Effects of Alexander Technique training experience on gait behaviour in older adults

Journal of Body & Movement Therapies 2015;19:473–481 

O'Neil M,  Anderson D, Allen D, Ross C, Hamel K 

  

BRIEF SUMMARY

Balance in movement (dynamic stability) is often impaired in older people. They tend to have greater sideways (medio-lateral) sway when walking, which is a known risk factor for falling. This study involved seven people aged between 60 and 75 years (as a control) and seven registered Alexander Technique teachers. The control participants were selected to match the teachers as closely as possible in terms of age, height, weight and gender. The researchers investigated the walking patterns and medio-lateral movement in the two groups as potential heightened risk factors for falling.

 

The participants completed a pre-assessment questionnaire on the state of their health and balance which showed that there were no significant differences between the two groups. The study involved walking at a fast and at a comfortable pace with the participants' knowledge of being tested, and again without their knowledge of being tested. Their speed, number of steps, as well as length and width of stride were recorded. The results showed that those who had had Alexander Technique training walked with greater stability and were therefore potentially at less risk of age-related falls compared with the control group.  In conclusion, the authors stated there was superior control of movement among the Alexander Technique teachers compared with the control group.

Growing Old

I was looking for some way to help manage my lower back problems without relying on pain relief medication. I have found my one-to-one AT sessions extremely helpful and have learnt to identify and avoid postures and actions that contribute to back pain. I now know how to relax and properly rest my back and neck. In my experience, AT is a whole body technique which can help one to be more self-aware and to understand how to move with less tension and consequently, with less effort. Hurray for AT!

Patricia Brooks

See the benefits of Alexander Technique