Clinical research on back pain has concluded that the Alexander Technique is an effective long-term solution to recurrent and chronic back pain. The research was funded by the by the Medical Research Council and the NHS Research and Development fund, performed by Southampton University, and published in the British Medical Journal.
"Of all the approaches tested, ... Alexander Technique lessons proved to be the most beneficial"
"Alexander’s work is of first class importance and investigation by the medical profession is imperative."
Here is the link to the article, which includes an introductory video about the Technique and the research. The pupils in the video tend to be musicians, but it's just as applicable to sitting at a computer or any other routine activity.
"For the cost of, say, a holiday, you can invest in learning to look after yourself in a way that's going to last the rest of your life. I think that's got to be good value for money."
British Medical Journal interview with Carolyn Nicholls of The Alexander Technique College, Brighton, England
The ATLAS randomised control trial was run by the Department of Health Services at the University of York and funded by Arthritis Research UK. It's aim was to assess clinical
effectiveness for chronic neck pain.
The results showed that there was a statistically significant and clinically relevant reduction in pain even after a year of the initial lessons.
You can read the full report here.
Chronic neck pain is a common condition. A UK survey has shown that 18% of households reported neck pain with over half reporting that it lasted more than a year. Chronic neck pain has become second most common physical complaint for consulting a GP, no doubt from the increase in the use of computers and mobile devices.
Bristol University of West England produced this service evaluation of Alexander Technique lessons for pain clinic patients with favourable results.
For those of you whose problems stem from prolonged periods sat in front of a computer, this seven part blog by Imogen Ragone is very useful.
If Google are interested in the Alexander Technique maybe you should give it a second thought!
“I recommend the Alexander Technique as an extremely sophisticated form of rehabilitation. From personal experience we can already confirm some of the seemingly fantastic claims made by Alexander and his followers – namely that many types of under-performance and even ailments, both mental and physical, can be alleviated, sometimes to a surprising degree, by teaching the body musculature to function differently. We already notice, with growing amazement, very striking improvements in such diverse things as high blood pressure, breathing, depth of sleep, overall cheerfulness and mental alertness, resilience against outside pressures and in such a refined skill as playing a musical instrument.”
Some press coverage reporting on the benefits of the technique:
This is the first draft for the introduction to the e-book I am writing entitled Improving Your Computer Posture.