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Annie Whitehead

Alexander Technique Teacher

About F M Alexander
An Introduction to AT
How can AT help you?
Annie Whitehead
The Lesson
Workshop Details
Wakefield AT lessons
The ATLAS trial
Back Pain
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Contact Details
The ATLAS Trial

The ATLAS trial is a randomised controlled trial being run by the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York and is funded by Arthritis Research UK.  It's prime aims are to:

  • evaluate the clinical effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons and acupuncture for chronic neck pain patients when used in addition to usual care
  • estimate the cost effectiveness of Alexander Technique lessons and acupuncture for chronic neck pain
  • establish acceptability and safety of these interventions from a patient point of view



Why study chronic neck pain?
Chronic neck pain is a common condition in the adult population.  A UK survey of the general population indicated that 18% of households reported neck pain.  Over half reported neck pain lasting more than a year.  Chronic neck pain is the second most common physical problem for consulting a GP.  An estimated 5.4 million working days are lost annually due to work-related neck pain.
ATLAS Testimonial
I was introduced to the Alexander Technique by way of the ATLAS trial which is organised by the Department of Health Sciences at the University of York.  This in turn introduced me to Annie my teacher.  Having never heard of this technique before, I was unsure of what to expect.  Meeting Annie though quickly put me at ease.  It very quickly became apparent that the Alexander Technique was different to anything I had previously experienced in over 30 years of back and neck pain treatments.  What a relevation!  As the lessons progressed, the tension levels in my neck reduced and so the pain.  I have carried on putting into practice what I have learnt with Annie since the trial finished.  I remain virtually pain free and am also able to deal with the cause quickly.  I am now a firm believer in the Alexander Technique and would recommend Annie in particular.
Richard Yeadon Pupil 2012  
Who is recruited to the ATLAS Trial and where?
Participating GPs have recruited participants by searching their records using codes.  A patient must be an adult, have neck pain lasting at least 12 weeks and be in significant pain (determined as a pain score of 28% or above on the Northwick Park Neck Pain pain questionnaire).  When a patient agreed to become involved on the trial, the person was then randomly allocated to one of three groups:
  • Alexander Technique lessons plus usual care
  • Acupuncture sessions plus usual care
  • Usual care alone
Over five hundred people have been involvd in the trial across the four cities of York, Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield.  Out of that sample size 172 people received Acupunture sessions and 173 people had Alexander Technique lessons.  A further third are being monitored and asked for the same information as the first two groups but just receive 'usual care alone'.  These people are the control group.  The participants all completed their sessions by the end of December 2013.  Participants will be followed up for another year after their last session and the report findings are scheduled to be published in summer 2015.