The Alexander Technique was developed in Australia over a hundred years ago by Frederick Matthias Alexander, who was an actor who kept losing his voice. Having developed his Technique, he was much in demand, not just for actors, but also for people with breathing problems and of course people with back, neck and joint problems.
He gave up acting and brought his Technique to London, where he lived and worked for much of the rest of his life, passing his skills on through his hands to the next generation of teachers. His Technique is now taught and practised throughout the world. More information on 'FM', as he is known, is available at Society of Teachers of Alexander Technique website
For several years before Alexander Technique, I had trouble with my back and my knee, but worst of all with losing my voice. I am a lecturer and my voice is therefore crucial to my work.
I approached Alexander Technique with a lawyer's healthy scepticism, but by this time I was willing to give anything a try. The results were amazing! Alexander Technique made me realise that posture and the way you move affects the way you speak. The way you hold yourself and the way your head rests on your neck affects the quality of the voice you are able to produce.(Anne B, Law Lecturer)
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In my early thirties, I was persuaded to go for Alexander Technique lessons. It's helped me restore balance to my body and regain my natural poise. I used to move badly and virtually had to learn how to walk again. I learned how to stay grounded and stable and I walked without fear and without a stick; at one point, I even ran!
I look and feel younger now in my forties than I did in my twenties as I have continued the Technique for myself. My confidence is sky-high and I welcome every day instead of just struggling through it.
Gail's teaching is fun, enjoyable and enthusiastic. There's something about her and you knew it was going to be interesting and exciting each session. She is so encouraging and made it look so easy and attainable that I always thought 'Yes, I can do it!"(Beverley, Celtic Artist)
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Gail Barlow is the Director of Dolphin Alexander Courses, which she set up in 1990 after completing the three-year full-time Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course and qualifying as a Teacher of the F M Alexander Technique.
Gail trained as an Alexander Teacher in the eighties and has now worked with over 2,000 people in the UK and Europe. She is now a very experienced teacher and is able to 'tune in' and work with each person in a method and at a pace uniquely suited to their individual needs.
She is a Member of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), which was founded in 1958 and is the oldest and largest professional body of Alexander Technique teachers in the world.