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Vol. 10, No. 6, 2003
Issue release date: December 2003
Forsch Komplementärmed Klass Naturheilkd 2003;10:325–329

The Alexander Technique: A Systematic Review of Controlled Clinical Trials

Ernst E. · Canter P.H.
Complementary Medicine, Peninsula Medical School, Universities of Exeter and Plymouth, UK

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Aim: Alexander technique (AT), a process of psychophysical re-education, is being promoted for a range of medical conditions. This systematic review is aimed at critically evaluating the evidence for or against the effectiveness of AT. Methods: Computerized literature searches were performed in five databases to locate all controlled clinical trials of AT in any human condition. Data were extracted independently by two reviewers according to pre-defined criteria. The information was summarized in tabular and narrative form. The methodological quality of the primary studies was assessed using the Jadad score. Results: Four clinical trials met our inclusion/exclusion criteria. Only two of these trials were methodologically sound and clinically relevant. Their results are promising and imply that AT is effective in reducing the disability of patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease and in improving pain behaviour and disability in patients with back pain. Conclusion: The few controlled clinical trials of AT yield encouraging albeit not convincing evidence. AT deserves to be studied in more detail.

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