The Alexander Technique Forums
The Alexander Technique Forums
Forum is now read-only.
edited May 2005
This is the original, UK based Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique
And these are the results of the BMJ survey published today - makes interesting reading!
Surely there are some comments in respect of this recent survey??
For me the most interesting feature of this report was that:
"Six lessons followed by exercise were about 70% as effective as 24 lessons."
Since the 'exercise' apparently consisted largely of walking, this does make me wonder how many lessons are strictly necessary; particularly as the Technique has the reputation of being an expensive and long drawn out process that requires a great deal of hands on work in order to be learned. I've always felt that diminishing returns sets in fairly early on, and this result suggests this is the case.
Six lessons is well within most budgets, of both time and money, I should have thought.
Related to the findings of the trial published in BJM in August 2008 and the benefit of AT for Chronic Lower Back Pain sufferers: I just heard the end of an interesting programme on Radio 4 - CASE NOTES - it will be repeated tomorrow at 16.30 (tomorrow means Wed February 3, 2010):
Quote from the BBC website:
"Dr Mark Parter meets patients on the Active Back Programme in Stanmore, North London.
For 15 years the Active Back Programme at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has been helping people with long term back pain learn to live with their condition and be physically active. ......Physiotherapists, psychologists and occupational therapists give advice ....."
--end of quote
You can listen to it with iplayer. Apparently, it costs Â£8000 to send a patient on that programme - well in excess of 6 Alexander Technique lessons.
NICE - although acknowledging the benefit of Alexander Technique, does not advise GPs to prescribe lessons, because (their words!) it is not cost-effective.
I listened to this and found it fascinating. What a shame there's no Alexander teacher on the team. Maybe the physiotherapist and the occupational therapist would consider 'use' their remit; but to hear the patients being talked through some Jacobson relaxation therapy, and then being advised how to stand in front of the sink without stressing their backs, by two separate 'experts', as part of a three week intensive that not only costs Â£8000 but promises to enable people to live with their pain, rather than lessen or even minimise it, makes me wonder why our work is still in the shadows.
I think it would be well worthwhile a teacher from North London contacting the doctor in charge - who sounded more than open to non orthodox approaches - and suggesting they try the Technique out. I can't conceive that a majority of the patients who get selected for the program - the vetting procedure sounded quite severe - wouldn't benefit enormously; and what a marvellous situation for the Alexander teacher, to have three weeks to 'make a difference' to extremely motivated people who don't have to go anywhere or even pay for their lessons - they would be queuing up outside the door!