Mapping of Alexander Technique Lessons and Teachers (MALT)

The Complementary Medicine Evaluation Group at the University of York is undertaking a new project to map the teaching of Alexander Technique across the UK.

The idea for MALT, which is led by Dr Hugh MacPherson and coordinated by Dr Janet Eldred, was conceived in relation to the ATLAS Trial.

The Alexander Technique is a taught method of practical self-help to restore ease of balance, coordination and poise. People learn how to move with less effort, reduce unwanted muscular tension and avoid causing themselves unnecessary pain. Lessons enable people to stand, sit and move with less strain and greater ease, and maintain a calmer approach to life.

The Alexander Technique is by no means a new intervention; it is regularly taught and used in all major performing arts colleges and Alexander Technique lessons have been found effective in helping people with back pain.

This project will be the first scientific survey to review the current status of Alexander Technique teaching across the UK.

All Alexander Technique teachers associated with the main Alexander Technique professional membership organisations in the UK have been invited to take part in a survey. Alexander Technique teachers are asked questions about their professional background, their practice, the styles and methods they teach and about the people who approach them for lessons, including information relating to the common reasons why people seek help from Alexander Technique teachers.

The survey is taking place September to November 2013, and results will be available in 2014.

Outcomes
The results of the survey will be published on the University of York’s Complementary Medicine Evaluation Group website and in one of the UK medical journals, and will be available from the participating Alexander Technique professional organisations.

Professional membership organisations participating are: 
STAT: Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique 
ATI: Alexander Technique International 
ITM: Interactive Teaching Method

A similar mapping study of acupuncture provision across the UK, also conducted by the Complementary Medicine Evaluation Group, has recently been published by the BMJ Open Journal.