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What's New - 28 March 2016

Revised versions of talks Nos 16,17 and 18 on Rudolph Magnus added ((here). His concept of the physiological a priori (Talk no 18) is especially interesting to AT people.

Talk no 41 "The AT and Science" revised. (here)

Revised version of Talk No 40a "Walter and Dilys Carrington (II)" added. (here)

Revised version of Talk No 40 "Walter and Dilys Carrington (I)" added. (here)

Revised version of Talk No 39 "Walking revisited" added. (here)

Revised version of Talk No 10 "Alexander's early supporters: Naumburg, Webb, Tasker," added. (here)

New Intro-Review added. (here)

Review of "Authorised Summaries of F.M.Alexander's Four Books" - an interesting and important book - added. (here)

Revised version of Talk No 38 Muscles and exercise added. (here)

Revised versions of Talks Nos 19, 20 and 20a on George Ellett Coghill added. (here)

Revised versions of Talks No 35, 36, 37 added. These are to do with the head-neck junction which is of immense interest to all concerned with the AT added (here)

Revised version of the paper "The importance of the head-neck junction" added (here)

Talk No 34 "Standing, balance and monkey reviewed" using simple non-specialist language added (here).

Paper entitled The special importance of the head-neck junction added (here). This is an attempt to describe the head-neck relationship in ordinary scientific rather than Alexandrian language. I would love to have comments or criticism.

Revised versions of Talks Nos 16, 17, 18 on Rudolph Magnus added. His concept of the physiological a priori (No 18) is especially interesting (here).

Revised versions of Talks 14, 15, and 15a on Sir Charls Sherrington added. Why did the founder of modern neuroscience refer so favourably to Alexander despite the apparent gulf between their views? (here)

Paper on Alexander's views on evolution - not very happy reading for AT people - added (here)

Review of Maddy Paxman's book added (here)

Mix-up on Talks page sorted out

Talk No 33 On Science and the AT added (here)

Talk No 32 on Wilfred Barlow added (here).

Revised versions of Talks Nos 29 and 30 on Benjamin Libet added (here).

Revised versions of Talks Nos 24 and 25 on Aldous Huxley (here)

Review of "My back's knackered: what can I do about it?" added (here)

Broken and missing links to talks fixed (here). I had not realised how many there were. Apologies. Please let me know of any more you find.

Revised versions of Talks No 23 and 23a on Frank Pierce Jones added (here)

Revised version of Talk No 31 on David Garlick (red and white muscles fibres) added (here)

New versions of Talks Nos 9 and 9a on balance added (here)

New Introduction to Talks added (here)

Revised version of Talk No 28 on Stretching before Exercise added (here)

Revised versions of talks Nos 26, 27, 27a on Raymond Dart (here)

Revised versions of talks on Tinbergen Nos 21, 22, and 22a (here)

Revised versions of talks on Coghill Nos 19, No 20 and No 20a (here)

Revised version of paper on Coghill (here)

Paper on head-neck relationship research at Lund University added (here)

Revised versions of talks on Rudolph Magnus, No 16, No 17 and No 18 (here).

Revised version of The Relevance of Rudolph Magnus (here).

New page "Views and counterviews" added, with initial discussion paper on "What makes a good AT teacher?"

Corrupting the health services - a review of Ben Goldacre's extremely disturbing book Bad Pharma (here)

New talk No 15a on Sir Charles Sherrington added here

Revised versions of Talks 14 and 15 on Sir Charles Sherrington added here

Revised versions of Talks 13 and 13a on Reflexes, habitual and voluntary actions added here.

New Introduction to talks added here

Comment by Uri Bar Zeev on the paper "The placebo effect and the AT" added here

Revised Talk No 8 "Breathing" added here

Revised version of "Towards a neurophysiology of the Alexander Technique" added here

Revised Talk No 7 "More touch and pressure" added here

Revised Talk No 6 "Touch and Pressure" added here

The Constructive Teaching Centre (CTC) is now in its new home in Chelsea. For details click here

Revised Talk No 3 Standing and lengthening against gravity added (here)

Revised Talk No 2 More about Muscles and Gravity added (here)

Revised Talk No 1 Gravity and Antigravity added (here)

Facebook comment by Mark Jones on Esther Gokhale Method added in comments section (here)

Paper on the Placebo effect and the Alexander Technique added (here)

Revised version of Talk 4 Levers and the position of mechanical advantage added (here)

Revised version of Talk 5 and new Talk 5a - both on the Placebo Effect added (here)

Revised versions of Talks 11 and 12 on John Dewey (here)

Stella Weigel has posted a link to a video of Nikolaas Tinbergen's Nobel Prize speech on her LinkedIn page.

You can read my discussion of Tinbergen in Talks No 21 and 22 (here); No 21 also has the link to the video.

Revised version of Talk No 10 on Alexander's early supporters - three strong, enlightened and progressive women (here)

New page added on George Ellett Coghill with link to detailed paper on his life, work and involvement with the AT (here)

Talk No 9 updated and retitled "The question of balance" (here)

Broken links to talks No 29 and 30 on Benjamin Libet fixed (here). Many thanks to Duncan Knowles for pointing out the problem.

Revised version of Talk No 31 on David Garlick - including discussion of red and white muscle fibres - added (here).

Revised version of Talk No 28 on the perils of stretching before exercise added (here) and academic paper version added (here).

Revised versions of Talks Nos 24 and 25 added (here).

Some broken links pointed out by Halvard Heggdal - many thanks

Revised versions of Talks Nos 23 and 23a on Frank Pierce Jones added (here)

Comment by Mark Jones on the importance of language in our work (here).

Talks Nos 26 and 27 on Raymond Dart have been revised and an additional one, No 27a, has been added. The Dart Procedures have been given particular and critical attention. (here)

References to new AT books by Noel Kingsley and Richard Brennan added to Information Sources page (here)

Revised versions of Talks Nos 21 and 22 on Nikolaas Tinbergen added - see Talks page (here)

Comment from Rex Alexander added on Comments page (here).

Many thanks to Tim K for pointing out the broken links to Talks 29 and 30 on Benjamin Libet on the Talks and Topics page.

Marilyn Monroe and Alexander Technique (here)

New paper summarising the work and relevance of Rudolph Magnus added (here)

Revised versions of Talks No 19 George Ellett Coghill (I) and No 20 George Ellett Coghill (II) added (here).

Revised version of talk No 15, Sir Charles Sherrington (II), added (here).

Revised versions of talks on Reflexes (No 13) and Sir Charles Sherrington (I) (No 14) (here). Link to Conrad and Karin Brown website added in the "How does this help me?" section (here)

Comment from Uri bar Zeev on the Primary Control discussion here.

Comment from Malcolm Williamson here

New page on the troublesome primary control added. This is for AT specialists - geeks - rather than casual visitors here.

Review of Judith Leibowitz's book by Phil Evans added on News-Reviews page.

Paper added on Lund University research into head-neck relationship. See here for description and link.

Comment on muscle stretching and yoga here.

Comment on end-gaining here.

Comment from Daniel Trumbull on stretching, yoga and harpsichord-playing here.

Some problems with links to talks from the Talks and Topics page should now be sorted out.

Talk No 31 on the role of the red and white fibres in exercise added (here).

Steven Hallmark added to Performing Arts page.

An Introduction, setting out the scope and purpose of the Talks added.

The controversial neuroscientist Benjamin Libet was once thought to be of major relevance to the AT. Talks 29 and 30 take a sceptical look at his life and work. See Talks and Topics page.

Beret Arcaya biog added to Performing Arts page.

Revision of Talks and Topics page

Comment on stretching before exercise by Simon Brant in comments

New comment by uri bar zeev in comments

Talk No 28 Stretching; David Garlic added in Talks

Revisions to Finding a Teacher and Information Sources pages.

Comments by uri bar zeev in Comments







The aim of this site is to be a comprehensive source of information on all aspects of the Alexander Technique. It is for the simply curious visitor; for people already learning the Alexander Technique (AT); for Alexander teachers and trainee teachers; and for anyone who would like to have a trial AT lesson with me.

For further information about anything on the site, you can e-mail me here. If you would like to book a lesson with me in Chiswick, click here or in the sidebar for further information.

I am particularly interested in the scientific aspects of the AT. The site is continually being developed as a resource for those who are similarly interested and I welcome comments and questions.

When significant changes are made in the site they are noted in the What's New sidebar. A brief guide to the content of the different sections of the website is given below - you can also click on the links in the left.

"What is the AT?" gives a brief introduction to the AT for someone coming to it for the first time. It also describes what happens in an Alexander lesson.

"Finding a teacher" offers guidance on finding an Alexander teacher. It also gives some background on the training that Alexander teachers undergo and the various Alexander Technique professional organisations.

"Information sources" is a guide to the available information on the AT. It provides links to the two most important specialist publishers of AT books and other materials, as well as other important information sources as I learn about them.

"Talks and Topics" links to the notes of various talks to trainee Alexander teachers and other topics I have been developing over my years of researching and thinking about the Technique. John Dewey the philosopher and educationalist; the novelist Aldous Huxley; the great neuroscientist Sir Charles Sherrington; and Nobel Prize winner Nikolaas Tinbergen, are on the list of famous names who supported the Technique. The talks cover the life and work of these people and their connections with the Technique. They also tackle other technical and scientific topics of relevance to the workings of the Technique.

"The performing arts" briefly describes the long-standing connections between the AT and the performing arts. It also provides links to some of the people I happen to know who combine work in the performing arts with AT teaching.

"Muscles and fitness" looks at the idea of fitness and its relation to health. Fitness is not just about big muscles; it is also about having the proper balance between the red and white fibres. This section of the site also has a discussion on whether stretching before exercise does more harm than good. The extent to which medical science thinks it is a bad idea is surprising.

The "Towards a neurophysiology" page attempts to weave together a variety of scientific insights into the working of the AT. Its starting point is in the classic works of the early neuroscientists Sir Charles Sherrington and Rudolph Magnus. This page and especially the paper Towards a Neurophysiology of the Alexander Technique are works in progress. The paper The special importance of the head-neck junction (here) is an attempt to describe the head-neck relationship, which is so important in the AT, in ordinary scientific, as opposed to Alexandrian, language.

"The troublesome primary control" deals with the technical issue of the "primary control" and Alexander's unclear and sometimes contradictory references to it.

"The relevance of Rudolph Magnus" pulls together the various references to Rudolph Magnus on the website and summarises his relevance to the AT.

"George Ellett Coghill" was an eminent American scientists who spent his life studying the development of the nervous system in newts. He came upon the AT at the end of his life and was captivated by it. He met Alexander, had some lessons with him and wrote an introduction to one of his books.

"The placebo effect and the AT". The placebo effect is very odd. Conventional medical scientists hate it and complementary practitioners dread being tarred with it. This is an account of the placebo effect and how it fits comfortably into the AT. Click (here) or in the sidebar.

"Views and counterviews" provides an opportunity to discuss differing views of the AT and its development. What makes a good Alexander teacher, for example? Click (here) on in the sidebar.

"Book Reviews" carries reviews of books I have found particularly interesting.

"Comments" provides an opportunity for comments and discussion relating to the website or the AT in general.