Anatomy in Motion

What is The Body Flow Project?

In a word…it’s hope. 

Tired of prolonged histories of chronic pain, 2 of our Osteopaths had been on the merry-go-round of trying to feel good for years.  We weren’t trying to feel amazing, we were just after a bit of a break from the daily grind of chronic pain. 

One of us had a 30 year history of headaches & migraine, eating codeine almost daily to get by, and the other, a history of a disc so bad they required surgery at 19 years old, but never able to really move on from it, always teetering on the edge of another episode.

Our days existed of trying to get through, and often silently struggling along.  In a way we had both resigned ourselves to thinking that our bodies were just “this way” and it was plain bad luck.   We had plenty of reasons we thought this way.

You’ve probably heard some of these reasons yourself:

  1. I’m getting older
  2. I sit at a desk too much
  3. I’m on my feet too much
  4. I’m not on my feet enough
  5. I use a mouse
  6. I used a shovel
  7. It’s genetic
  8. I haven’t got a high enough pillow
  9. I haven’t got a low enough pillow
  10. I have lazy posture
  11. My core is too weak
  12. My gluts are too weak
  13. My hip flexors are too tight
  14. I have degenerative joints
  15. I have loose joints
  16. My ligaments are wound too tight
  17. Everyone gets something
  18. I’m doing their prescribed exercises wrong
  19. My X-ray/MRI/CT scan SAYS SO…

The first “what the…” moment

In 2016, our group of Osteopaths were lucky enough to find the eye-opening & insightful body work with Gary Ward from Anatomy in Motion (Author of: What the Foot)

The Body Flow Project was born from this education just over 3 years later in a bid to offer hope to others.

Why was the education eye-opening?? 

For years we had done our best to alleviate the problems we were experiencing. However, our struggle was clear in that we were unable to resolve our pain complaints and didn’t understand WHY.  Maybe that’s also familiar for you.

The eye-opener was that Gary explained and demonstrated the natural movement potential our body has mechanically as a whole-structure rather than as parts.  He also explained that when parts are missing their movement potential, this affects the whole structure in a predictable fashion. 

It is the predictability that became the game-changer.  

But how can we predict how one part could affect the whole structure?
To answer that, we look at the facts about the human body.

Learning human anatomy we go to the books.  Anatomy books can be written with such accuracy because the human body is the human body, it’s a consistent structure and shape that is predictable.  All the structures are predictable, the muscles, discs, organs, vessels…the lot.  A few variations can occur but mostly not. 

The joints that lie between the bones are also a consistent shape, and it’s with the joints that our work is focused.  Every other structure is important but the joints and bones provide the framework everything sits on.  It’s the foundation for movement potential. If the framework is imbalanced in movement, everything else will be also, muscles, discs, organs, vessels…the lot.  Kind of obvious when someone points it out hey!

Finally things were making perfect sense as to WHY we had resigned ourselves to managing our chronic pain.  We weren’t looking at the evidence that exists in all of us.  Our framework design.  Read on.

If the anatomy books are able to descibe joint structure they must be consistent in shape from person-to-person.
What is the significance?

Evolution is not random, it’s selective.  Our human body design is precisely they way it is for a reason.

And it’s in the design of the joint surfaces that you discover the clues for the smoothest way we are intended to move.  A way that feels light, easy and efficient.

But there are plenty of other versions accessible that occur as a result of the impact of our individual history, be it fractures, surgeries, injuries, scars etc.

It’s these compensatory versions our Osteopaths are interested in. 

For example. For fluency, when the knee joint bends, the hip joint should do “this” (insert predictable movement), the pelvis should then move like “that” with the spine (insert predictable movement), the spine segments glide best to these directions (insert predictable movement) and so on all the way up to the highest neck joints combining with the skull, and also downwards, below the knee through the foot to the toes. Predictable movement patterns based on the shape of the joint surfaces.

But if the knee joint bends poorly, a bit crooked, maybe a little too much pressure in one spot, all the other joints above and below have to accommodate for this change and adapt to a different position creating a compensatory version, one that doesn’t flow and is instead potentially clunky.   

So if our combinations are a bit askew then something, somewhere is going to cop it & become a pain hot-spot. It may not even be the knee, even if the knee started the whole thing off as in this example.  That’s where our higher level of inquiry comes in.  The ability to identify the true cause and relate it to the whole-body posture.

How did Gary work this out?
There’s a You Tube video podcast below answering this question.
Have a listen!  It may be your eye-opening moment.
(but read this first, it’s good for background & context)
Bewildered…jaws open…the penny started to drop. 

Think of it this way… When a part of the body stops moving in the way it was designed to, the body still wants to achieve that desired motion…somehow.  In doing so it may have some parts move a lot more to compensate, or lots of parts moving a little bit more, but the key point is they are now moving in ways they were not optimally designed to.

And we were learning a model aimed at deciphering the impact of the missing movements.  We were gaining an understanding of the significance of our own movement deficits and why we had always struggled with chronic pain.

If every little unit has a specific movement to do, and one of those units stops or changes the way it moves, the others need to take up the slack to achieve the same output.  In some cases the extra load may be spread evenly but in other cases all the extra load may be taken by just a few units. 

There was a profound realisation occurring for us.

Our chronic pain issues had developed from compensatory movement patterns.  And that our painful hot-spots were really out of balance in terms of movement potential.

The painful states and stiffness we were feeling, were adapted patterns to compensate for something not moving as it was designed to. 

However, we were also realising we might be able to undo the compensation patterns via the root cause and replace them with fluent efficient movement. 

By methodically identifying the problem structure, and re-training it’s movement, the endless tirade of pain might cease.  We would be reversing the domino-effect that had occurred in the first place.  An unravelling of these postural imbalances.

And thinking about the bigger picture, we weren’t alone. 
As a society we are suffering in a potentially unnecessary cesspool of chronic complaints, repetitive complaints of pain.

We had been privvy to the existence of this for years in clinic, listening to people’s stories of pain, spreading pain and gradually worsening.

  • headaches and migraine
  • neck pain
  • foot pain
  • back pain
  • and the rest…there’s so many when you start to think about it!

It’s wherever YOUR repetitive pain hot-spot is.  So often people complain of that place in the back of the shoulder blade and think it’s their fault for having bad posture.  Maybe that’s not the case.

chronic pain | body flow project | anatomy in motion

Not to mention the growing number of surgeries, clean-outs, removing bits, putting in bits, changing bits in a search to feel less pain and move better.

It brought up many questions for us about pain.  About repetitive pain, repetitive conditions.

It now made sense why we had been stuck with our own chronic issues and had justified it with all kinds of statements.

But how do we establish the root cause of the domino-effect?

We start with your history. 

How often has a practitioner asked for your whole history, including all the silly things that happened when you were a kid? 

Our guess is never. 

It’s the clues from your history that we can piece together your story to find the original moment/s you started to compensate your ability to move and consequently ended up with the hot spots of pain.

The overlooked stuff is frequently a part of the puzzle:

  • old ankle sprains
  • forearm and wrist fractures as a child
  • a mother’s birth trauma no matter how big or small ie tears, episiotomies, forceps/vacuum requirements
  • appendix and hernia scars
  • umbilical scars from abdominal repairs or investigation
  • broken toes
  • really decent scars anywhere traumatic or surgical in origin, even the thumb and finger tips
  • Dental issues

To name a few. Again, too many to mention and everyone has a unique history.

But some of my injuries were years ago.  Can they really be a problem?

We are aware of the impact injuries can have on each joint.  Given our experience doing this for a number of years, understanding the outcomes when joint movements “go missing” has become common place in our thinking.

Funnily enough the early stuff is often really important.  After all, the earlier in your life the history occurred, the more years your body has had to deal with a compensation pattern.  So it’s potentially a big reason for your experience of pain today regardless of what significance you place on it.

We create a timeline with regard to the events in your history, and then overlay it with your history of pain to work out your unique puzzle.

If you can assess the movement pattern at the hot-spot of pain and you are clear on how the body combines to create patterns, you can determine where that hot-spot is being impacted from, and potentially have a case to RESOLVE the pain.

This is how we got over our own chronic pain experiences. 

Is my pain real?

Yes. There is always a reason for pain, the brain is too clever to just make stuff up.  

What you feel is real, it just might not be where the problem stems from. It might be more of an alert flare, bringing attention to something being out-of-whack.

Here’s our good news.

YOUR body is one complete system.  It contains everything it needs to serve itself a new and improved outcome of movement.

Your history of events creates your learnt compensation patterns.  It’s what we read in your movements today, that tells us how you have adapted and coped with that history.

Then we look at what movement combinations your body would benefit from and get to work.

Your old normal movement pattern is not working out for you. 

Our method provides a potential for you to learn how to re-calibrate your movements, working towards your new normal for efficiency and ease. 

Can we help anyone?

We would like to think so. 

We certainly give it our all.  Our passion is solving body puzzles.

We methodically think through the puzzles and seek to understand the impact of the individual pieces of history to then formulate a plan.

If I wanted to “have a go” what should I do?

Book an Anatomy in Motion appointment on our website (there’s a button below).

Or you could call 9859 5059 and speak to reception to book in.

One last thing…

Maybe you have tried lots of other ideas like pilates, yoga, strength training etc.  What we noticed for ourselves was that those programs did help us feel some change in our pain, BUT only if we continued doing them.  If we stopped the routine, the pain would start up again.  So clearly it was a patch up experience and not solving the underlying issue.

One big question we had was “how do we get to the point where we can stop needing to do all these things just to get by?”

The method you’ve just read about, is how we did just that.


Welcome to

The Body Flow Project.

Anatomy in Motion | Katie Willy | Elise Fuller | Tristan Joss | Steph Klupacs

Want to know more?

Listen to this Gary Ward Podcast seen below perfectly titled “Returning to Centre” 

How Gary discovered how we move.

For the curious practitioners.

Gary Ward truly has a game-changing philosophy and model that anyone can learn. It has been a liberating experience to break free from not knowing why we are stuck with MANAGING people’s pain, to having a potential solution for them.  Professionally, it’s been the most satisfying experience working this way and clients are so grateful not just for the results, but also for the intriguing insight into themselves.

The other unexpected outcome has been that in your learning you get to heal.  We are now feeling well from moving our own bodies through the model to learn about the detail.   

Go to www.findingcentre.com.uk & https://www.whatthefoot.co.uk/ and find out more. 

You can also email us from our contact form or DM @the.body.mechanics.nerd on Instagram if you have questions.

The more the merrier my friends.


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