Resources

Books:

These books are excellent sources, written by qualified teachers of the Alexander Technique. Other great sources for AT books are Mouritz Press http://www.mouritz.co.uk/ and Mornum Time Press http://www.mtpress.com/

The Use of the Self, by F. M. Alexander

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0752843915/ref=as_li_tl?qty=40&op=Purchase+at+Amazon.com&form_build_id=form-2a551f34e58849ab8b1408f84c61cd46&form_id=uc_product_add_to_cart_form_16&aac_nid=16

With an introduction by Wilfred Barlow, and an introduction by Professor John Dewey reprinted from the 1939 edition. Includes two prefaces by F. M. Alexander. Relates how, after the loss of his voice, Alexander pioneered a method of improving the “use” of himself and cured his vocal problems without medical aid. Describes the incorrect “use of the self”: how people stand, sit and move in a manner that may cause suffering.

Freedom to Change, by Frank Pierce Jones

http://www.mtpress.com/b04_freedom.htm

Jones details the history of the Alexander Technique, early scientific studies, and his own experiences as a student and teacher.

The Alexander Technique, a Skill for Life, by Pedro de Alcantara

http://www.amazon.com/Alexander-Technique-Skill-Life/dp/1861262868/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441340984&sr=1-1&keywords=pedro+de+alcantara

The Alexander Technique: A Skill for Life explains the principles of the Technique and uses testimonials, case histories, photos, and line drawings to illustrate its applications to medicine, personal relationships, sports and exercise, and the performing arts.

Indirect Procedures: A Musician’s Guide to the Alexander Technique, by Pedro de Alcantara

 

http://www.amazon.com/Indirect-Procedures-Musicians-Alexander-Paperbacks/dp/0198165692/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1441340984&sr=1-5&keywords=pedro+de+alcantara

Indirect Procedures contains practical advice related to all areas of musical activity, from technique, sound production, and interpretation, to daily practice, rehearsal routines, and the mitigating of stage fright and health problems.

 

Websites:

American Society for the Alexander Technique http://www.amsatonline.org/

Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique http://www.stat.org.uk/

 

Scientific Studies:

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

 

Instructions based on the Alexander Technique given to people with Parkinson’s Disease led to reduced postural sway, reduced axial postural tone, greater modifiability of tone, and a smoother center of pressure trajectory during step initiation, possibly indicating greater movement efficiency.

 

Neuromuscular interference of posture on movement: evidence of Alexander Technique teachers rising from 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

 

While Alexander Technique (AT) teachers have been reported to stand up by shifting weight gradually as they incline the trunk forward, healthy untrained (HU) adults appear unable to rise in this way. This study examines the hypothesis that HU have difficulty rising smoothly, and that this difficulty relates to reported differences in postural stiffness between groups.

 

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. (June 2012) Project Report. UWE Bristol, Bristol.

 

A high quality clinical trial carried out in an experimental setting has demonstrated the therapeutic value and effectiveness of Alexander Technique (AT) lessons for chronic back pain. The findings suggest that lessons in the AT are feasible, acceptable and beneficial in terms of improving quality of life and patients’ management of pain.

 

Evidence for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons in medical and health-related conditions: a systematic review  Woodman J.P., Moore N.R.  International Journal of Clinical Practice January 2012

 

Strong evidence exists for the effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons for chronic back pain and moderate evidence in Parkinson’s-associated disability. Preliminary evidence suggests that Alexander Technique lessons may lead to improvements in balance skills in the elderly, in general chronic pain, posture, respiratory function and stuttering, but there is insufficient evidence to support recommendations in these areas.

Alexander Technique: Training for the self-management of workers to prevent musculoskeletal disorders  Mora i Griso, Mireia. Foment del_ Treball Nacional de Catalunya (2011)

A descriptive and comparative study of precedents where the Alexander Technique has been applied as a tool to prevent occupational risks in different organisational settings throughout the world.

 

Prolonged weight-shift and altered spinal coordination during sit-to-stand in practictioners of the Alexander Technique. Cacciatore TW, Gurfinkel VS, Horak FB, Day B. Gait and Posture, June 2011.

This study compared coordination of 14 teachers of the Alexander Technique to 15 healthy control subjects during rising from a chair. The Alexander Technique teachers were able to achieve a smoother, more continuous movement than the control subjects, consistent with previous claims that the Alexander Technique teaches more efficient movement.

 

Increased dynamic regulation of postural tone through Alexander Technique training Cacciatore TW, Gurfinkel VS, Horak FB, Cordo PJand Ames KE.  Human Movement Science, 2011 February; 30(1): 74–89.

 

This study quantified postural tone by measuring resistance in the hips, trunk, and neck to very slow twisting during standing. Comparing teachers of the Alexander Technique (who undergo 1600 hours of training over three years) to age-matched control subjects, resistance was 50% lower while phase advance was greater. Similar changes (to a lesser degree) occurred in subjects with lower back pain after undergoing ten weekly lessons in the Alexander Technique. These results suggest that the Alexander Technique enhances dynamic modulation of postural tone.

 

The Impact of the Alexander Technique in 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.

(Poster presentation at The American Urological Association Annual Meeting, San Francisco.)

This pilot 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.

Randomised Controlled Trial of Alexander Technique Lessons, Exercise, and Massage (ATEAM) for Chronic and Recurrent Back Pain. Little P et al (2008). British Medical Journal 337:a884.  

 

In this study, 579 subjects with chronic and recurrent back pain were randomized to receive massage, six Alexander Technique lessons, 24 Alexander Technique lessons, or no intervention. In addition, half of the subjects were encouraged to walk regularly. A year later, the group with no intervention had 21 days of pain per month. The group with massage had 14 days of pain per month. The group with six Alexander Technique lessons reported 11 days of pain per month, and the group with 24 Alexander Technique lessons reported three days of pain per month. There were no adverse effects.

 

Links to additional studies are available on the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT)’s website: http://www.amsatonline.org/research

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