Category Archives: Alexander ~ Notices

Alexander Technique Pupils survey

Alexander Technique Pupils – your help is required please!

The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, STAT, wants to collect information about as many Alexander Technique pupils as possible and has created a survey which they would like people to fill in and send to them by email or FREEPOST by 15 December 2009.

STAT wants to improve the services and information that is available to all AT pupils and this survey will help them to do that. The last survey was conducted in 2006 and the 2009 survey will be compared with the previous data collected.

All returned surveys (with contact details on them) will be entered for a prize draw, for the chance to win  ‘The Expanding Self’ by Goddard Binkley. This is one of the books recommended in my Alexander Technique Reading Lists.

If you would like to take part and have your voice heard in the Alexander Technique world, with the chance of winning en excellent AT book, you may download a survey form here:

http://www.stat.org.uk/pupilsurvey2009/

Not tried Alexander Technique Lessons yet but you would like to?
You can find out more information about individual lessons and can contact me here:

/individual-alexander-technique-lessons

AT Friends Videos

It is now possible to see a couple of free videos about the Alexander Technique online, thanks to AT Friends (see my previous blog entry about this group which you can join for a small fee). The videos are of talks given at previous London AT Friends evenings.

The first talk was given by Peter Nobes and was called ‘Alexander Technique in the Office’ and you can see it here:
http://blip.tv/file/2091852

The second video is of Peter Buckoke and Judith Kleinman who talk about ‘Alexander Technique in the Music World’:
http://blip.tv/file/2090124

These two talks illustrate how the Alexander Technique has a wide range of applications beyond the well known uses as a method of helping back pain or improving our posture. Once learned, the Technique can be utilised throughout all our activities and can help prevent problems from developing – and life often seems easier and more pleasant as a result.

If you haven’t had AT lessons yet, why not try the Technique out with an Introductory Lesson, or perhaps you would like to return to learning the Alexander Technique again? You will probably enjoy it, so contact me now!

Alexander Technique at the Back Show 2009

The Back Show 2009 takes place at Earls Court               2 – 4 October

There will be a host of interesting items on display that are designed to help our backs. There will be talks, demonstrations and many exhibitors who will be keen to discuss their approaches to dealing with back pain.

STAT, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, will be one of the Exhibitors there and you will be able to find out more about how Alexander lessons can help people prevent and heal a variety of problems, including back pain. Alexander Teachers will be there to answer your questions and to give short demonstrations of the work. If you would like to find out more, come to the Back show and find us at Stand 311.

http://www.backshowexpo.co.uk/exhibitor-list.php

You can also contact me to find out about individual Alexander Technique lessons in Stoke Newington N16 and my upcoming Introductory Short Course, which is an International Alexander Awareness Week event.

Tel: 020 7254 9206 

Dilys Carrington 1915 – 2009

Dilys Carrington, one of the senior teachers of the Alexander Technique who had lessons and had trained with F M Alexander himself, died peacefully at her home on the 22nd September 2009.

Dilys Jones was born in Stourbridge, Worcestershire and later read Mathematics and Psychology at the University of London. For a short period, she was F M Alexander’s secretary at Ashley Place, where Alexander ran his teacher training course and his private teaching practice. Later, Dilys worked as secretary at the Physical Society.

Dilys began taking lessons with FM Alexander in 1938. In 1940 she married Walter Carrington who had graduated from Alexander’s Teacher Training Course in 1939. They had three children.

Dilys also started to train as a teacher with F M Alexander, shortly before his death in 1955. She then completed her training with Walter Carrington. Together, they developed and ran the Constructive Teaching Centre, which is still running today and is the oldest Alexander Technique Teacher Training Course.

Throughout her teaching career, Dilys was an active and influential member of STAT, the Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique and was a member of the STAT Council for a number of years.

Dilys Carrington will be missed by many people.

Alexander Technique: Cost Effective Option for Chronic Back Pain

ATEAM Trial

There’s more good news for people suffering with back pain. A new article was published in the BMJ on 11 Dec ’08, which gives an economic analysis of the research into different treatments for back pain, including the Alexander Technique, that was published in the BMJ Aug ’08.

The findings of the ATEAM Trial show that massage offered little long term benefit for patients with simple back pain and that a Doctor’s exercise prescription, on its own, resulted in just a moderate effect on disability scores. However, the Alexander Technique performed better, on all the measured outcomes, than either massage or exercise.

If you would like more information about this research, you may read my article on the topic here:  ATEAM Trial into Treatments for Chronic and Recurrent Back Pain

Economic Analysis of the ATEAM Trial

The Economic Analysis of the ATEAM research results has now shown that just six Alexander Technique lessons followed by exercise was ‘the most effective, and cost effective option’. The paper goes on to suggest that this option is one that could possibly be used by the NHS in Primary Care, for patients with chronic back pain.

Meanwhile the Alexander Technique is, of course, still available as private lessons.

It is important to remember that not all back pain can be resolved in just six Alexander Technique lessons plus some exercise. However, it is encouraging to see that the highest significant long term improvement in disability scores plus an improvement the patient’s quality of life, can be seen – and that this also offers a cost effective option for chronic back pain sufferers.

If you would like to read the full economic analysis of the ATEAM Trial visit: BMJ 2008;337:a2656

BMJ publishes ATEAM Research showing 1:1 Alexander Technique lessons help reduce low back pain

There is good news for people interested in the Alexander Technique and for anyone who is suffering from chronic back pain.

The BMJ has just published the results of the ATEAM Research Trial which shows that people who had 1:1 lessons in the Alexander Technique, with a registered teacher, experienced a significant reduction in levels of back pain along with an improvement in the quality of their life. Importantly, these results were sustained one year later.

It is likely that if people maintain their improved use and application of the Technique,  the results could be sustained for even longer but it has not been possible to clinically evaluate this as yet.

Recurrent back pain is extremely common and is one of the main causes of disability and absence from work in developed societies. However, until now there has been little clinical evidence to show which treatments may help people and the ATEAM trial now shows that supervised exercise can have some benefit, massage has less but that the Alexander Technique offers the greatest long term benefit for people with non-specific back pain.

 

BMJ ATEAM.jpg

As one of the registered A/T teachers selected to teach on the ATEAM Research Trial, I am particularly pleased that the results show so clearly that learning the Alexander Technique can be of great benefit for people with low back pain. Alexander teachers have known for a long time that the Technique can help people with chronic back pain and it is good that there is now some statistically significant evidence to this effect that we can put before the scientific and medical community. You can read my article about the ATEAM Trial here.

If you would like more information about the Technique or individual Alexander Technique Lessons in Stoke Newington N16, you may contact me here.

You may also phone me:
+44 (0) 20 7254 9206


Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain
BMJ 2008;337:a884

 

Alexander Technique You Tube Channel

STAT has just announced the launch of the STAT YouTube Channel. 

This interesting new resource is designed to let people find out more about the Alexander Technique in an easily accessible manner. So far, 28 film clips have been posted, which illustrate different teaching styles and approaches to the Technique. These have been produced and edited by David Reed, MSTAT.

You can even see an extract from a film of F M Alexander himself as he taught Margaret Goldie, who in her turn taught the Alexander Technique for over 60 years. There are also films showing some ‘first generation’ and senior Alexander Teachers, who demonstrate aspects of the Technique plus their own styles of teaching and running workshops.

It is hoped that there will be an increasing number of videos on the site, from a wide variety of sources and STAT would welcome films that show A/T teachers in action.

This is a great way to extend your understanding of the Alexander Technique and it brings the work into a lively focus. Try it!

http://uk.youtube.com/user/TheSTATChannel

Friends of the Alexander Technique

Many Alexander Technique pupils find that it is easier to utilise their learning when they meet up with others who are also interested in the Technique.  When people around us also use, discuss and think about the Technique during their activities, such as going for a walk or having a cup of coffee together, its application becomes much more ‘ordinary’ and a part of daily life, which is what we are aiming at.

One way of helping this process is to join Friends of the Alexander Technique, a registered charity that is linked to STAT. You can join online or pick up an application form from Hilary.

For a small annual fee you can receive the Alexander Journal and some e-mail newsletters, plus attend various workshops and events around the country which can help you extend your understanding of the work and stimulate a deeper interest in the Technique.

As a Friend, you will become part of a wide-reaching community that shares an Alexander outlook on life and it would be possible for you to set up events specifically for A/T Friends.

There is also a move to create an Alexander Orchestra, which musical Friends can join, the details of which you can find on the Friends’ Website.