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Research into Alexander Technique

edited January 2010 in Please read

I was watching this documentary about meditation. As you see, it shows how theres research going on regarding how meditation affects the brain.

Are there any studys like this for AT, regarding MRI brain scanning/structure I mean?

I hope so,
if not then a teacher should write to Dr.Sara Lazar in Massachusetts to get some done!!


  • None that I know of; but I just listened to an interview where the Technique was described as "Moving meditation for Westerners"; so there's obviously scope for a study.
  • which interview was that?
    "moving meditation" is bareable, the "westerners" bit sounds like bit of dig!

    i did joke with a buddhist friend once that meditation is a 'poor man's alexander' which made him laugh. actually i did recommend Alexander to him because, although he meditated for hours everyday, he had severe chronic back pain.

    Dont you think it a shame that there seems to be a lack research done in these regards? I guess eventually it will get done, its early days for this type of technology.
  • It was a Buddhist monk who was being quoted, in an audio interview with an Alexander teacher, John Nicholls, which can be downloaded from I suppose he saw things from an Eastern perspective. The story about your friend's back pain reaffirms my conviction that meditation places undue reverence on the 'mind' at the expense of the 'body', in the pursuit of 'consciousness' - ie, sit in discomfort and ignore any cries of pain as distractions. It's my impression that the seat of consciousness, at least while we're alive, is our body, of which our brain is part, with our mind simply acting as a sort of chaperone.

    I'm confident the research you talk of will happen, one day.
  • Yes, he'd been meditating for 20 years+ but had no idea how to combat back pain.

    I've seen videos on youtube of buddhists with truly dreadful posture which did make me wonder the effects of it on the body.
  • There was an article in STATNews about a year ago - someone has done a study of hands-on by an Alexander Technique teacher to someone during an MRI scan. I try to fish it out and give a summary - am slightly impaired at the moment with a fractured humerus - not ideal for an AT teacher!! Will post in a few days.
  • I found it! The pdf file of the relevant article can be found at

    The first part is relevant and deals with the study of At during MRI scan.

    I hope this works as a hyperlink.

    Apologies for lack of eloquence - I only broke my humerus but it seems to have affected my brain.
  • good find!
  • Dr. David Garlick;s book ""The Lost Sixth Sense"" and Dr.Chris Stevens'book ""Towards aPhysiology of the Alexander Technique"" are both scientific studies of AT by a proffesor of anatomy and a professor of bio=engineering respectively (with diagrams). Why (oh why) has STAT let both these important books become out of print ?

    Then there.s the work of Frank Pierce Jones
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