Alexander Technique

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Information for Doctors

The Alexander Technique has been established in the UK for over 100 years and has had support from prominent physicians and surgeons ever since its inception.

The Technique is primarily educational in nature, but learning and applying it may have therapeutic benefits and preventive consequences for the health of the individual. Anecdotal evidence shows that patients with the following conditions may benefit from applying the Technique to the extent that the way they use themselves (their cerebral and neuromuscular systems) is a factor in the causation and/or continuance of the particular disorder.

· Spondylosis · Scoliosis · Parkinson’s disease · Osteoarthritis · Cerebral palsy · Multiple sclerosis · Functional disorders · Dystonias · Asthma · Hyperventilation · Migraine (some types) · Tension Headaches · Stress · High blood pressure · Backache and/or neck ache, where posture is a factor · Some voice disorders and vocal cord nodules · Non-specific regional pain syndrome · Backache in pregnancy · Anxiety states (including performance anxiety) · Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction · Rehabilitation after stroke, injury, operation or other treatment

The Parkinson’s Disease Society has funded research into the Alexander Technique (Click here to link to the paper) as has The Foundation for Integrated Medicine. Many patients’ self-help groups such as The Migraine Trust, The Dyspraxia Trust, The Marfan Association UK, The Scoliosis Association (UK) acknowledge the value of the Technique.

The British Association for Performing Arts Medicine endorses the value of the Technique in the management of performers’ medical problems. Leading specialists in the field routinely refer their patients for Alexander lessons in a wide variety of disorders.

Increasingly, as doctors gain experience of how cost-effective a course of lessons can be in the management of many disorders, they are referring their patients to Alexander Technique Teachers. The NICE guidelines (to Doctors) for Parkinson’s Disease now include a recommendation for patients to learn the Alexander Technique.

Lessons can be given privately, or they can, in certain circumstances, be paid for through the National Health Service, either in a few hospitals throughout the UK, (e.g. Westmoreland General Hospital, Kingston-Upon-Thames Hospital) or in General Practice. A GP may obtain funding for Alexander Technique at the discretion of the local Primary Care Group. (Lessons must be given in the GP’s surgery, not at the Alexander teacher’s premises.)

Many of the major private medical insurance companies accept claims for Alexander lessons where these have been recommended by a medically qualified specialist (ie. a Consultant) as part of his/her plan of management for that patient. Some (eg. ACTPLAN, I.G.I.) do so on a GP’s recommendation.

Published by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
1st Floor, Linton House, 39-51 Highgate Road, London NW5 1RS
Tel. 020 7284 3338