An Alexander Technique teacher emails me:
Here’s the THEORETICAL difference between “The Alexander Technique” and massage, chiropractic, etc. The latter are passive treatments wherein the practicioners manipulate the body into a state of relief, but wherein the clients/patients are not provided with user-friendly and practical information that would enable them to 1) prevent the conditions that produced the problem in the first place and 2) effectively reverse or mitigate those conditions if and when they do arise. There is no effective and practical self-help component that is communicated in massage, chiropractic, etc.
What is supposed to distinguish the Alexander Technique from these other modalities is that the client/student/patient is supposed to be gaining not just the relief, but also the means whereby the relief can be independently achieved without the constant need to depend on intervention of the practicioners.
It’s an important distinction and one that appeals to some people, but a surprising percentage of people really just want the treatment, not the responsibility and the education, and they actually prefer to have to come back time and time again for the passive treatment. They can’t and/or won’t embrace the notion that they could actually effect a positive change on their own.