This site is devoted to improving scientific understanding of the Alexander Technique (AT)—its principles, practices, reported and demonstrated benefits, and terminology. The content ranges from descriptions of direct experiments on the effects of AT lessons to focused explanations of relevant current science to rigorously researched history of the work. We reference recent peer-reviewed publications wherever possible.
We see this site as serving three primary audiences: Alexander Technique teachers and students who would like to better understand the work from a scientific perspective; scientists, medical professionals and other somatic or rehabilitation practitioners who are interested in the research basis for AT; and anyone who would like to explore scientific research on mind, movement, and posture. Read more.
The main contributors to Alexander Technique Science are Tim Cacciatore, Rajal Cohen, Patrick Johnson, and Andrew McCann. Together we have many decades of both scientific research experience and Alexander Technique teaching experience. Learn more about us.
Study Summary: Lighten Up! Trying Hard to “Stand Up Straight” May Interfere with Balance
By Andrew McCann
Does the way we attend to our posture affect our balance? Crucially, might some ways that physical therapists, fitness trainers, and movement teachers cue posture actually increase the risk of falls in their patients or students, especially older adults? These questions animate the latest study from Rajal Cohen’s team at the Mind in Movement Lab at the University of Idaho (Cohen et al., 2020). The study contrasts two ways of thinking about posture—common effortful posture cues versus less common effortless posture cues—and asks how they each affect balance in older adults. The results contribute to a growing body of research that suggests it’s time to change how we think about posture. Read more.
Science Catches Up: An Overview of Research on the Alexander Technique
By Rajal Cohen
In August, 2018, Dr. Rajal Cohen was a featured speaker for one of three plenary sessions at the International Alexander Technique Congress in Chicago. Her talk, “Science Catches Up,” provides an overview of current research on the phenomena and concepts that underly the Alexander Technique. She discusses research from her lab as well as the work of other scientists studying the Alexander Technique, while making connections to broader findings in motor control, neuroscience, and psychology.
I have spent the last 18 years trying to understand Alexander Technique from a scientific perspective, using insights from AT to inspire testable hypotheses, and testing those hypotheses. It is now over 100 years since FM Alexander published his first book, and scientists are finally asking questions where insights from Alexander Technique can make a difference. Read more.