Many complementary techniques are practiced by healthcare professionals with formal training, in accordance with the standards of national organizations. However, this is not universally the case, and adverse effects are possible. Due to limited research, in some cases only limited safety information is available.
There is a lack of published reports of serious complications as a result of Alexander technique instruction. It has been suggested that this technique may be less effective in patients with learning disabilities or mental illness. The Alexander technique has been used by pregnant women and during delivery without reports of complications, although safety in these situations has not been established scientifically.
The Alexander technique should not be used as the only treatment approach for medical or psychiatric conditions, and should not delay the time it takes to consider more proven therapies.
This information is based on a professional level monograph edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com): Ethan Basch, MD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Nicole Giese, MS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Michael Goble, BS, PharmD (Massachusetts College of Pharmacy); Jacquelyn Guilford PhD, MBA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Paul Hammerness, MD (Harvard Medical School); Mary McGarry, PharmD (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Shaina Tanguay-Colucci, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Catherine Ulbricht, PharmD, MBA[c] (Massachusetts General Hospital); Wendy Weissner, BA (Natural Standard Research Collaboration); Jen Woods, BS (Natural Standard Research Collaboration).
Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.
Austin JH, Ausubel P. Enhanced respiratory muscular function in normal adults after lessons in proprioceptive musculoskeletal education without exercises. Chest 1992;102(2):486-490.
Cacciatore TW, Horak FB, Henry SM. Improvement in automatic postural coordination following alexander technique lessons in a person with low back pain. Phys Ther 2005;85(6):565-578.
Dennis RJ. Musical performance and respiratory function in wind instrumentalists: effects of the Alexander technique of musculoskeletal education (abstract). Dissertation Abstracts International 1988;48(7):1689a.
Dennis J. Alexander technique for chronic asthma. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2000;(2):CD000995.
Dennis RJ. Functional reach improvement in normal older women after Alexander Technique instruction. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci 1999;54(1):M8-11.
Ernst E, Canter PH. The Alexander technique: a systematic review of controlled clinical trials. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd 2003;10(6):325-329.
Knebelman S. The Alexander technique in diagnosis & treatment of craniomandibular disorders. Basal Facts 1982;5(1):19-22.
Little P, Lewith G, Webley F, et al. Randomised controlled trial of Alexander technique lessons, exercise, and massage (ATEAM) for chronic and recurrent back pain. BMJ 2008 Aug 19;337:a884.
Maitland S, Horne R, Burtin M. An exploration of the application of the Alexander technique for people with learning disabilities. Br J Learn Disabil 1996;24:70-76.
Nuttall W. The Alexander principle: a consideration of its relevance to early childhood education in England today. Eur Early Child Ed Res J 1999;7(2):87-101.
Schulte D, Walach HFM. Alexander technique in the treatment of stuttering-- a randomized single-case intervention study with ambulatory monitoring. Psychother Psychosom 2006;75(3):190-191.
Stallibrass C. An evaluation of the Alexander Technique for the management of disability in Parkinson's disease--a preliminary study. Clin Rehabil 1997;11(1):8-12.
Stallibrass C, Hampson M. The Alexander technique: its application in midwifery and the results of preliminary research into Parkinson's. Complement Ther Nurs.Midwifery 2001;7(1):13-18.
Swinburne C. From the top. Nurs Stand. 1-25-2006;20(20):20-22.
Valentine ER, Gorton TL, Hudson JA, et al. The effect of lessons in the Alexander technique on music performance in high and low stress situations. Psychol Music 1995;23:129-141.
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never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.