The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique is committed to
seeking and encouraging relevant scientific research. This section and
its associated links are intended to provide information about work
undertaken so far and future proposals.
As early as the 1940s, supporters and teachers of the Alexander
Technique expressed interest in conducting objective research into
both the validity and the effects of the Alexander Technique, and have
endeavoured to undertake such research. In spite of the interest shown,
research initiatives have progressed only gradually, for two main
reasons. Firstly, since the inception of the Alexander Technique in
the late 19th century, public recognition has increased only slowly.
This is largely due to the requirement for individual instruction for
each pupil, as well as the large commitment of time and individual
attention required to train new teachers.
For many years, the profession focused on training and teaching,
while the bodies that allocate funding for scientific research were
unlikely to give priority to a discipline practised by a relatively
small population. Secondly, it has taken time to identify appropriate,
feasible methods for studying the Technique. A good deal of progress
has been made in this direction, facilitated by the fact that the
principles of the Alexander Technique are consistent with conventional
FM Alexander himself was ambivalent about research into
his work. On the one hand, he was keen to establish the credibility
of his technique. On the other hand, he feared that his work might be
misunderstood if analysed according to the scientific knowledge of
his own time. Some neurological discoveries made during Alexander's
lifetime appeared highly relevant, but attempts by his supporters to
link the Technique to particular findings tended to limit appreciation
of its wider scope.
Only more recently has a clearer picture of the total
neurophysiological pattern of human movement and balance emerged
from academic research - a pattern which echoes many of the empirical
observations made by FM Alexander over the course of his life's work.
These new scientific developments have also made it easier to identify appropriate areas for