What is Anatomy in Motion (AiM)
An Anatomical Template for Movement Practice
Anatomy in Motion (AiM) devised by Gary Ward offers an incredible model for how the human skeletal structure moves in walking. Walking is a functional movement that engages every joint in the body in a complex way. By looking at how the body moves in walking we can work out what is moving as it should and what might be impeding the natural walking gait. Gary’s amazing work has revolutionised how I see and teach movement as it explains how the structures of the body move in relationship to each other in an ideal situation.
What The Foot?
Gard Ward’s book is called What the Foot? Although AiM offers a systematic approach to looking at the whole body in motion, there is a slight emphasis on the feet. This is because there are some misunderstandings about the biomechanics of the feet that have led to many movement puzzles to remain unsolved. Our feet are sadly ignored throughout our every day lives. Most days they are stuck in shoes, and even if barefoot, they only get to walk on flat surfaces. Each foot has 33 joints and 26 bones. Sadly, our feet do not get the diversity of movement they require to develop both mobility and flexibility. Anatomy in Motion is about waking up our feet and realising how we use (or don’t use) our feet affects how our structure moves all the way through up through the body. Yes the movement in the foot affects our ankles, knees, hips, spine, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck and jaw.
What is Anatomy in Motion in Combination with Hanna Somatics
AiM and Hanna Somatics work very well together as their principles are similar and aligned. What Thomas Hanna calls Sensory Motor Amnesia (S-MA) Gary Ward calls “the dead zone”! Gary also recognises that certain areas of the body need to be “woken up” in order to get a better co-ordination of muscles and joints working together harmoniously. We need to create this balance around centre in all three planes of movement, in order to walk well, breathe well and live well. What AiM adds to the piece is the framework of how the skeleton moves in gait (called the flow motion model) and the standing work that is needed to integrate movements in joints of the feet, with movements in the spine and the other other joints in the body.
Moving and Static Assessments
AiM work is assessment based, we will look at and track how your movement changes as you go through the practices that are relevant to your particular needs. First lesson is often totally assessment based. As Paul Chek a famous movement specialist has said: “unless you’re assessing, you’re guessing.” This more technical way of working is not suitable for everyone and works best with people who already have a movement practice, who are willing to do regular self-practice in a methodical, patient and curious manner. This type of practice will inspire your inner scientist! Perhaps even more so that yoga and somatics, AiM is for curious students who wish to participate fully in their own healing process, which includes doing regular home practice!