Kinsey D., Glover L. & Wadephul F. (2021) How does the Alexander Technique lead to psychological and non-physical outcomes? A realist review. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 46, 101371.
This review paper looks at whether learning the Alexander Technique (AT) can lead to psychological and other ‘non-physical’ outcomes and if so, how. The review brought together the evidence for these kinds of outcomes and used an approach called a realist review, to try to answer these questions. Realist approaches are used to develop theories to help understand how outcomes come about, how they may be connected, and whether there are particular contexts in which an intervention might work. The results showed that having AT lessons can lead to a wide range of beneficial outcomes, including improved general wellbeing and increased sense of control and confidence. These outcomes can be generated through improvements in ‘physical’ wellbeing, and through experience of mind-body integration and subsequent application of AT skills to ‘non-physical’ areas such as habits of thinking. It was also found that difficult emotions can arise in lessons and can help or hinder the learning process. The review suggests that the AT may be a useful approach in a range of settings for psychophysical, long-term outcomes, and further research is warranted and needed. AT lessons may provide a significant way to improve mental wellbeing and increase agency.
A lay summary of the paper, including approaches to, and definitions of, “non-physical” outcomes, can be found here: - https://www.alexanderstudiesonline.com/blog/the-19th-edition-of-the-aso-newsletter