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The Wisdom of F.M. Alexander

“I must admit that when I began my investigation, I, in common with most people, conceived of ‘body’ and ‘mind’ as separate parts of the same organism, and consequently believed that human ills, difficulties, and shortcomings could be classified as either ‘mental’ or ‘physical’ and dealt with on specifically ‘mental’ or specifically ‘physical’ lines. My practical experiences, however, led me to abandon this point of view, and readers of my books will be aware [that] the technique described in them is based on the opposite conception, namely, that it is impossible to separate ‘mental’ and ‘physical’ processes in any form of human activity.”

—Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955), creator of the Alexander Technique, in The Use of the Self, first published in 1932, currently published by Orion (2002)


The Alexander Technique is a mind-body method designed to help practitioners become aware of how they hold and move their bodies—and from there to help them reconnect with their natural ease of movement. The technique has been popular among stage performers. To learn more about it, go to www.alexandertech.org.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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