About Us

A little bit about our story

Michael and Léonie have helped thousands of people to overcome, mitigate and manage a range of common, and not so common back, neck and associated problems. They have a particular interest in problem-solving in workplace environments, with musicians and with sportspeople.

Michael Stenning and Léonie John have, between them, over fifty years full-time experience of teaching the Alexander Technique, and are qualified members of the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) and its Australian affiliate, AuSTAT. They have established The Back School in the ACT and are Comcare-registered providers of rehabilitation services. Michael and Léonie design and deliver the “Fit for Work – Fit for Life!” training workshops for corporate clients. They have designed the Stenning Active-Balance range of ergonomic office chairs.

Michael and Léonie have run post-grad CPD workshops for Alexander Teachers in Australia, Denmark, Uruguay, Argentina and USA.

Michael Stenning

Michael has worked in OHS/Rehabilitation/HumanPotential/Training for 20 years. Michael incorporates a sophisticated and well-tested approach to posture, ergonomics, breathing, balance, relaxation, rehabilitation, occupational health, and pain prevention and management.

He was certified as an Alexander Technique teacher in England in 1985 and subsequently worked under John Nicholls as part of post- graduate training. Michael developed and delivered an anatomy/physiology syllabus for A.T. teacher training in England in the early ‘90’s.

He has also developed and delivered performance programs for musicians and athletes and for screen-based workers. He has undertaken performance-related research with athletes, has designed office chairs, and completed a Grad Dip. in Learning Difficulties.

Michael Stenning is a past Chairman of the Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique.

Léonie John

Léonie has a background in music having studied the piano in Glasgow.

She began having lessons in the Alexander Technique during student days in 1974 due to recurrent severe back problems. The focus gradually shifted from music to the Alexander Technique via disparate activities such as teaching the piano in the Outer Hebrides and working at the UN in Geneva.

Léonie qualified from Jeanne and Aksel Haahr’s training course in July 1984 and built up a busy teaching practice in Edinburgh, before moving to Australia in 1985.

Léonie has also taught in Denmark and Switzerland. She is particularly good at helping individuals with “intractable” problems.

A path together

For both, on-going post-graduate work included study with Kri Ackers and John and Lyn Nicholls. They have had lessons or attended workshops given by a wide variety of AT teachers including the Barlows, Carringtons, Patrick MacDonald, Misha Magidov and Marj Barstow. They established a teaching practice in Canberra in 1986. They taught intermittently on the Nicholls’ Melbourne training course and were subsequently invited to work with the Nicholls on their Brighton UK course. After two years in Brighton, they re-established themselves in Canberra in 1992. They share teaching, while also balancing musical commitments and time out in the mountains. Hobbies include outdoor pursuits such as running, bushwalking, cross-country skiing and rowing.

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