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.
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.
Taught by Dr. Tim Cacciatore and Dr. Patrick Johnson for Alexander technique teachers, the goal of these webinars is to confront our current relationship with science and to get our scientific explanations and concepts up-to-date. We combine lecture, group activities, and discussion to identify and debunk misconceptions and to build new, current models that support what we do and how we communicate. We emphasize rigor, jargon-free communication, and reference to current experiments. We also give reading assignments with questions and personalized feedback to check your knowledge.
Specific topics will include postural control, sensory appreciation, body schema, stress, biomechanics of procedures, emotions, inhibition, and direction. Activities will include body illusions, experiencing body schema in action, inhibition tests, and break out discussion groups. We will also be debunking outdated concepts such as tonic neck reflexes, righting reflexes, ingrained startle pattern, tensegrity, and “natural movement.”
- Book Review: Postural Homeostasis—Papers and Letters on the Alexander Technique by Wilfred Barlow
- Study Summary: What We Do Before the Thing We’re Doing—Research on Anticipation, Inhibition, and Posture.
- Describing Alexander Technique Phenomena Objectively: Separating Observation & Explanation, Avoiding Jargon & Spin
- “Science Catches Up”: An Overview of Research on the Alexander Technique
- Debunking Body Tensegrity (Video)