The following information is provided by the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique (STAT), the recognised professional body of Teachers of The Technique. Further details about the Technique and research papers are available from STAT at www.stat.org.uk.
Medical Applications of The Alexander Technique
The 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.
Backache, neck ache, where posture is a factor
Some voice disorders and vocal cord nodules
High blood pressure
Anxiety states (including performance anxiety)
Temporo-mandibular joint dysfunction
Migraine – some types
Rehabilitation after stroke, injury, operation or other treatment
Prevention of backache in pregnancy
Non-specific regional pain syndrome
Prescribing Alexander Technique In NHS General Practice
A General Practitioner may obtain funding for Alexander Technique at the discretion of the local Primary Care Group.
A General Practitioner may apply to the Local Medical Committee’s Health Promotion Committee for funding to run an AT Health Promotion Clinic.
Note: Lessons must be given in the GP’s surgery not at the Alexander teacher’s premises.
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
Some of the major private medical insurance companies accept claims for Alexander lessons where these have been recommended by a medically qualified specialist (i.e. 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 Trust, The Marfan Association UK, The Scoliosis Association (UK), and many other patients’ self-help groups acknowledge the value of the Technique.