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Magnus

Rudolph Magnus was the scientist who worked out the neurophysiology of vertebrate posture in the early decades of the twentieth century.

He never had an Alexander lesson and he probably never even heard of the Alexander Technique (AT).   He did not deal with the “integrated individual”.  His  research was almost entirely concerned with the reflex or unconscious  elements in posture as opposed to the  “conscious control” that concerned Alexander.

But Magnus nevertheless had an important impact on the AT.  When Alexander came across his research results he believed they provided a direct scientific proof of his own discoveries about the importance of the head-neck relationship which he subsequently refered to as the primary control. Much discussion about this has taken place within the AT profession and Magnus’ work has been a source of various fruitful insights into the workings of the AT.

There are references to the work of Magnus in various parts of this website and in the wider AT literature.  The attached paper entitled The relevance of Rudolph Magnus to the Alexander Technique attempts to draw these together to give an overview of Magnus influence on AT thinking and provide a basis for further discussion.  The full text is available here or by clicking on Magnus in the sidebar.