These are personal stories from people of varying backgrounds. The men and women who agreed to share their stories came across the work of F.M. Alexander because they felt they were not functioning to the best of their capabilities. The trigger was a crisis or a problem they needed to solve with varying degrees of urgency: a life-changing trauma, such as a severe and debilitating pain after a serious accident; a condition or chronic disorder - perhaps congenital, perhaps resulting from an illness or, in the case of back pain, from an unfortunate movement - which suddenly became worse. Less dramatically, it might have been a block of some kind, or a sense of lifestyle becoming more restricted. Or they felt that they were not able to tap into their potential properly, and life was passing them by.
Often the aim is to find a rapid and effective solution, and the Alexander Technique tends to be the last resort, after a number of other, more obvious remedies (including various forms of alternative therapy) have been tried to no avail. Eventually by hearsay, through a GP, a friend, an article in a magazine, a television interview, something heard on the radio, a poster, a leaflet, an adult education class, by chancing upon one of Alexander’s books, or by being offered a first lesson as a birthday present the storytellers, randomly and often sceptically, turn to the Alexander Technique. They feel they have ‘nothing more to lose’, and ‘the risks attached to trying out the Technique are so low - no medication, no surgery - and moderate costs’. They discover that the Technique is gentle and non-intrusive.
It is so non-intrusive, in fact, that in the Alexander lesson there will probably be no question of treating the specific complaint at all. Rather than concerning themselves with it the teacher usually chooses to attend to how their new pupil coordinates mind and body, or how they ‘use’ themselves in typical, everyday situations.