alexander gradually discovered how to consciously inhibit these unconstructive patterns and to direct for a new, better use of himself.
As a result, not only did Alexander’s vocal and breathing problems disappear, but his entire health and functioning improved. He began teaching others his method and in 1904 he came to London where he lived until his death in 1955.