Archive for December, 2007

For an article I would like to write on Alexander Technique, I need some footnotes and quotes from reputable scientific or book sources, as well as quotes from books that have been written on Alexander Technique.
My library has been packed away in storage in Calif. since I assummed my books would only be ruined if I brought them to the tropical wet climate where I am now. Unfortunately I assumed this information would be available on the internet if I needed it…but now that I need it and am looking for it, it’s not available.

In particular, I remember some time past in the STAT newsletter there was a report of a scientific finding about porters in India, who carry weight on their backs for a living (in “monkey” because the ability to carry more weight means more pay.) These porters were x-rayed (I believe this report was made by a chiropractor) to determine the condition of their spines at 40 as a group; the extraordinary finding was that 3/4 of them had no spinal degrading that starts in pretty much all westerners after age 18. I wanted to be able to verify in this article I’m writing that our bodies may be used in challenging ways without wearing out, to the extent we are motivated to use our potentially most efficient physical coordination following structural advantages. Of course, it’s an advantage to carry more weight if you use your body efficiently.

I’m also interested in a finding about how adults studying Alexander Technique may gain up to an inch of height. I know that we’ve discussed that happened to many people here anecdotally, but has anyone heard of this hypothesis being part of a “real” study?

…and I’m also looking for the exact source mentioned in Gelb’s books about John V. Basmajian’s work at Emory University where Basmajian connected electrodes in people’s forearms to an occilliscope and an audio amp. The finding was that most people were able to train themselves to play complex rhythms &, once connected to tone, even play specific tunes, without the audio channel present once learned – merely by thinking about these tunes. I thought this was a verification that Directing works the way A.T. teachers intend it via it’s recommended use in Alexander Technique.

Also, is there any statement in some book of how long it took Alexander to form his Technique and that F.M. did, in fact, discover or invent the use of direction, Primary Control, inhibition, debauched sensory appreciation & his ideas about the force of habit?
I’m assumming that the best sources would be tracking down the first mentions of these things that were verified by other fields of science that post-date Alexander’s writings about it. I know about Coghill verifying primary control in invertebrates; but does anyone have other sources at hand?

You may also assume that I’m probably indefinitely looking for such sources to add to my own collection of such, even though a long time may have passed since my asking here.

If you have these sources handy in your own collection, I’d be most happy to list your work on this as a source in the article. I know that http://www.alexandertechnique.com has been a great resource, with links and articles that I have saved. Thanks, Robert Rickover!

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