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Videnskabelige artikler om Alexanderteknik

Following is an annotated bibliography of selected research studies involving the Alexander Technique.  All were published in peer-reviewed scientific journals or presented at conferences with peer-reviewed abstracts.

Following AT instruction, there was a significant reduction in knee pain and stiffness and an improvement in function which appeared to be maintained at 15 months post-baseline. This study demonstrates the potential efficacy of interventions, such as the AT, which can successfully modify muscle activation patterns in patients with knee OA.

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.

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.

A high quality clinical trial carried out in an experimental setting demonstrating the therapeutic value and effectiveness of Alexander Technique (AT) lessons for chronic back pain.  Findings suggest that lessons in the AT are feasible, acceptable and beneficial in terms of improving quality of life and patients’ management of pain as well as reducing pain related NHS costs by half. Greatest changes were found in how the patients/students managed their pain (more than half stopped or reduced their medication) and the impact that the pain had on their daily lives.

Download full report here (will open in new window)

The aim of this review was to systematically evaluate available evidence for the effectiveness and safety of instruction in the Alexander Technique in health-related conditions. Conclusions: 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.

Video of author summarizing study.

Foment cover

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. Full report in English here and Spanish here.

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.

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.

(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.

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.

Videos (Part I and Part II) about the study from the British Medical Journal

Audio interview with the lead author of the ATEAM study.

Subjects from the ATEAM study (above) were interviewed about their experience with the Alexander Technique lessons and exercise. Whereas many obstacles to exercising were reported, few barriers to learning the Alexander Technique were described, since it ‘made sense’, could be practiced while carrying out everyday activities or relaxing, and the teachers provided personal advice and support. (Abstract)

This case report describes the use of the Alexander Technique with a client with a 25-year history of low back pain. After lessons, her postural responses and balance improved and her pain decreased. The introduction includes a thorough explanation of the Alexander Technique from a scientific perspective.

Effects of Alexander Technique on Muscle Activation During a Computer-Mouse Task: Potential for Reduction in Repetitive Strain Injuries. Shafarman E, Geisler MW (2003). American Psychological Association Convention, Toronto, Canada.

In this preliminary study of computer mouse use, subjects without Alexander Technique training could reduce muscle activation only by slowing down, whereas subjects with Alexander Technique experience were able to reduce muscle activation while continuing to move rapidly. Implications for prevention of repetitive strain injury are discussed. The work was written up in Alexander Journal, 21. Available from the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (an affiliated society in the United Kingdom) or from the lead author of the study: E. Shafarman.

This study assigned 93 subjects to receive Alexander Technique lessons, massage, or no treatment. AT lessons (but not massage) led to significant improvement in self-assessed disability, both immediately after the lessons and six months later.

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.

This study examined respiratory function in adults. Spirometry tests demonstrated that Alexander Technique lessons led to improvement of respiratory muscular function.

Chronic pain sufferers participated in a multiple-intervention study. During the study, after three months, and one year later, the subjects rated the Alexander Technique as the most helpful method for relieving chronic pain.

Postural habits can be profoundly affected by the Alexander Technique, specifically by learning and applying the concept of inhibition. Frank Pierce Jones was a pioneer in the study of human movement, and a teacher of the Alexander Technique. A collection of his publications can be found in the book Freedom to Change – The Development and Science of the Alexander Technique (available in AmSAT Bookstore).

The following list includes a Nobel Laureate speech and a book.

Nobel Lecture entitled Ethology and Stress Diseases. Tinbergen N (1973).

Nikolaas Tinbergen, Nobel Laureate, wrote about F. M. Alexander, the importance of Alexander’s discoveries and the benefits he and his wife experienced from lessons.  He strongly recommended it as a sophisticated form of rehabilitation for all stress-related diseases, i.e., rheumatism, high blood pressure, breathing problems and sleep disorders.

Video of Nikolaas Tinbergen’s Nobel lecture, the last third of which is devoted to his discussion of Alexander’s work and its various beneficial effects.

A Study of Stress Amongst Professional Musicians. Nielsen M (1994). In: The Alexander Technique: Medical and Physiological Aspects, Chris Stevens (Ed.) STAT Books, London.

This study examined performance stress in musicians, and found that the Alexander Technique was as effective as beta-blocker medications in controlling the stress response during an orchestra performance.

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