If you’d like to read about some of the research that’s been done on the Alexander Technique, here are links to some studies.
Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for persons with chronic neck pain: A randomized trial
MacPherson H, Tilbrook H, Richmond S, Woodman J, Ballard K, Atkin K, Bland M, Eldred J, Essex H, Hewitt C, Hopton A, Keding A, Lansdown H, Parrott S, Torgerson D, Wenham A, Watt I
Annals of Internal Medicine Nov. 2015, Vol. 163, No. 9
The Alexander Technique Lessons or Acupuncture Sessions study shows that Alexander Technique leads to a significant long-term reduction in chronic neck pain and improved self-care ability to reduce or manage pain without medication.
Magazine article: https://issuu.com/backcare/docs/backcare_talkback_4_2015/20
Alexander Technique and chronic back pain
Little P et al (2008). British Medical Journal 337:a884.
Patients with chronic low back pain given 24 Alexander Technique lessons had a significant reduction in pain from 21 days to 3 days per month, and an improvement in functioning and quality of life by “limiting muscle spasm, strengthening postural muscles, improving co-ordination and flexibility and decompressing the spine”.
“Taking charge, choosing a new direction: A service evaluation of Alexander Technique lessons for pain clinic patients (SEAT): An approach to pain management.“
McClean, S. and Wye, L. (2012) Project Report. University of the West of England, Bristol.
A clinical trial demonstrated the therapeutic value and effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons for chronic back pain. Lessons were found to be feasible, acceptable and beneficial in terms of improving quality of life and patients’ management of pain. More than half of the patients stopped or reduced their medication, and the reduced impact that the pain had on their daily lives led to some behavioral changes and changes in awareness and self-knowledge on the part of the patients, leading to 50% reductions in pain related NHS costs.
“Lighten Up: Specific Postural Instructions Affect Axial Rigidity and Step Initiation in Patients with Parkinson’s Disease”
Cohen, Rajal et al (2015). Neural Rehabilitation & Neural Repair, Journal of the American Society of Neurorehabilitation
People practicing instructions based on the Alexander Technique experienced a decrease in rigidity in hips, torso and neck (axial rigidity), less compression of the spine, greater postural control, and greater smoothness and ease in initiating movement.
The Impact of the Alexander Technique on Improving Posture and Surgical Ergonomics During Minimally Invasive Surgery: Pilot Study
Reddy P et al. Journal of Urology, October 2011. Volume 186, Issue 4, Supplement, Pages 1658-1662.
This study found that surgeons who underwent instruction in the Alexander Technique experienced a significant improvement in posture and surgical ergonomics as well as decreased surgical fatigue.
Increased dynamic regulation of postural tone through Alexander Technique training.
Cacciatore T., Gurfinkel V., Horak F., Cordo P., Ames, K.
Human Movement Science 2011 Feb;30(1):74-89. doi: 10.1016/j.humov.2010.10.002. Epub 2010 Dec 23.
Results of the study “suggest that postural tone can be altered though training,” as shown in the “dynamic modulation of postural tone” in Alexander teachers and the 29% reduction in axial stiffness of individuals with lower back pain with short-term training in Alexander Technique.
Feasibility of group delivery of the Alexander Technique on balance in the community-dwelling elderly: preliminary findings
Batson G, Barker S. Activities Adaptation and Aging 2008;32:103–119.
This study showed significant improvement in balance skills in elderly people who had received Alexander Technique instruction. The volunteers from residential homes and community centers had an average age of 78 years and nearly all of them had a history of falls. The Alexander Technique instruction consisted of 10 group sessions, each lasting 1.5 hours. Average timed up-and-go for the group improved by almost 2 seconds compared with pre-instruction and the average Fullerton Advanced Balance score for the group also improved.
Neuromechanical interference of posture on movement: evidence from Alexander technique teachers rising from a chair
Timothy W. Cacciatore, Omar S. Mian, Amy Peters, Brian L. Day Journal of Neurophysiology. Published 1 August 2014 Vol. 112 no. 719-729 DOI: 0.1152/jn.00617.2013
The results show that young, healthy adults untrained in the Alexander Technique have more difficulty than the cohort of Alexander Technique teachers standing up smoothly from a seated position due to differences in postural stiffness. “[The teachers’] smooth rises can be explained by heightened dynamic tone control that reduces leg extensor resistance and improves force transmission across the trunk.” The authors suggest that, because of the effect of poor postural regulation on movement coordination, training programs in everyday movements for the elderly “should not address strength or teach greater momentum, but instead address postural control to reduce its interference with movement, leading to more efficient coordination.”
Effects of Alexander Technique training experience on gait behaviour in older adults
Journal of Body & Movement Therapies 2015; 19:473–481
M. O’Neill, M.S., C.S.C.S., D. Anderson, PhD, D. Allen, PT, PhD, C. Ross, B.S., K. Hamel, PhD
The results showed that those who had had Alexander Technique training walked with greater stability and were therefore potentially at less risk of age-related falls, and had superior control of movement.
Older adult Alexander Technique practitioners walk differently than healthy age-matched controls
K. Hamel, PhD, C. Ross, M.S., B. Schultz, M.S., M. O’Neill, M.S., D. Anderson, Ph.D.
This study showed that older Alexander Technique practitioners walked with gait patterns similar to those of younger adults (significantly greater ankle stance range of motion (ROM) and plantar flexion at toe off, and significantly increased hip and knee flexion during the swing phase, when compared to healthy, age-matched controls.
Functional reach improvement in normal older women after Alexander Technique instruction
Dennis (1999). Journal of Gerontology – Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences, 54A(1): M8-M11.
Women aged 65-88 who received 8 Alexander Technique lessons showed a 36% improvement in forward-reaching distance (a common measure of balance control), while control subjects of the same age showed a 6% decrease over the same time-period.
Enhanced respiratory muscular function in normal adults after lessons in proprioceptive musculoskeletal education without exercises.
Austin J, Ausubel P (1992). Chest, 102:486-490.
This study demonstrated that Alexander Technique lessons led to improvement of respiratory muscular function.
For more information on the benefits of the Alexander Technique, see: