The Alexander Technique stands on two central ideas. First, that a dynamic relationship between the head and spine governs our coordination of ourselves in every activity, either in a way that improves our overall psychophysical condition or in a way that is harmful to that condition. Second, that the essential aspect of human design is a functional unity of mind and body and, thus, that methods that try to change behavior by dealing with only one or the other aspect of ourselves - either primarily physical or primarily mental - are fundamentally flawed.
Alexander’s psychophysical approach seeks to address learned habits of misuse that interfere with postural mechanisms governing movement and coordination. It is not a therapeutic or treatment oriented discipline but an educational one. If we learn habits of tension and misuse that interfere with our coordination, we can also learn to change these behaviors. The Technique does not treat symptoms directly but educates the student to become self-aware, to think in new ways, and to take responsibility for constructive change.
Often a student begins Alexander lessons because of a musculo-skeletal problem but continues his study because, after a number of lessons, he discovers that the benefits he experiences encompass many other areas of his life. Does a patient who goes to a physician for knee pain continue to see the physician even after the pain goes away? Certainly not. On the other hand, many Alexander students continue to study the Technique for years because of its continuing and broadening impact on their lives.