Alexander Technique – Scientific Evidence
The earliest scientific research on the Alexander Technique was conducted in the 1940’s by Dr. Wilfred Barlow, a rheumatoglist at Guy’s Hospital in London. His studies showed that lessons in the Technique could help with a wide variety of physical ailments, including back pain, arthritis, cervical spondylosis, breathing disorders and stress conditions such as migraine headaches. Dr. Frank Pierce Jones conducted a series of studies at Tufts University during the 1960s and 70s using electromyography and EMG equipment. His studies demonstrated that the Technique could produce a marked reduction in stress levels.
The pace of scientific and medical research on the Alexander Technique has picked up considerably in recent years.
What the Medical Profession says…
Current examples of clinical research:
Little P et al. Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain British Medical Journal 2008.
This major medical study in England, published by the British Medical Journal in 2008,found that lessons in the Alexander technique have long term benefits for patients withchronic back pain, and are the most cost-effective way to treat back pain (below) and new promising results for knee osteoarthritis.
http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/aug19_2/a884 (full study)
Batson G, Barker S. Effect of group-delivery of the Alexander Technique on balance in the community dwelling elderly: Preliminary findings. Activities Adaptation & Aging. 2008;32:1-18. See my research page for the article.
Websites pointing to clinical research and more information on the Alexander Technique