The Use of Self (Its Conscious Direction in Relation to Diagnosis Functioning and the Control of Reaction) written by F. Matthias Alexander
The classic written by the founder of the famous Alexander technique. With introduction by Wilfred Barlow. The idea behind the Alexander technique is to study how we use our bodies everyday, which is often ineffective, and causes stress elsewhere. This tension then often causes hindrances within our performing abilites be it through nerves, loss of coordination, flexibility, or tone. The technique seeks to not only diagnose the source of the bodily tension but to relieve it through proper use of movement within our bodies.
This book covers such topics as Evolution of a Technique, Use and Functioning to Relation to Reaction, The Golfer Who Cannot Keep his Eyes on the Ball, The Stutterer, and Diagnosis and Medical Training
Back Cover: First published in 1932 – the classic book on Alexander's revolutionary theory of movement
Frederick Matthias Alexander was born in Tasmania in 1869. In his twenties, he became a professional reciter of dramatic pieces. After almost completely losing his voice he pioneered a method of improving the 'use' of his body musculature in all positions and movemtns and cured his vocal problems without medical aid.
Alexander then realised that most people stood, sat and moved in a defective manner and that incorrect 'use of the self' might be the cause of much human suffering. He moved to London and established a school, publishing several books and achieving success, with recommendations from famous contemporaries such as Aldous Huxley and Sir Stafford Cripps. Alexander died in 1955, but his 'principle' lives on through the work of many teachers of his method.
Dr Wilfred Barlow, who wrote the introduction, was a pupil of F.M. Alexander and was one of the foremost exponents of the Alexander Technique for forty years.