The Foundations of Human Well-Being and the Work of Professor Magnus and the F. Matthias Alexander Technique

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The first article (1941) is subtitled A Comparative Study of the Work of F. Matthias Alexander and Dr. G. E. Coghill on the Physiology of Human and Animal Behavior. Coghill makes a distinction between a “total pattern” and a “partial pattern” of an organism’s behavior, the partial pattern reacting within and subject to the total pattern of an organism’s response. Total pattern integrates partial patterns - reflex actions which, if not coordinated, could interfere with each other and lead to conflict. Alexander’s Technique, in contrast, is seen as a conscious way of coordinating partial patterns and thereby avoiding internal behavioral conflict - a prerequisite for well-being. The second article (c. 1950) describes Magnus’ work and its connection to Alexander’s work. Magnus investigated the factors controlling the changes of animal posture in relation to gravity and on the muscular tone which maintains posture. In particular he researched the factors concerning: 1) Reflex standing, 2) Normal distribution of tone, 3) Attitude, and 4) Righting function. Carrington summarizes his findings and considers the possible relationship between Magnus’ “central apparatus” and the primary control. [64 pages, pb, A5, August 1994, STAT Books, imported]

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