MAIN DISH – The purpose of using the hands

Further on Moishe proclaims that the teachers always have to know why their hands are on the pupil, and what the hands are supposed to give him. And then he tells a story about a young teacher, with whom he worked, while she puts her hands on a pupil. Moishe asked her why her hands are on the pupil and what the hands supposed to do on the body of the pupil. After thinking for a few seconds, she replied and said that actually and really she doesn’t know why her hands are on the pupil, and she never gave a thought why they are on the pupil, and for which purpose.

In the first lesson I give to a new pupil, I always explain at the begining why I have to use my hands on the body of the pupil; this I do while using the hands already. I bring the pupil to be aware of his faulty sensory appreciation, by watching himself in the mirror and see if what he sees in the mirror matches his sensation. Then I explain that this is the reason why it is impossible to instruct and bring about the changes necessary by words. The new and required conditions-experience-“Directions” should flow, transmitted, conveyed through the hands of the teacher to the body of the pupil and be registered in his brain. Words may help in the process in order to encourage the pupil to cooperate, to “go together”. Words only can’t do the above job. By the way – the teacher himself has to have the capacity to “direct” himself in his daily activities in general.

So, can the above young teacher be considered a teacher of the real F.M. Alexander Technique ? ! Is it possible that those who trained her – and gave her a certificate, which proves that she is a qualified teacher of the F.M. Alexander Technique – teach the real F.M. Alexander Technique ? ! I consider it as masturbation…

Moishe continues and says that, when the teachers put hands, the hands have to have a meaning. Moishe, the hands always have a “meaning” but – depends what meaning they have: when behind the hands hides subconscious guidance and control, they have a dif-ferent meaning than when the Conscious Control is applied by the person who uses his hands. The hands then tell a different “story” – not the prevailing habitual “story” of the use of the self. If the Conscious Control is applied, and with it all the other “elements”, which all together form the F.M. Alexander Technique – as a whole – the hands will function as senders and recievers of the energy and the information needed for the “going together” of the teacher and the pupil along the same way, and being involved in the same process, which is the real F.M. Alexander Technique.

Moishe – the hands don’t observe; to observe is the brain’s “business”. In this respect the hands are the sensors and communication channels of the brain, and they transmit infor-mation to the brain, and convey the “Directions”.

The hands don’t send directions – the “Directions” flow through the hands, when the brain produces them. Otherwise the hands are being used habitually – according to the habitual brain activity, according to the habitual mental attitude of the “owner” of the hands – the hands then manipulate.

The hands don’t release undue tensions in the pupil’s body; this happens – may be – when you get a massage. But when the hands convey the “Directions” and the pupil experiences “opening, spreading, growing, eaglizing” the tensions – and tensions are always unduly – will be released, and the natural tone in the body can replace the tensions.

The hands don’t move the pupil. The teacher should “direct”, and when the “Directions” are operative in the pupil, the teacher may move his hands with the pupil, who actively should consent to allow the movement to happen, while accelerating the directing process. Any-how – the movement is not what the F.M.A.T. is about; the movement can be used as a check whether the “Directions” are “on” or “off”. And – by the way – you can direct and move the pupil by a kick, or by a push with your body…

By the “Directions” that are transmitted through the hands, the teacher encourages the required conditions for improved use of the self, as a whole entity. The hands don’t give the experience of a proper sensory appreciation. As a matter of fact, at the beginning the new conditions are registered by the habitual sensory appreciation as wrong; and if the pupil tries to repeat the sensation, as the right sensation of the right conditions, the result will be the continuation of the wrong. The sensory appreciation is a brain activity, and when it changes it happens in the brain. When the brain gets used to the new conditions, the sensory appreciation is adapted to the new conditions, and then that which was accepted before as right will be registered as wrong – as it really is.

I wonder, Moishe, which more “jobs” you can find for the hands in the F.M. Alexander Technique!… Better don’t look for “more jobs” and allow your hands to function as trans-mitters or conveyers of energy directed by a brain which applies the Conscious Control.


When F.M. Alexander set off on his “journey” of investigation and experimentation and began to watch himself in the mirror, his observation was an innocent observation, un-conditioned observation – he didn’t know what he will see; he didn’t know what he has to see, and how it has to be. The only thing he was aware of – as a result of an intelligent reasoning – that he was doing something wrong, while reciting, that caused his hoar-seness and the loss of his voice, and that these are just symptoms. Those who were trained by him – and no doubt those who were, and are, trained by those he trained, and his “grandchildren” and “great grandchildren”, “know” already from the beginning of their training how it should be, how it should be right – seeing and feeling it; they are conditioned by the “Directions” of their teachers, according to the “branch” of teaching. Their obser-vation is not innocent; their observation is conditioned, fixed, narrow, limited, concen-trated. They can’t accept new phenomena along the Way; they can’t discover along the practical Way. They can’t grasp the unlimited whole, the flowing unfixed relationship within what is. They want to see and gain concrete results – they cling to the breast of “mama End-gaining”, to the false and fixed conditions of security; they are safe within the high “paper walls” of the STAT; their horizon can’t be otherwise than the one of the chicken (if not of the worm!) – their horizon is definitely not the eagle’s one; their horizon matches their observation. So, Moishe, and all the rest of them, as a result of your limited-obser-vation according to your conditioning, you are no more than mechanics, like Charlie Chaplin in “Modern Times”, along the assembly line…. And the quality of your products!….. The only similarity to the original (the F.M. Alexander Technique) is the name on the label of your products…

You don’t observe with your eyes, nor with your hands; you observe with your brain; and your observation is conditioned by your mental attitude; by the amount of undue excitement of your fear reflexes, uncontrolled emotions, and fixed prejudices; by the amount of unreliability of your sensory appreciation; by the guidance of your reaction to stimuli – whether it is controlled by the subconsciousness, or by the consciousness (not by the intellect!) The hands and the eyes are just receptors and absorb impressions and transmit the information to the brain. The brain observes and digests the data, and the reaction follows – according to the mental state, conditioning and attitude of the person whom the brain “belongs” to. All this process should be active in the speed of “blitz” feed-back, directly, and not through the “filter” of the intellect, nor through thinking and rea-soning in words…

When you “know” what the hands have to feel, what the eyes have to see, and you teach it – how to do it right – the true observation is “kaputt”. No chance of further discovery along the Way. Then the way ceased to be the real way. The result of it can be found in all the publications (books, articles, cassettes, videos, films, photos, and all the rest) concerning the F.M. Alexander Technique, and in the practical work of those who call themselves teachers of the Alexander Technique.

In this process of observation, the observer has to be the observed at the same time – to observe, to be aware of one’s own reaction to stimuli, from within and from without, not to create a distance, a gap between the observer and the observed. Observation is being aware of what is happening in reality, and not through any filter of mental conditioning – except of the Conscious Control. And the real observation is not a skill; the unconditioned observation is a matter of the state of mind, of the mental attitude, in general. The obser-vation has the chance to become more subtle, deeper, wider, when the conditions of the use of the self – in general, as a whole – improve. Then the “attention” is not “focused” (attention and focusing =3D concentration) on anything, Moishe. There is a total awareness of the Whole, within the Whole; it is not a certain attention, it is not focusing on “working on our-selves”; it is not focusing on many directions; neither on moving the pupil, nor “forgetting” to observe. (This forgetting is really concentration on details, and ignoring the process as a whole – it means: active End-gaining). It means not to be aware of the whole “picture” within the Timeless-Endless-Measureless; it means lack of Conscious Control; it means that it is not the real F.M. Alexander Technique.

When isolated teachers easily build up new habits which they are not aware of, it means that they didn’t experience the right Way and the Process; therefore they lack an active creative-practical conception of it. They don’t build up new habits; they never got rid, never “inhibited” their old habitual use of their self; they just were trained – or rather tamed – to cover it with a different “fur coat”, different “make-up”. So when there are no other “teachers” in their vicinity who can “observe” the preservation of the “make-up”, which was acquired in the “school” of “Alexander Technique”, the isolated teacher lacks the “proper mirror”, and the “make-up” dissolves, the “fur-coat” loses its artificial hair….