I've just been talking to a dear friend about the Alexander technique and the question of scientific evidence came up. This subject gets me going because I too struggle with things when they're based on magic or make-believe. I have an open mind; I'm an enthusiastic Harry Potter fan but when it comes to things that are supposed to help me they definitely have to be logical, provable and effective.
If you look at the Alexander technique from a mechanical point of view then it's entirely sound, scientifically speaking. Our musculo-skeletal system operates like everything else influenced by the gravity of our planet. The forces, angles, levers, antagonistic pulls and weights are all measurable and scientists can, and do, use force platforms, electrodes, monitors and formulae to document the effects of a lesson.
From a medical point of view, research and trials have been conducted and are ongoing. A great many scientists and physicians have been convinced by Mr Alexander's scientific approach and from their own experience of the technique, either in relation to themselves or their patients. Nonetheless there is a truly VAST amount of research still to be done.
From a psychological point of view, the same applies: studies have, and are being conducted - a lot is waiting to be investigated still.
My job is to present the subject to people who won't want to read the entire archive of evidence. I wish I could just say - it works, it WILL help you - but I can't, and won't.
When I say to a new pupil - 'try it and see' - I'm aware of the fact that I'm inviting them to gather their own evidence - mechanical, physiological and emotional. I also know that their sensory awareness, which they need to record that evidence, is bound to be faulty and that it is my job to fix that for them. This makes it tricky for people at first.
Fortunately for me, I've had the pleasure of enjoying the transformational benefits of the technique in myself and many others for decades, so I don't need any more scientific evidence. I'm satisfied that there is plenty and very excited to know that more will come:)
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