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’I am teaching them and they are teaching me’: Experiences of teaching Alexander Technique to people with dementia

Wolverson, Emma; Glover, Lesley; Woods, Charlotte


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Dr Emma Wolverson
Reader in Ageing and Dementia. Research Lead for Dementia UK.

Lesley Glover

Charlotte Woods


Introduction: To enable people with dementia to live well we must support the person as a whole. The Alexander Technique (AT) offers an approach which addresses both physical and psychological issues which may be suitable to help people with dementia. In this new area of research, this study aimed to establish whether the AT is currently taught to people with dementia and if so to bring together the experiences of AT teachers in relation to the perceived benefits and suitability of the AT for this group. Methods: This qualitative study included data from responses to survey questions, interview transcripts and published articles. Results: A total of 84 AT teachers took part in an international survey of whom 18 (21%) had taught one or more people with dementia. Thematic analysis generated the following superordinate themes: ‘The AT can help people with dementia’, ‘How change comes about’, and ‘Adapting the AT for people with dementia’. Conclusions: AT teachers described perceiving improvements in movement, pain and flexibility; increased calm, sociability and environmental awareness. They highlighted the reciprocal nature of the relationship between teacher and student and highly valued this. Touch was seen as a key means of communication, helping people with dementia to feel safe. It seems that the AT does not require major adaptation to work with this group although the challenges of working in a care setting were discussed. The AT offers the potential to be a valuable intervention for people with dementia and further research is warranted.


Wolverson, E., Glover, L., & Woods, C. (2022). ’I am teaching them and they are teaching me’: Experiences of teaching Alexander Technique to people with dementia. European Journal of Integrative Medicine, 56, Article 102200.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 12, 2022
Online Publication Date Oct 20, 2022
Publication Date Dec 1, 2022
Deposit Date Oct 13, 2022
Publicly Available Date Oct 21, 2022
Journal European Journal of Integrative Medicine
Print ISSN 1876-3820
Electronic ISSN 1876-3839
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 56
Article Number 102200
Keywords Alexander Technique; Dementia; Touch; Movement; Embodiment; Reciprocity
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© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier GmbH.<br /> <br /> Creative Commons Licence: Attribution 4.0 International License. See:

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