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Alexander Technique
in London, Exeter & Totnes
Fumiaki Tanaka

" Fumiaki has very soft but very powerful touch.
   I walked out today feeling about 6 inches taller. "

What is it?

What is the Alexander Technique?

The Alexander Technique aims to enhance your mental and physical wellbeing by addressing your posture and movement habits.

The Alexander Technique offers a unique insight into how you use your body in everyday activities. By becoming more aware of your habits and patterns of movement, you can learn to release unnecessary tension and move with greater ease and efficiency.

Through gentle guidance from a teacher, you can discover new ways to sit, stand, walk, and perform various tasks with less effort and strain. This not only helps alleviate physical discomfort but also promotes a sense of relaxation and calmness.

The Alexander Technique encourages you to become more mindful while engaging in different activities. By cultivating this awareness, you can develop healthier ways to deal with stress and enhance your overall wellbeing.


Whether you are seeking relief from chronic pain or simply looking to improve your posture and reduce stress levels, exploring the Alexander Technique could be a wonderful path towards improving your wellbeing. It can help you reconnect with your body, cultivate mindfulness, and discover newfound freedom in your movements.

Fumiaki Tanaka MSTAT RCST offering the Alexander Technique lesson to improve posture

What are the benefits of the Alexander Technique?

  • Health and well-being

As we grow older, we accumulate many harmful habits, such as hunching over a desk. These repeated patterns can cause the spine to become misaligned, affecting many functions of the body, including breathing, digestion, and coordination.

People come to the Alexander Technique for many different reasons.

  • Back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain

  • Breathing problems

  • Bad posture

  • RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury)

  • Tension headaches


  • Performance

Actors, dancers, musicians, public speakers, and sportspeople use the Alexander Technique to improve their performance. It is often taught at performing arts schools and colleges. Whatever the activity, the Alexander Technique teaches you to do it better with ease.

  • Self-development

People interested in self-development can use the Alexander Technique for lifelong learning.

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space.
In that space lies our freedom and our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our happiness.”


 Victor Frankl


What happens in an Alexander Technique lesson?

My Alexander Technique lesson lasts one hour and is taught on a one-to-one basis. There are generally two parts to the lesson. The first is referred to as ‘chair work’. Simple daily movements such as sitting, standing, and walking are used to facilitate the proper relationship of the head, neck, and back in activity. The second part is called ‘table work’. The student lies on their back on a specially designed table. With the help of the teacher, the student learns to release long-held tension while lengthening and widening the back.

Please wear loose-fitting clothes (no skirts). You will be asked to take your shoes off.

Cancellation policy:
Please give at least 24hours notice if you need to cancel your appointment. Missed appointments or cancellations with less than 24 hours notice will be charged for the lesson.

F. M. Alexander – How it all started

F. M. Alexander was born in 1869 in Tasmania. As a child, Alexander showed a great interest in
poetry, especially the works of Shakespeare. His love of reciting and interpretation of the
characters naturally lead him to become an actor. His career went well until he started to develop
a throat problem.

Despite consultations with doctors and voice teachers, his condition worsened and he began to
lose his voice on a regular basis. When offered an attractive reciting job he saw the doctor again.
He reassured Alexander that if he used his voice as little as possible until the recital, he would regain his voice. The doctor’s advice worked but only until he started reciting. The hoarseness returned, and by the end of the performance he could hardly speak.

Alexander consulted the doctor yet again and was told to continue to rest his voice. However, Alexander argued that despite following this advice the hoarseness returned as soon as he performed. He concluded that it must be the way he recited that caused the problem. The doctor agreed but could not tell him what he was doing wrong. At that point, Alexander decided to find out himself and his years of investigation began.

Through lengthy experimentation, he discovered that the relationship of the head, neck, and back determines the functioning of the whole body. Eventually, he was able to break his habitual way of using himself and improved the condition of his throat as well as his general health.

FM Alexander - Alexander Technique Space
FM Alexander
A man is receiving a table work in the Alexander Technique lesson by Fumiaki Tanaka MSTAT RCST

Alexander Technique
Semi-Supine lying down

Back problem?
Then, try this.
It might help you.
Lie on your back on the floor (not on the bed).
Knees bent and head resting on a book(s).
Feet should be hip-width apart.
If your head feels uncomfortable or have neck ache, put a towel on top of the book(s).
Put your hands resting on your hips, rib cage or next to the body and keep your palms facing down.
Now …   Do Nothing!
Just lie down.
Don’t work hard to release your muscles.
Simply, leave your body alone.
Then your body will unfold itself and find its natural state.
Your body knows how to restore itself,
if you stop clenching your muscles.
If you try too hard to let go,
you may trigger your muscles to tighten without knowing it.
The trick is to give up … Surrender,
give your body the rest it deserves.
Get out of the way,
and allow the body to do its work.
Then see what happens.
  ...   stay there for 10-15 minutes.
Do it twice a day or more if you want to,
as long as it doesn’t give you pain.
The more you rest, the more your body will recover its poise.
While the ‘Alexander Technique semi-supine lie down’ can do very little harm, if you feel any discomfort please stop right away. Most likely you are doing something wrong.
If your back is too painful to even lie down, you may need to calm that down before you can try this.
If you think you might have a problem doing this, please consult with your doctor before trying it.
The height of the book is important. This usually would be checked by an Alexander teacher, but for now, use one or two books so that your face is level not tipped backward

Books on the Alexander Technique 

Here are some of the books on the Alexander Technique I recommend.

These are great introductory books as they are easy to read and cover the key principles of the Alexander Technique.

If you want to expand your understanding of the Alexander Technique, it is essential to read his books. However, Alexander's books can be difficult to read because of his writing style. I recommend starting with this one. The first chapter 'Evolution of a technique' is considered as one of the most important writings on the Alexander technique. He describes how he developed his technique in detail.

It is not specifically on the Alexander Technique, but the author is a well known AT teacher. He describes how the 'Primary Control' functions in a simple and clear manner, although he doesn't use the term in the book. The first two chapters illustrate this clearly.

This book is more for AT teachers, but it contains Macdonald's wisdom on the Alexander Technique. I find the notebook jotting section is like writing on zen.  He covers the essence of the Alexander Technique with a simple and concise way with a hint of humour.  The new edition is not available on Amazon, so please click the link on the book title above.

         by Pedro Alcantara

Pedro Alcantara writes clearly about the Alexander Technique. Although aimed at musicians, Indirect Procedures contains very good explanations about the principles of the Alexander Technique and is a great read for non-musicians too.


Research on the Alexander Technique and back pain

Significant long-term benefit from Alexander Technique lessons for low back pain has been demonstrated by a major study published by the British Medical Journal.

To summarise:

  • 24 AT lessons proved to be most beneficial

  • Six lessons followed by exercise were about 70% as effective as 24 lessons

  • Long-term benefits unlikely to be due to placebo effect

  • Lessons were one-to-one, provided by experienced STAT teachers

  • This was a scientific randomised controlled trial

579 patients with chronic or recurrent low back pain; 144 were randomised to normal care, 147 to massage, 144 to six Alexander technique lessons, and 144 to 24 Alexander technique lessons; half of each of these groups were randomised to exercise prescription.

The trial
This research trial compared the long-term benefits of the following groups:

  • Six lessons in the Alexander Technique (AT)

  • 24 lessons in the AT

  • Six sessions of a classical massage

  • GP-prescribed aerobic exercise

With a control group which received normal GP care, for NHS patients with significant chronic or recurrent non-specific low back pain.
Half the patients in four groups (Six AT lessons, 24 AT lessons, massage and control) were provided with a GP prescription for taking general aerobic exercise (mainly 30 minutes of brisk walking or the equivalent each day) with practice nurse behavioural counselling. The prescription was given six weeks after patients entered the trial so that exercise followed the six massage sessions and 6 AT lessons, but often overlapped with most lessons for the 24 AT lesson group. 579 patients were recruited from 64 GP practices and 59 Alexander Technique teachers participated in the trial.


Get In Touch

Tel: 0730 5577700


The Alexander Technique

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