Research overview

There is a growing evidence base for the effectiveness of Alexander lessons for people with a variety of health-related conditions, including back pain and neck painOther research is beginning to explain some of the fundamental changes – including to movement coordination and balance – that occur in people taking lessons and contribute to the observed health benefits.

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References

  1. Little P; Lewith G; Webley F; et al. Randomised controlled trial of Alexander Technique lessons; exercise and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain. British Medical Journal 2008;337:a884.
  2. Little P, Stuart B, Stokes M, Nicholls C, Roberts M, et al. Alexander Technique and supervised physiotherapy exercises in back pain (ASPEN): a four-group randomised feasibility trial. Efficacy Mech Eval 2014;1(2).
  3. Vickers AP; Ledwith F; Gibbens AO. The impact of the Alexander Technique on chronic mechanical low back pain (unpublished report). 2000.
  4. Cacciatore TW. Improvement in automatic postural coordination following Alexander Technique lessons in a person with low back pain. Physical Therapy 2005;85:565–78.
  5. 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. Alexander Technique lessons or acupuncture sessions for persons with chronic neck pain: A randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine 2015;163:653–62.
  6. Woodman J, Ballard K, Hewitt C, MacPherson H. Self-efficacy and self-care-related outcomes following Alexander Technique lessons for people with chronic neck pain in the ATLAS randomised, controlled trial. European Journal of Integrative Medicine 2018;17:64–71. doi: 10.1016/j.eujim.2017.11.006.
  7. McClean S, Brilleman S, Wye L. What is the perceived impact of Alexander Technique lessons on health status, costs and pain management in the real life setting of an English hospital? The results of a mixed methods evaluation of an Alexander Technique service for those with chronic back pain. BMC Health Services Research 2015;15:293.
  8. Hawksley H, French K, Benson C, Hemphrey L. Alexander Technique in the management of chronic pain: an audit cycle in a community pain service. British Pain Society Annual Conference. Liverpool, UK 2012.
  9. Stallibrass C; Sissons P; Chalmers C. Randomized; controlled trial of the Alexander Technique for idopathic Parkinson’s disease. Clinical Rehabilitation 2002;16:695–708.
  10. Stallibrass C. An evaluation of the Alexander Technique for the management of disability in Parkinson’s disease – a preliminary study. Clinical Rehabilitation 1997;11: 8–12.
  11. Stallibrass C; Frank C; Wentworth K. Retention of skills learnt in Alexander Technique lessons: 28 people with idiopathic Parkinson’s disease. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2005;9:150–7.
  12. National Institute of Care and Excellence. Parkinson’s disease in adults. July 2017. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ng71.
  13. Cohen RG, Gurfinkel VS, Kwak E, Warden AC, Horak FB. Lighten up: Specific postural instructions affect axial rigidity and step initiation in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair 2015;29:878–88.
  14. Gleeson M, Sherrington C, Lo S, Keay L. Can the Alexander Technique improve balance and mobility in older adults with visual impairments? A randomized controlled trial. Clinical Rehabilitation 2015;29:244–60.
  15. Dennis RJ. Functional reach improvement in normal older women after Alexander Technique instruction. Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences 1999;54:M8–M11.
  16. Batson G, Barker S. Feasibility of group delivery of the Alexander Technique on balance in the community-dwelling elderly: preliminary findings. Activities Adaptation and Aging 2008;32:103–119.
  17. Glover L, Kinsey D, Clappison DJ, Jomeen J. “I never thought I could do that…”: Outcomes from an Alexander Technique pilot group for older people with a fear of falling. European Journal of Integrative Medicine 2018;17:79–85.
  18. O’Neill MM, Anderson DI, Allen DD, et al. Effects of Alexander Technique training experience on gait behavior in older adults. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2015;19:473–81.
  19. Hamel KA, Ross C, Schultz B, et al. Older adult Alexander Technique practitioners walk differently than healthy age-matched controls.  Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies 2016;20:751–60.
  20. Barlow, W. Psychosomatic problems in postural re-education. Lancet 1955;24 Sep:659-64.
  21. Jones FP and Gilley FM. Head balance and sitting posture: an x-ray analysis. J Psychology 1960;49:289-93.
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  23. Stevens C, Bojsen-Moller F, Soames RW. (1989) The influence of initial posture on the sit-to-stand movement. European Journal of Applied Physiology & Occupational Physiology. 58 (7): 687–92.
  24. Klein SD, Bayard C, Wolf The Alexander Technique and musicians: a systematic review of controlled trials. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2014;14:414. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-414.
  25. Preece, SJ, Jones RK, Brown C, et al. Reductions in co-contraction following neuromuscular re-education in people with knee osteoarthritis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2016; 17:372.
  26. Austin JHM and Ausubel P. Enhanced respiratory muscular function in normal adults after lessons in proprioceptive musculoskeletal education without exercises. Chest 1992;102:486–90.
  27. Schulte D, Walach H. F.M. Alexander technique in the treatment of stuttering- a randomized single-case intervention study with ambulatory monitoring. Psychother Psychosom. 2006;75(3):190-1.
  28. Reddy PP, Reddy TP, Roig-Francoli J et al. The impact of the Alexander Technique on improving posture and surgical ergonomics during minimally invasive surgery: pilot study. Journal of Urology 2011;186:1658–62.
  29. Cacciatore TW, Gurfinkel VS, Horak FB, Cordo PJ, Ames KE. Increased dynamic regulation of postural tone through Alexander Technique training. Human Movement Science 2011;30:74–89.
  30. Cacciatore TW, Gurfinkel VS, Horak FB, Day BL. Prolonged weight-shift and altered spinal coordination during sit-to-stand in practitioners of the Alexander Technique. Gait Posture 2011;34:496–501.
  31. Cacciatore TW, Mian OS, Peters A, Day BL. Neuromechanical interference of posture on movement: evidence from Alexander Technique teachers rising from a chair. Journal of Neurophysiology 2014;112:719–29.
  32. Ballard K. Ideomotor principle – was Alexander correct? In: Rennie C, Shoop T, Thapen K (Eds.), Connected Perspectives – The Alexander Technique in context. Hite Books and Publishing, London, 2015, pp.49−71.
  33. Baer JL, Vasavada A, Cohen RG. Neck posture is influenced by anticipation of stepping. Human Movement Science 2019;64:108–122.
  34. Woodman JP and Moore NR. Evidence for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons in medical and health-related conditions: a systematic review. International Journal of Clinical Practice 2012;66:98–112.
  35. Woodman J, Ballard K, Glover L. Effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons for people with musculoskeletal conditions. Poster presentation at the Society for Back Pain Research annual conference, 3–4 November 2016, Preston, UK. Published in: Bone & Joint Journal Orthopaedic Proceedings 2017; 99-B (Suppl 10):7.