Back pain can be cured using Alexander Technique
Alexander Technique has been used as a part of acting and modelling education. People learn with this method to research their body and get a good performance out of it. Artists, politicans and teachers have used it in order to do their profession in a better way.
Important researchers like Nikko Tinbergen, on being awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology and Medicine in 1973 recommended it for autism and stress disease. One of the major stress illnesses is back pain. The new British randomly controlled ATEAM - Study had proved that the Alexander Technique is more effective than massage methods.
The leader of the study was Professor Dr. Paul Little Faculty, Medicine, Health and Life Sciences of the University of Southampton. He and his colleques inspected 579 patients with chronical back pains or with recidivism for this illness by consulting rooms in England. The patients had had a value of four or more on the so-called Roland-Morris scale. The Roland-Morris Disability Questionaire (RDQ) was used because this form of test is regarded as useful. The patients were divided in four groups. The first control group was treated with general medical standard methods. The second group got six classical lessons with therapeutical massages. The third group received six hours in teaching Alexander Technique. The last group received a 24 - hour training in Alexander Technique.
After that all groups were divided up in two parts. Four groups were taught sports by the Doctor and advised by a nurse in rules and behaviour of back pains. The rest four groups did not get any advice.
The back pains were proved by the RQD after three and twelve months. Patients of the first group complained about back pains on 21 of 28 days, after the study was finished twelve month before.
The second group had reported that the massage lessons and movements had reduced the days of pains about 33 percent. At the first test they were able to do their movements better than before. At the second test this improvement was lost. The third group managed a 72 per cent improvement of that of the fourth group.
The fourth group had the best results. The patients said that they had back pains only three days in a month. The days of pain were reduced about 86 percent. 42 percent of the third group explained that the movements of their actions were less borded. The result was not improved by sports. This study shows that the Alexander technique is helpful to prevent back pains for a long-term.
The patients learnt how they can help themselves and gain control over their body.
The massages showed a short- term effect. There were no results about a mix of massages and Alexander Technique in order to treat acute forms of back pains. Furthermore it is not stated by the researchers on which massage was used for the study. So the results of the study cannot used to claim effects of massages, if any. But it proves that back pains can be cured by Alexander Technique.
The roots of Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is based on the Australian Shakespeare actor Frederick Matthias Alexander. He had chronic vocal troubles. No practioner was able to help him. It resulted in years of pain taking self-observation and experiementation. During the time he recognized that while acting he tended to stiffen his neck and pull his head back and down. Thereby he had depressed his vocal cords and had shortened his spine. The correct movement pattern could only be achieved by consciously allowing the head to assume its correct orientation in relation to the neck and torso. He had to practise it every day in order to break with his wrong habitual patterns. He began to teach his experiences and discoveries about this new method in Australia.
Encouraged by doctors, he came to London at the turn of the century and taught his technique both in England and America until 1955.
The exercises are taught in individual lessons. The pupil is made aware of what he is doing, and how this interferes with the head-neck-torso relationship in rest and acitivity. The teacher conveys through his hands the fact and sense of a new manner of use, and the student is encouraged to think with the teacher so that he learns increasingly to create this co-ordination for himself. There is an experience of lengthening, expansion, and ease in movement, although it almost certainly feels strange at first. A slight touch may be all that is necessary to allow an effortless change from sitting to standing, such being the extraordinary freedom and lightness when the head is allowed to lead the body.
The teacher needs to be careful about correcting specific defects and postural faults.These generally arises out of poor general conditions which must be put in order first. Alexander deprecated breathing exercises, relaxation and other specific cures. He was very concerned about the integrity of psychophysical organism and therefore did not give treatment or promise any instant relief. The range and the application of the Alexander technique is as wide as human activity itself. It has a great potential in all manners of psychosomatic and mechanical disorders, particulary back and neck problems, and in rehabilitation following accidents or injury. The study shows that the Alexander Techniques work at back pain. Alexander Technique can be learnt by all and prevent and cure illnesses and improve body performance.
Prof. Dr. Eva - Maria Vogel ( Germany )
Indian Board of Alternative Medicines
80, Chowringhee Road
Kolkata - 700020
Website - http://www.altmedworld.net