Science

Science and Research about the Effectiveness of the Alexander Technique.

Evidence Base.

The evidence base for Alexander Technique is growing rapidly, from University-led studies to in-house business reports highlighting the great rewards of applying this to their staff. Here are just some of the studies highlighting the benefits of Alexander Technique lessons.

Alexander Technique Researched to help tackle Chronic Neck Pain – funded by Arthritis Research UK, October 2011.

A major UK trial at the University of York funded by Arthritis Research UK will investigate the effectiveness of acupuncture and Alexander Technique lessons in alleviating chronic neck pain. Senior Research Fellow Dr. MacPherson said “Our research will provide further data which will help patients, practitioners, providers and policy-makers make informed choices about care. If the evidence from the new trial justifies it, then both interventions should be offered routinely as referral options to patients within the NHS, which would mean that patients would no longer have to pay for these interventions themselves.” Find out more about this research into chronic neck pain and Alexander Technique here.

Irish Doctor swears by the Alexander Technique.

Ear, nose and throat (ENT) surgeon Kieran Tobin said he found the relief gained from the technique to be “quite incredible”, after he was treated for chronic neck problems…

“Neck problems are virtually an occupational hazard for Ear, Nose and Throat surgeons. I had serious problems during my working years, but hoped for relief on early retirement. This was not the case and limitation of cervical (and thoracic) movement became quite an intrusion on my life. Physiotherapy and medication gave only short-term improvement. On being introduced to the Alexander Technique I was somewhat sceptical that anything was going to work, but can only describe the relief gained, and maintained, as quite incredible. General posture has improved and neck mobility has returned to that last experienced more than twenty years ago. What more could one ask for?” – Kieran Tobin, M.B, B. Ch, BAO, FRCS(Eng), FRCS(Irl), D.L.O., Senior Surgeon, University College Hospital Galway Ireland. Past President of the Irish Otolaryngological, Head and Neck Society and Past-President of the E.N.T. Section of the Royal Society of Medicine of Ireland.

NHS-funded study shows Alexander Technique reduces back pain by an average of 86%.

Medical Research Council study finds Alexander Technique reduces back pain by 86% on average.

Key points:

  • Less Pain – 3 days with back pain per month compared to average 21 days.
  • Days with back pain more than halved after just 6 lessons.
  • Less incapacity (able to carry out three more types of daily tasks without being limited by back pain).

Full article (PDF): BMJ-Alexander-Technique-Article

Manufacturer Victorinox Reduces Staff Absence by 42% after implementing Alexander Technique.

Victorinox Manager: “The helplessness we experienced with problems caused by repetitive strain injuries has been blown away”.
Absenteeism at producer of Swiss Army Knives reduced by over 42% due to an Alexander Technique program.
Full article (pdf): Victorinox-Alexander-Technique-Benefits

Foundation for Prevention of Workplace Injuries recommends Alexander Technique training for the self-management of workers to prevent musculoskeletal disorders.

Key Points:

  • The Alexander Technique has been applied as a tool to prevent occupational risks in different organisational settings throughout the world.
  • Recommendation: Consider the Alexander Technique as an effective preventative measure against risks of a musculoskeletal and/or psychosocial nature, whether applied as tertiary, secondary or primary prevention.
  • Full article (pdf): Alexander Technique Risk Prevention

Alexander Technique Improves Postural Tone and General Coordination.

Key Points:

  • Research by Dr Tim Cacciatoreand the Institute of Neurology, UCL.
  • Learning the Alexander Technique results in:
  • Significantly less unnecessary and harmful spinal bending.
  • Significantly less effort to stand up from sitting.

Research article (pdf): Postural Tone and the Alexander Technique

Chronic Pain Sufferers: Over half stopped or reduced their medications after just six sessions in this study – substantial cost savings to NHS highlighted by Bristol University study.

Key Points:

  • An Alexander Technique teaching service can make a difference to how people manage their pain and reduce their pain related costs.
  • Six consecutive weekly one-to-one Alexander Technique lessons were taken with a qualified and experienced STAT registered Alexander Technique teacher.
  • Most patients liked the Alexander Technique lessons and benefited in terms of their day-to-day relationship to their pain.
  • Awareness and increased understanding of pain also led to some behaviour change and changes in self-knowledge from the patient.

PDF report: SEAT_Alexander _Technique

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