Anatomy in Motion is a movement-based process, developed by Gary Ward. It centers around finding a stable base in your foot and how it interacts with the ground, relating back to the gait cycle (walking cycle). Walking gives our brains context for joint movement patterns, it establishes the “blueprint” for the foundations of movement. The foot is the first point of contact to the ground and leads the rest of the body forward. So if the foot leads in the wrong direction, you can imagine that the body above would need to adapt a different approach to accommodate!
The body is built to MOVE. However, somewhere along the way our body reorganizes itself around it’s past (such as an injury), which then dictates how our body will move from that point on. Basically we will live in a body that doesn’t move well due to this new pattern.
With this concept in mind, we use a particular set of exercises based on the mechanical phases of gait. The goal of these exercises is to re-introduce the body to override the compensatory movements patterns from the past. An unravelling of the modifications adopted to re-balance the body.
By simply using movement to help bring your own body into alignment, we can create more fluent movement and an environment to heal. We want to educate you on human movement, so you can ultimately take ownership of your own body by re-educating YOUR OWN BODY to move well again.
By using Gary’s model of joint motion through the walking cycle, we can determine what the joints should be doing through a moment-to-moment breakdown of walking, and what that joints are NOT doing in YOUR body. It’s basically a blueprint of natural movement patterns that we compare your movement patterns too, decipher what’s missing and re-teach the movement.
Your body’s goal is to maintain level eyes as best it can. It’s a matter of survival. If you don’t believe it, try walking around with your head tilted to one side or rotated one way and see how OFF you feels when you wander around! The human mode will always be stay upright with level eyes (the only other option would be to fall down). So your body will adjust the joints (so pretty much every one of them) to achieve this. But this means compensation patterns, imbalanced tissues, restricted movements, hypermobile movements elsewhere and progressive chaos.
So we ask “what joint is compensating and what structure is stressed above the foot?” Your back? Your knee? Your shoulder? The clues all come from your injury or medical history. This is not a needle-in-a-hay-stack process, we are guided by what you tell us as to where the domino-effect may have begun.
Human movement is an unconscious patterned response. If you think about it we are actually goal-orientated. When you get milk from the fridge, do you actually consider any of your body parts in the process of moving to the fridge, or do you just get milk from the fridge in the way you naturally do, with little thought (apart from the desire to get the milk)? Anatomy in Motion breaks this complex pattern of movement into simple chunks from the feet up. When we finally have full movement in our feet, the difference it makes elsewhere can be huge!
Gary Ward, founder of Anatomy in Motion, answers so many questions in this great podcast. If you want some answers for yourself, have a listen here first. Lie down, chuck on some earphones and find some interesting stuff you wont have realised about your own pain.
Think of something small like stubbing your big toe.
Think of how much weight you place in that toe straight after. Not much. You are making a compensation for the toe by keep off that part of your foot. You wont roll through the foot because you don’t want weight to disperse through the big toe.
If this was your right big toe, you would probably put more weight through your left foot to compensate. Your hip might stick out to the side in doing so and then your pelvis and spine need to adjust on top of that including your ribcage, to get to the top where your neck and skull need to compensate for the spine and pelvis below.
I wish I could say it stops there but it doesn’t. Your shoulder blades will also get in on the act which will impact your arms all the way through your elbows to your fingers.
So that’s a small example & a truly valid one. But what if it was a bigger injury, a break maybe. You would have a more intense pain and a longer recovery. A longer period of immobilising the toe, more compensations required and more awareness to stay right away from pressure through it.
This is the domino effect that has to happen every time you have a painful reason to compensate. The body is a phenomenal machine that tweaks this and that to keep you going, keeping you moving AND keep your eyes level. This is key.
The reason again is quite simple and easily explained. Tilt your head to the side and see how “off” you feel. Try and walk like this or sit and watch the TV…you will have a sense of it feeling wrong and a drive to straighten back up. Level eyes are always the end goal in the domino of compensations.
Our clients have been able to explore why their pain existed and experience movement to free their compensation postures.
This process can be liberating. It not only justifies your painful experience, it empowers you to be a major part of your success while we navigate the way to balancing your body.