The Alexander Technique is primarily educational in nature. Learning and applying it may have therapeutic benefits and preventive effects on the health of the individual. Anecdotal evidence shows that people with the following conditions benefit from learning and applying the Technique to the extent that the way they use themselves (their cerebral and neuro-muscular systems) is a factor in the causation and/or continuance of the particular disorder.
This is intended as information for doctors wishing to refer their patients to the Alexander Technique.
The Technique has been established in this country for over 100 years and has had support from prominent physicians and surgeons ever since its inception. Lessons can be given privately, or they can, in certain circumstances, be paid for through the National Health Service in the following ways :
Some 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 do so on a GP's recommendation.
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.
The Parkinson's Disease Society has funded research into the Alexander Technique; as has The Foundation for Integrated Medicine, The Migraine Trust, The Dyspraxia Foundation, The Marfan Association UK, The Scoliosis Association (UK); and many other patients' self-help groups acknowledge the value of the Technique.
Details of research, including a study published in the British Medical Journal proving the effectiveness of the Alexander Technique in the treatment of back pain can be found at Medical Research>>
For other medical applications of the Technique, see the box on the right.
Further details about the Technique and research papers are available from the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT).
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ANNE WHITEHEAD MSTAT