Alexander Technique Austria

Alexander Technik Österreich

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Scientific Research on the AT

 

You can find more detailed information on the latest studies at www.stat.org.uk, the website of STAT (Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique), a British organisation of AT teachers. STAT is the oldest and best established AT institution. You can also find an extensive list of recommended literature on their website.
You may also want to check Robert Rickover's English website: www.alexandertechnique.com. It contains interesting articles and links to scientific studies into the AT.

Support for the theory of the AT

F.M. Alexander's empirical researches were confirmed by the studies of the neurophysiologist and Nobel laureate Sir Charles Sherrington, the anthropologist Raymond Dart, the biologist George Coghill and the pharmacologist Rudolf Magnus. In 1973, the ethologist Nikolas Tinbergen dedicated half of his Nobel Prize speech to the AT (Tinbergen, 1974). Numerous physicians have emphasized the value of the AT, such as in its endorsement by 19 medical doctors published in a letter to the British Medical Journal in 1948.

Empirical evidence for the AT's effectiveness

The effectiveness of the AT has been experimentally confirmed in numerous studies.

Dr. Wilfried Barlow

The first to publish studies on the AT was a medical doctor, W. Barlow. He showed that the AT can help patients suffering from various types of illness and dysfunction. A summary of his findings can be found in his book "The Alexander Technique" (Barlow, 1993).

Prof. Frank Pierce Jones

Prof. Frank Pierce Jones conducted various studies on the AT at the Institute of Experimental Psychology (Tufts University, USA) with the support of the Carnegie Foundation and the US Health Service between 1949 and 1975. His findings revealed that various motor activities required less muscular effort post AT instruction. The findings also indicated a general decrease in tension in the sterno-cleido-mastoid, a muscle involved in the rotation of the head, and an increase in the height of the cervical inter-vertebral discs. Another study showed improvements in breathing and in the quality of singers' voices. A detailed account of Jones' studies is presented in his books "Freedom to change" (1997) and "Collected Writings on the Alexander Technique" (1999).

Christopher Stevens

More recent studies conducted by the physician C. Stevens in collaboration with the Institute for Anatomy at the University of Copenhagen, the Institute for Fundamental Medical Research at Kings College London and the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Surrey, show significant positive changes in important physiological markers. For persons in the study group, movement patterns post AT instruction became more efficient (less energy-consuming) and quicker. Their centre of gravity moved back, their height and shoulder width increased, their breathing became calmer and deeper, their proprioception improved and stress-induced high blood pressure was effectively reduced (Stevens 1989 et al, Stevens, 1995, Nielsen 1994).

Dr. David Garlick

Dr. D. Garlick of the University of New South Wales extensively researched the physiological mechanisms on which the AT is based. His findings are recorded in his booklet "The Lost Sixth Sense: a medical scientist looks at the Alexander Technique" (Garlick, 1990).

Literatur

Contact:
at.at - Alexander Technique Austria, c/o Peter Fuchs, Schratzstraße 5, A - 4040 Linz