An Important Study showing the Alexander Technique as the preferred modality of study for back pain relief:
Relief for Chronic Back Pain Sufferers
Clinical Trial published in the British Medical Journal show
Alexander Technique lessons are effective and provide long-term benefit
(See the British Medical Journal study online: http://www.bmj.com/cgi/content/full/337/aug19_2/a884)
This randomized controlled trial is one of the few major studies to show significant long-term benefits for patients with chronic non-specific low-back pain. 579 patients were involved in a multi-center clinical trial lead by GP (General Practice) researcher Professor Paul Little, University of Southampton, and GP Professor Debbie Sharp, Bristol University, and funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Health Service Research and Development Fund.
Trial results clearly show that 24 one-to-one lessons in the Alexander Technique led to important patient improvement in function, quality of life and reduction of days in pain. One year after the trial started and following 24 Alexander Technique lessons the number of days in pain was only three per month compared with 21 days in pain in the control group. The average number of activities limited by back pain had fallen by 42%.
The trial assessed benefits provided by Alexander Technique lessons, classical massage and normal GP care. Half the patients allocated to each intervention also received a GP prescription for general aerobic exercise (30 minutes of brisk walking or the equivalent each day). Of all the approaches tested, 24 Alexander Technique lessons, at least half taken within the first three months of the trial, proved to be the most beneficial.
Significantly, a series of six Alexander Technique lessons followed by GP-prescribed exercise was about 70% as beneficial as 24 Alexander Technique lessons alone.
Back pain is the leading cause of disability in Americans under 45 years old. 3
In 2005 Americans spent $85.9 billion looking for relief from back and neck pain through surgery, doctor's visits, X-rays, MRI scans and medications, up from $52.1 billion in 1997, according to a study in the Feb. 13 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). That money hasn't helped reduce the number of sufferers; in 2005, 15 percent of U.S. adults reported back problems—up from 12 percent in 1997.4
 The Medical Research Council funded the trial with £585,000 and the National Health Service Research and Development Fund contributed an additional £186,000.
Links to websites:
I suggest going to http://www.amsatonline.org to learn more about our National Certification, and why it is so important to know what extent of training is required for Certification to be a qualified teacher.
I suggest going to http://acatnyc.org to find out more about my training; The American Center for the Alexander Technique, located in the heart of New York City, is the oldest and largest school in North America, and celebrates a faculty of expert teachers and trainers. There is also an mp3 download you can receive, if you spend at least $10 in donation to ACAT. (This is my own creation, so I am very proud of it! The mp3 contains a 35 minute "self lesson" that is VERY helpful for stress reduction and back pain reduction. )
If you are interested in becoming an Alexander Teacher yourself, I cannot recommend ACAT highly enough. and would be happy to speak with you more about the requirements of training here.
For a list of teachers, and workshops and lectures in the greater Philadelphia area, please visit to find out Alexander Technique Teachers of Greater Philadelphia for more information.
Here is a study done at Johns Hopkins University, on the positive effects of taking Alexander lessons for osteoporosis:
Here is a very interesting study done with surgeons learning the Alexander Technique for back pain prevention. This study proves the effectiveness perhaps more than any other, on applying the principles of the Technique in the work place:
This is a case study of a 49 year old woman with back pain, and how lessons in the Alexander Technique reduced her pain levels:
This study has put the Alexander Technique "on the map" as a recommended complimentary therapy for reducing back pain. It shows the value of the Alexander work for musicians, and anyone suffering from the discomfort of ordinary misuse of the body:
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