New study reveals the benefits of Alexander Technique
Lessons for chronic pain
Chronic pain sufferers may benefit from learning the Alexander Technique in NHS outpatient pain clinics according to a new service evaluation project. More than half of the service users in the study stopped or reduced their use of medications between the start of the lessons and three months, making cost savings to the NHS.
UWE Bristol researcher Dr Stuart McClean working in collaboration with Dr Lesley Wye from the University of Bristol, health practitioners and The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT) carried out an 11 month exploratory study of a time-limited Alexander Technique teaching service, as an additional pain management option in the Pain Clinic at St Michael's Hospital,
Bristol.Key findings of the evaluation are:
An Alexander Technique teaching service in a pain clinic can make a difference to how people manage their pain and reduce their pain related NHS costs including medication, tests and investigations and consultations with GPs and hospital doctors.
Most patients liked the Alexander Technique lessons and benefited in terms of their day-to-day relationship to their pain.
Awareness and increased understanding of pain also led to some behaviour change and changes in self-knowledge from the patient.
Alexander Technique Improves Postural Tone
Scientific findings indicate the Alexander Technique changes how anti-gravity muscle tension is regulated and that it reduces stiffness along the spine and hips.
Nikolaas Tinbergen Nobel Prize Speech on Alexander Technique
Nikolaas Tinbergen, Nobel Laureate, devoted a significant portion of his Nobel prize lecture in 1973 to talking about F. M. Alexander, the Alexander Technique, and the importance of Alexander's discoveries and the benefits he and his wife experienced from lessons.
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Did you know?
The likes of playwright George Bernard Shaw, Archbishop of Canterbury William Temple, and Nobel Prize Winner Professor Nikolas Tinbergen learned directly from F.M. Alexander (1869-1955). More recently, Sting, Paul Newman, Dame Judy Dench, Robin Williams and Tony Buzan followed in their footsteps all practicing the Alexander Technique to promote well being, alleviating stress, reducing pain and gaining confidence.
Why Implement the Alexander Technique in your Company?
Implementing the Alexander Technique in the workplace , for example, would enable employees to become aware of and change mental and physical habits that are contributing to Back Pain, RSI and Stress. This investment in prevention or early intervention would pay back in days lost from work, insurance and legal claims as well as contributing to higher employee performance.
Dr Stuart McClean who led the evaluation explains, "We have seen from a previous randomised controlled trial that Alexander Technique lessons were found to be both clinically and cost effective for the management of low back pain in primary care. This study builds on those findings to evaluate the provision of Alexander Technique lessons within a hospital out-patient Pain Management Clinic. It focused on a group of 43 patients with chronic or recurrent pain, 75% of which had back pain. All 43 were not getting better or responding to conventional treatment and all expressing an interest in Alexander Technique lessons as a pain management approach."