Freedom to change was originally published under the title of Body Mechanics in Action. This was at the insistence of the publisher who felt it was a more marketable title than Freedom to Change, the title the author intended. The author Frank Pierce Jones (1905-1975) taught for over 30 years and carried out extensive scientific experiments in his pursuit of understanding the mechanisms underlying the Alexander Technique.
The book was published posthumously in 1976
This is one of my favourite books in the AT bibliography and, in fact, I read it for the first time before ever having a lesson. Not only does it provide a clear introduction to the principles of the Alexander Technique, there is also the added bonus of many interesting historical details the Technique’s development, fruit of the author’s close association with the Alexander brothers. (Jones trained with both F. M. and A.R. Alexander from 1941 to 1944). Of particular interest is the detail about A.R. Alexander, Jones’ primary teacher, detail you’d be hard pressed to find elsewhere.
But of course, the book is best known for its summaries of Jones’ most important research into the mechanisms of the Technique. It is amazing how broad his enquiry was and the ingenious ways he developed to collect data with the limited (by today’s standards) technology available to him. The research was carried out primarily in the 1950s and 1960s and so some of the work is limited or superseded as one should expect. There is however much that is still useful and it is a joy to imbibe some of the passion of a man who put so much thought and effort into what was for many years our primary source of research into the Technique.
You can purchase a copy here.