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Teachers of the Alexander Technique in the UK and the people who take their lessons: A national cross-sectional survey

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Publication details

JournalComplementary Therapies in Medicine
DatePublished - Jun 2015
Issue number3
Number of pages11
Pages (from-to)451-461
Original languageEnglish


OBJECTIVES: Given the rising profile of the Alexander Technique in the UK, there is a need for a comprehensive description of its teachers and of those who currently take lessons. In a national survey of Alexander teachers, we set out to address this information gap.

DESIGN: A cross-sectional survey of 871 UK members of three main Alexander Technique teachers' professional associations was conducted. A questionnaire requested information about their professional background, teaching practice and methods, and about the people who attend lessons and their reasons for seeking help.

RESULTS: With an overall response rate of 61%, 534 teachers responded; 74% were female with median age of 58 years, 60% had a higher education qualification, and 95% were self-employed, many with additional non-Alexander paid employment. The majority (87%) offered lessons on their own premises or in a privately rented room, and 19% provided home visits; both individual and group lessons were provided. People who took lessons were predominantly female (66%) with a median age of 48 years, and 91% paid for their lessons privately. Nearly two-thirds (62%) began lessons for reasons related to musculoskeletal conditions, including back symptoms, posture, neck pain, and shoulder pain. Other reasons were general (18%, including well-being), performance-related (10%, including voice-, music-, and sport-related), psychological (5%) and neurological (3%). We estimate that Alexander teachers in the UK provide approximately 400,000 lessons per year.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides an overview of Alexander Technique teaching in the UK today and data that may be useful when planning future research.

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Cross-Sectional Studies, Exercise Therapy, Female, Great Britain, Health Personnel, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Surveys and Questionnaires

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