Deep Self Help: The Alexander Technique

You've been using the Self Help exercises on for a while. You're finding them useful, and you can now take better care of your back.

But is there anything you can do to learn faster, or deeper? You may be looking for the Alexander Technique.

Alexander Technique teachers work one-to-one with you to bring about rapid and permanent change in how you "use yourself". You will learn skills you can apply at home and at work, at the very moment you most often hurt your back, not just when you're doing awareness exercises.

Research at the University of Southampton reports excellent short-term and long-term results for chronic back pain.

Alexander Technique teachers are "fellow travellers" who have been through all this themselves. Many of them have had back pain, and they can help your Back Pain Self Help project in numerous ways:

  • Working with you on specific movements you find difficult(lifting, cooking, sitting at a computer, playing the piano)
  • Showing you where your body image is inaccurate. Many of us, for example, have a very strange idea of where our spine begins and ends
  • Deep, detailed hands-on work on your spine and ways to work on your spine at home. An Alexander teacher can help you reorganise your spine and show you how to let your head lead so that your body lengthens and follows, the natural way an alert, healthy human being organises themselves

Effects of Alexander Technique Lessons

Lessons give you a wonderful sense of ease and relaxation that comes with being better organised and more aware of yourself. A teacher is expecting long-term beneficial effects such as:

  • your spine feels strong, light and flexible (even if it was previously injured)
  • you are alert and calm
  • you are clear-minded and able to look after yourself in stressful situations

With time and patience, you can learn to get these effects for yourself, and make them a part of who you are.


Every animal with a back-bone leads with its head, the body following. Watch a dog or cat: can you see "head leads, body follows" in action?

FM Alexander had a passion for horses and betting. He observed "head leads" while watching horses race. He won enough on one race to pay for his passage to the UK, and to put a bit by for his ageing mother in Sydney