"We can't do what we don't know if we keep doing what we do know." - F.M. Alexander
The following benefits may seem too much to claim for one body of work. With 120 years of practice and documentation of benefits, students can expect some, or most of what's been found to follow lessons. Study with a qualified teacher, put sufficient time into lessons, practice on your own, and you're more than likely to experience benefits. It's not unusual for a teacher to hear from a pupil - "I just didn't know I worked this well!"
Self regulation/knowing oneself
Growth and change are dependent on the control of reaction. The more one acts and re-acts the same to stimuli the more likely we are to....act and re-act the same......and on and on. Alexander predicted that the modern world would only make increasing demands on individuals and that we would need increased self-control to deal well with this rapidly changing world. Far from being a 'philosophy, creed or dictates for living', what's offered in lessons are real technical practices in aid of impulse control and information processing. It is, first and foremost, a practice that enhances one's ability to STOP AND THINK. The Alexander Technique doesn't tell you WHAT to think, but how to, in the moment, modulate habitual behavior in aid of more favorable outcomes: outcomes that decrease stress, are possibly more suited to the current situation, and foster health and well-being in general.
Pain management/ stress relief
There is a growing body of evidence that the practice of the Alexander Technique can relieve musculoskeletal pain and discomfort. One of the best analogies is: if you drive a car badly, it breaks down faster. Alexander introduced the idea of "use" to a discussion of human functioning. You improve your use during lessons and therefore cause less wear and tear on tissue and joints. It's how one gains these benefits that shows the uniqueness of the Alexander Technique. There is less wear and tear on tissue and joints BECAUSE you are gaining more control over your manner of reaction and able to craft more conscious, reasoned responses to your experiences and impulses. You are dealing with over automation and stress at its most important moment; the moment of acting and re-acting.
From its beginning, the Alexander Technique has been of interest to those seeking health benefits and those pursuing performance careers. Often, it is loss of functioning, as in Alexander's own loss of voice, that brings performers to lessons, but it can also include performance anxiety, which brings us back to the control of reaction. Many of us suspect, or hope, we are capable of more than we've achieved up to this moment. We want to keep going. Who couldn't benefit from having a reliable method for enhancing adaptability?