Alexander Technique

Rating

Category: Complementary and Alternative Therapies

Injury Type: Acute

What is it?

The Alexander Technique is a form of education that enables the individual to recognise and overcome harmful tension in their body. It aims to change movement habits in our normal day to day lives. Alexander Technique involves a simple and practical method for improving ease and freedom of movement, balance, support and coordination.

The instructor guides and teaches you the appropriate amount of effort for a particular activity, giving you more energy for all your activities. It is not a series of treatments or exercises, but rather a re-education of the mind and body. The Alexander Technique is a method which helps a person discover a new balance in the body by releasing unnecessary tension.

How does it work?

The technique is believed to work on the basis that the mind and body are in unity. The teacher's hands work gently to encourage the release of over-tight muscles, the strengthening of those that have been under-used and to restore the correct relationship between the head, neck and back. The patient reinforces this process by a sequence of directed thought.

Is it effective?

This technique may be used to assist with neck and back pain. There are no studies directly assessing the effectiveness of Alexander Technique and whiplash.

Are there any disadvantages?

There has been no research on the adverse effects of Alexander Technique. Most teachers consider twenty to forty lessons are generally required; therefore, it may be an expensive treatment option.

Where do you get it?

A listing of teachers in your area can be found at the website for The Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique. Consult the Yellow Pages for a listing of teachers.

Recommendations

The use of the Alexander Technique cannot be recommended following whiplash because of a lack of research evidence. More research is required.

Key References

  • AUSTAT 2006, The Australian Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, viewed 30 October 2007.
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