Big Sky Studio: The Alexander Technique

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Candace Cox

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Training to teach the Alexander Technique is a grueling process involving a minimum of three years of study. Official credentials are given and monitored by two international governing bodies, STAT (and its local affiliations throughout the world), or ATI - check that your teacher is accredited by at least one. Both of these bodies have their own web sites, including detailed information on the Alexander Technique, and lists of certified teachers:

Alexander Technique International  www.ati-net.com

The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (UK)  www.stat.org.uk
in Canada, www.canstat.ca
in Australia, www.austat.org.au
in the USA,  www.alexandertech.org

Scientific Research on the Alexander Technique
For the last hundred years, a massive amount of anecdotal evidence has accumulated regarding the success of the Alexander technique in dealing with a myriad of health problems. Alexander’s own writings were published in the British Medical Journal to great acclaim in the 1930’s, and in the 1960’s some experiments on Alexander and measurable "functional changes’ were conducted at Tuft’s University.

It is only recently, however, that a concerted effort has been made to increase the medical ‘validity’ of the Alexander Technique. Recently published studies on at AT and back pain and Parkinson’s disease, as well as an earlier trial looking at the AT and lung function have firmly established the AT as an established methodology offering benefits to students/patients that the established medical world cannot.

Changing our patterns of movement and thought, our general ‘functioning’, has significant impact on our overall health, and leads to measurable improvement in conditions considered chronic by existing medical standards.

Further Research www.stat.org.uk/pages/research2.htm

Chronic Back Pain
This study found a course of Alexander lessons left patients with significantly reduced pain ­ and that a year later, they continued to be almost pain free. In the follow-up, the difference between patients undergoing a course of Alexander (24 lessons) as opposed to sticking with ‘standard medical care’ was 3 days of pain in a month ­ as opposed three weeks under physician care.

To read an abstract of the study as published by the British Medical Journal, click here.

The British Medical Journal also prepared a very informative video on the Alexander technique to accompany the publication of the study. See Video below.

Parkinson's Disease
An initial trial in 2002 looking at the effect of Alexander lessons on students dealing with Parkinson’s disease was so successful that it was followed by a more in-depth study in 2004.

To read the abstract from the study, click here: http://cre.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/16/7/695
To read the full study, click here: http://www.londonalexander.co.uk/Retentionofskills2004.pdf

Respiratory Function
To view the study on the Alexander technique and respiratory function, click here:
www.chestjournal.org/content/102/2/486.full.pdf+html?sid=d0eb13cd-9993-4031-8037-0be1d87411fe

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In the Press
With the conclusion of the study on the AT and chronic pain, more and more quality articles on the Alexander Technique are being published.  Watch below as we update and add our favorites periodically.

The Alexander Technique and Drumming
http://www.musicradar.com/tuition/drums/how-to-improve-posture-with-the-alexander-technique-part-1-202601

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From the British Medical Journal, and some history on the Alexander Technique

 

General Interest