Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, Second Edition, expands on the classic text and reference written by Eric Franklin, an internationally renowned teacher. Editorial Reviews. Review. "The Franklin Method training as outlined in this book is the most download Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery: Read 50 Books Reviews - tvnovellas.info (c) >>> page 1 of 7 PDF File: 60c7cf Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery: Second Edition By Eric Franklin.
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Franklin, Eric Dynamic alignment through imagery / Eric Franklin. p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. Destined to become a classic text and reference, Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery shows you how to use imaging techniques to improve. This new edition includes over illustrations of anatomical imagery and updated chapters with the latest information on dynamic alignment and imagery.
Finden Sie Zeit zum Entspannen. Bringen Sie Ihren Energiefluss ins Gleichgewicht. Weil Sie es sich Wert sind. Textmesh pro animating vertex positions Welcome to the new Unreal Engine 4 Documentation site! We're working on lots of new features including a feedback system so you can tell us how we are doing. Both the ScriptableObject and the other object being added endup being children of a new third empty object.
This book will help you discover your natural flexibility and quickly increase your power to move. Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery, Second Edition, will help you experience the biomechanical and anatomical principles that are crucial to dancers, other performing artists, yoga and Pilates teachers and practitioners, and athletes. The techniques and exercises presented in the book will guide you in improving your posture—and they will positively affect your thoughts and attitude about yourself and others and help you feel and move better both mentally and physically.
Acknowledgments Introduction: Posture and Dynamic Alignment Chapter 1: The Role of Imagery Summary Chapter 4: Benefits and Types of Imagery Benefits: The Internal Monologue Summary Chapter 6: Biomechanical and Anatomical Principles and Exercises Chapter 7: Exercises for Anatomical Imagery Chapter Returning to Holistic Alignment Chapter Franklin lives near Zurich, Switzerland.
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Use these examples of Sensory Images to test your sensory preferences and skills Imagine a waterfall in front of you. Understand the importance of exercising the transverse tarsal joint The transverse tarsal joint the midtarsal joint is composed of the talonavicular and the calcaneocuboid articulations figure Learn imagery exercises for the transverse tarsal joint Imagine you are wringing a towel while keeping it in a straight line.
How the musculature of the abdomen and back work together to improve alignment Often muscles seem to be running in discrete lines and directions, with insertions and origins being discernable. The sequence is: Quarter-turn hop, hop in place, quarter-turn hop, hop in place, quarter-turn hop, hop in place, quarter-turn hop, hop in place; repeat the exercise one more time to the same side.
Again, practice to both sides. Then try the same exercise with half turns and finally whole turns even double turns, if you are an experienced dancer or gymnast. I practiced the above sequence frequently with the Swiss national gymnastics team.
It showed clearly that jumping power alone of which they had plenty will not create successful double turns in the air. A clear concept of your axis will use less "random" power and improve your turns. Working on her own for several years, studying the Alexander technique, she discovered a new method of training based on the body's own knowledge. In a radical departure from traditional dance training, Skinner's classes might involve lying on the floor immersed in an image or improvising to a haikulike totality image.
Haiku are short Japanese poems that evoke a certain mood; see chapter 7. Skinner's method, which she called Releasing, uses poetic imagery and provides a profound base for effortless movement and control. According to Stephanie Skura, choreographer and teacher of the technique: Letting go is a crucial preparation for allowing an image to truly move you. Releasing does not have to do with moving softly; it has to do with a constant flux without grabbing onto anything.
You get your orientation not by holding onto some center, but by letting the energy flow within you, through you, and around you. This is not an industrial age, mechanistic view of energy; it is not something finite that you can manufacture, store, and use up.
You feel yourself as part of a greater energy, personal interview, July The concepts inherent in Skinner Releasing remind me of Heracleitus, Greek philosopher of Ephesus around who maintained that all things were in a state of flux. He said that unity persists through constant change and used the analogy of the river to explain: Not all things need to be changing at all times. Rocks and mountains can be temporarily stable, but they will eventually change as well. The concept of flow is crucial to creating dynamic alignment.
Just as we have said that your mind can sculpt your body into a certain posture, your mind can also help your body flow into better alignment. And here is the good news: A How cannot be held because it then ceases to be a flow; therefore, alignment based on this notion cannot become rigid. If you begin to realize that your alignment is flowing, constantly changing, even if on a cellular or molecular level, you are able to take charge of this flow.
Using imagery, you can constantly guide your alignment toward increased efficiency without ever holding onto it. If you were to stop the flow, even in what appears to be a biomechanically well-aligned position, tension would ensue.
The building blocks of our body, the cells, are both filled and surrounded by fluids. Therefore fluid motion is inherent in our very structure. Ancient disciplines such as yoga are so central to many forms of dance that I would be remiss not to credit them adequately, although it is beyond the scope of this book to delve deeply into them.
Not necessarily based on the use of imagery such as ideokinesis and Skinner Releasing, the following beneficial techniques apply imagery usually nonmetaphorical in certain contexts.
Alexander Technique Donald Weed , a teacher of the Alexander technique, writes that all of the work can be distilled down to two discoveries: The Alexander concept of inhibition, of "saying no" to the habitual mental and physical reactions, is very relevant to imagery work as well.
To use an image effectively, you first need to clear your mind. You cannot be in a nervous state, your mind filled with a jumble of thoughts, and then pile some images on top of all that. It simply does not work. You must be open and receptive to new possibilities in your body. Nor should it be necessary to act on every impulse that comes to mind or muscle. A muscle impulse is one that you feel in your body before you realize in your mind what you want to do.
In fact, you need to learn how to react as little as possible to any irrational urge to do something. In this way, you can become selective about how you perform a movement, choosing the most efficient of the many movement patterns available.
The proper pattern can only be found in a peaceful state—a state in which impulsive movement patterns can be ignored, overridden, or "inhibited.
Schultz , is to release tension, lower your heart rate, and change other physiological conditions of your body. The imagery used here relaxes and calms the body and mind, suggesting heavy limbs, a cool forehead, and a quiet heart. AT also uses self-talk in the form of positive affirmations.
It is interesting to compare images used by Schultz, Kosnick, and Sweigard to reduce overall body tension: Schultz AT directs his students to experience the limbs becoming heavy; Sweigard suggests the body as a suit of clothes collapsing front to back; and Kosnick as related by his student Baumlein-Schurter has the body sink downward into the ground. The goals of FR are to experience weight, inner rhythm, and movement in the expirational phase of breathing to promote an economical use of the body.
Fuchs uses imagery in a variety of ways. For example, a series of exercises in FR "remembers" the 15 inner spaces by clearly visualizing them. These inner spaces, together with skeletal awareness, are very important to the upright posture. Fuchs also points out that faulty movement and postural patterns created by negative emotions can only be remedied through the use of positive feelings and images. Moshe Feldenkrais With Feldenkrais technique there is no right or wrong posture.
The technique asks questions such as: What is your structure? Where are you? What are you doing? What is your intention? Feldenkrais uses movement exercises, some of them deceptively simple, to create astonishing changes in flexibility and movement patterns. It sometimes requests the student to perform a movement on one side of the body and only visualize it on the other side, or to imagine a movement several times before actually doing it.
Author Layna Verin states that Feldenkrais accomplishes its results by enabling you to become more sensitive to differences. By devising a configuration of movements that cannot be performed without this refinement.
By making you aware of the minute interval between the time your body mobilizes for movement and you actually do that movement—the minute interval that allows you to exercise that capacity for differentiation and to change, p. Cohen, whose original background is in the fine arts, dance, and the theater, was licensed as an occupational therapist and a neurodevelopmental therapist by the Bobaths in England. She also studied Neuromuscular Reeducation another name for Todd's imagery work with Andre Bernard and Zero Balancing, a bodywork method developed by Fritz Smith and Katsugen Endo "the art of training the nervous system" with Haruchi Noguchi in Japan.
Imagery is intrinsic to BMC and is applied to the musculoskeletal, respiratory, digestive, circulatory, nervous, and hormonal systems. Child development is explored in detail; early movements such as creeping, crawling, and rolling are related to the evolutionary stages of the animal kingdom.
Bonnie Cohen recently published Sensing, Feeling, and Action: Occasionally the tiger decides to become playful and rolls onto its side and back, or may even do a complete roll.
Next the tiger practices crawling backward, as if retreating from a threat, only to recoil off its powerful hind legs and increase the speed of its forward motion.
Begin to crawl forward at an ever-faster pace, and finally, change as harmoniously as possible to an upright walk. As you continue to walk, imagine that you are still crawling. It is particularly important just to think the image, not to do it. Notice how this affects your alignment. Now begin to run, and imagine that you are a tiger bounding across the grasslands with a flexible spine and soft paws. All of the above-mentioned methods are strikingly original and creative.
They are linked by their use of imagery—in some form or another—as a catalyst for change. In the following chapter we will explore how a variety of postural models can contribute to our understanding of dynamic alignment. The purpose of this chapter is not to create a limited definition of posture and alignment but to broaden our sense of posture and open up many possible routes to improving our alignment. There are numerous approaches to aligning our bodies, and we can gain insight from each of them, rather like putting on different colored glasses.
One moment we perceive the body as a stack of cubes, the next moment as a pendant mobile. Dynamic alignment is neither a static nor a finite state; you are not working toward the day when you finally attain perfect alignment. Even if your alignment is already good, there is always room for improvement.
You are constantly moving to a deeper level of experience, an even subtler adjustment, a new perception. There are as many types of posture as there are human beings. Your posture is constantly and imperceptibly changing, reflecting your psychological state. If you took full-length photos of yourself from the front and side every morning and looked at them in sequence, you would see that your posture is in constant flux.
Your posture for the day depends on what you did the previous day, your psychological state and body tone when you 13 went to bed, the position you slept in, and changes in your body image, among other factors. In a photo taken in the evening, you would likely be shorter and your body would have rearranged itself in the direction suggested by your movement habits and tasks of that day.
A skilled dancer can detect daily postural changes and factor them into his or her alignment in both dynamic moving and static still states. Larry Rhodes, who was the department chair of NYU when I was a student there, once noted the following: One of the first things that needs to be done in a dancing day is feeling the subtle adjustments that need to be made to gain full functionality. Daily changes accumulate so that postural habits become more visible with age. Many people "shrink" with the passing of time, partly because the body contains less and less water as it ages.
Also, the body must resist gravity, the tendency to be pulled toward the earth's center. Todd's term postural pattern implies that the outward manifestation of body shape is the result of an inner network of forces. Postural controls depend on the functioning of the central nervous system, the visual system, the vestibular system, and the various receptors located in the musculoskeletal system. According to Todd Sweigard defines the upright posture in relation to a physical parameter: In dance, aesthetics influence posture, sometimes interfering with efficiency.
After birth, we go through a complex set of developmental stages at a rate determined by genetic, social, and other cultural forces Piaget Once a baby is able to sit, we marvel at its ability to balance its head perfectly over its torso. Despite having a considerably larger head relative to the rest of its body than an adult, a baby will sit in good alignment according to the rules of efficient mechanics, even if the parents and older siblings slouch at the dinner table. If the parents continue to be bad examples of alignment, however, the child will most likely model this behavior and allow its efficient posture to deteriorate.
Of course, myriad other factors influence the development of our movement habits—the games we play, our immediate environment, the climate, our innate interests and talents, the way in which we explore our environment, and how we imitate our playmates. I remember meeting the father of one of the young gymnasts I was coaching in Zurich in and recognizing him as soon as he walked into the gym by the way he carried his shoulder blades—his posture was very similar to the patterns I knew so well in his son.
Cultures with lifestyles that foster good alignment usually entail varied movement tasks in everyday life: Such cultures lack comfortable furniture that promotes flaccid "hanging out. I haven't seen many people dancing home from their office work, although they probably need the exercise more than the Xhosa. It is difficult to carry something on your head while slouched. The deep pelvic and leg muscles maintain power, and the hip joints remain flexible in a deep-knee crouch position, the working posture in many eastern countries.
This seems to be a universal position in childhood, as it is used by young children across all cultures figure 2.
On the other hand, it is easy to get accustomed to lying you can hardly call it sitting on soft living-room furniture. This kind of posture reduces body tone needed for good alignment.
The hip joints lose their flexibility because they are not exercised over their full range, which in turn increases the strain on other body structures in an effort to compensate for this lack of flexibility. Figure 2. It is not about finding the one and only right method of gaining ideal posture, but discovering how a multitude of ideas can inform our sense of alignment. The richer the sources we can draw from the more dynamic the resulting alignment.
The Somatic Approach to Ideal Posture Much insight into ideal alignment can be gained by looking at the diverse notions of the following representatives of the somatic field and their uses of imagery: Moshe Feldenkrais , founder of the Feldenkrais bodywork technique: In the same way, good upright posture is that from which a minimum muscular effort will move the body with equal ease in any desired direction.
This means that in the upright position there must be no muscular effort deriving from voluntary control, regardless of whether this effort is known and deliberate or concealed from the consciousness by habit, p. Joan Skinner , founder of the Skinner Releasing technique: When we're dealing with alignment in these classes, we're dealing with multidirectional balancing—not holding the balance in any part of the body, but relating to multigravitational fields.
When this alignment is harmonious with the larger energy systems, it releases the individual. Distortions of alignment constrict the individual. These distortions are constrictive because they are warps of the energy patterns which flow through us and around us and out of us and into us.
A Releasing alignment is not a fixed alignment; it's always in flux. Everything is relative to everything else. So I see it as harmonious or not harmonious. When it's harmonious, then something is unleashed, then power and energy are released and that becomes Releasing dance, p.
Ida Rolf, PhD , founder of the Rolfing bodywork method: In human bodies, symmetry along all three major axes is the only ultimate answer, not merely alignment in a vertical dimension. Achievement of this three-dimensional symmetry requires a deep awareness of the sum total of body elements. It calls also for recognition of the mechanics of individual underlying units. Each segment is characterized by its own elements of outstanding structural significance, p. In easy and balanced standing we mobilize precisely the energy needed to counterbalance the pull of the earth and permit full sensing of the total organism.
Work on balancing is begun only after a considerable degree of inner "awareness" is reached. We have to be able to give up using the eyes to orient ourselves and begin to rely entirely on sensing. We begin to notice that the finest changes in weight distribution often make a world of difference in sensations of effort or ease in muscle tissues and breathing. With the gradual approach to equilibrium comes a feeling of lightness, freedom and peace incomparable with any other experience.
One begins to discover that one is in constant flux; nothing is static, pp. Lulu Sweigard The unattainable "perfect posture" shows the skeletal framework in perfect alignment, in strict agreement with all principles of mechanical balance.
Approaching the ideal promotes those attributes so important to the performing artist: One approach suggests that the body is a machine that can be perfected by improving its mechanical functioning. In this scenario, we are dealing with an intricate combination of pumps, pipelines, pulleys, levers, and power stations controlled by a grand computer. If we oil, trim, and adjust this machine so that everything is in place, mechanical force transfers efficiently through the entire system.
A somewhat different approach comes from the East: The body is thought to be an interconnected field of energy. The flow of energy through designated pathways determines the body's state of health. Since ancient times, mental balance has been recognized cross-culturally as the basis of the well-functioning body.
As the ancient Romans stated: French psychotherapist Emile Coue contributed substantially to the reemergence in the West of the notion that the mind holds great power over the body. Famous for his formula, "Every day in every way, I am feeling better and better," he based his method on the power of the imagination. Metaphors Aren't Ageless We seem unable to envision an outside object that does not exist within us in some form.
Architecture, arches, domes, walls, canals, chemical factories, and computers can all be found within us. Even if a discovery seems like a revelation, entirely new, sooner or later the sciences come up with something similar in the body. Plato even states in the Phaedo that everything we can conceive of preexists as a so-called form or idea.
We take this one step further by saying that everything we can conceive of preexists in our human form. Each society takes its metaphors for bodily function from its most prevalent machines. In ancient Rome, for example, the heart was an oven because an oven was a standard household item.
The notion of the heart as a pump didn't arise until the industrial age made pumps commonplace Miller Later, a more refined knowledge of body chemistry revealed that the heart is also a gland. Once the cell was discovered as the basic building block of tissue, science began to divide and subdivide the body into ever smaller units. Postural Models A model is an image that attempts to clarify dominant structural and functional aspects.
Close to the scientific norm, or apparently completely removed from it, a model may be the first glimpse of a new insight, a fresh look at things that should not be immediately discarded if they are off the beaten track. The history of science is full of correct ideas that were initially rejected. For example, Watson and Crick's model of the DNA structure, the double helix, wasn't an exact representation, but rather a first look at a structure presented in such a way that the human mind could readily visualize it.
Some models share notions, while others seem to be completely at odds with each other. Sometimes parts of one model can be added to another one, creating a mixed model. Is there a comprehensive metaphorical model that embodies the complete structural and functional nature of erect human posture? If defined, will it help us find our "ideal" alignment? The following exercise describes three models offered to focus attention on particular aspects of posture, thereby forming the basis of better understanding that can lead to a deeper experience of posture.
I have found that spontaneously varying the models creates a more dynamic sense of alignment. By doing this, we can approach the same issues from a number of angles. Finally, we will "mix" the models. The following models emphasize the relationship between the head and the rest of the body: Your head floats up and your body dangles easily from your head figure 2. If you prefer to use a metaphor, you can think of your head as a balloon and your body as the string hanging down from it see also figure Practice this image while standing, walking, sitting down, and getting up.
Think of the body providing support for the head. The head balances easily on top of the spine figure 2. Metaphorically, you could think of the body as an upward surging energy that culminates at the top of the spine. The head floats on this energy. Another metaphor for this model would be that of a waterspout the body buoying the head on top. See figure After you have familiarized yourself with both models individually, try switching from one to the other in your mind's eye.
Which of the models appeals to you? Is the experience you derive from the models the same or different? Now let's create a "mixed" model as in figure 2. We will transfer the dangling aspect from model A to the arms and legs only.
We will use the upward energy from model B, but limit it to the core of the body and the spine. We will also use the concept of the head sitting on the top of the spine from model B. Practice this mixed image while standing, walking, sitting down, and getting up.
Feel free to create other "mixtures. Everything we know of consists of different configurations of these atoms. Between the atoms is emptiness. After death, we disintegrate into these small, indivisible particles, a reassuring notion for the ancient Greeks to whom life after death was not necessarily an enticing prospect. In the atomary or planetary postural model, the human body is seen as a miniature solar system, with all the parts oriented to and arranged around a common center, maintaining specific relationships within the whole figure 2.
Orientation toward a common center is, of course, an important image in dance. The parts may be seen to circle, loop, draw an ellipse, or spiral around the center. In the ideal arrangement, the relationship of the parts to the center creates the most efficient posture and movement.
Function is impeded if the parts are too bunched or too spread apart. Depending on the individual, this may mean moving the parts lower, higher, nearer, or farther in relation to the center.
Ultimately, "center" can be a point in space, a line, or even a plane. As can be surmised from his famous drawing of a man in a circle, Leonardo da Vinci believed man's center to be at his navel. Da Vinci most likely got this idea from reading De architecture! If a human being outstretches his hands and feet and one puts a compass on the navel as center, both the tips of the fingers and the tips of the toes are touched by the resulting circle. If the circle is connected to the human shape, so is the square.
If one measures from the soles of the feet to the top of the head and compares the result with the distance between the outstretched arms one finds the same size in width as in height, translated from Tages Anzeiger Magazin ,39 Figure 2. Todd ,59 writes: The parts can be pictured as square blocks, cylindrical spools, or spheres. They may consist of wood, stone, or bales of hay; they can be hollow or dense.
In correct alignment, the line connecting centers of weight is perpendicular to the ground see figure 2. If centers are not aligned, muscular imbalance, strain, and inefficiency result see figure 2. As Rolf points out above, the three axes passing through each of the blocks—the vertical, sagittal, and transverse—need to be aligned with each other.
Suzanne Klein-Vogelbach , a German movement therapist, compares the body systems in motion to a chain but substitutes the picture of a block pyramid or cone for static analysis. If the lower block is larger than the one immediately above it, the connecting structures are subject to the least strain, as exemplified by the spine.
Looking down on a seated month-old from above, one can clearly see the alignment of the "main blocks," head over pelvis figure 2. A child playing with blocks intuitively applies these principles, sometimes with astonishing dexterity.
When my three-year-old daughter and I build high towers of blocks, she can casually plunk another block on top of a tower without disturbing the fragile structure. These childhood experiences of structural balance can be called on to help fine tune the sense of alignment. Allow a magic force or magic fingers to move these blocks into excellent alignment with each other.
Think of this force as coming equally from both sides figure 2. Vaguely reminiscent of the human form, it features all the elements of a tensile-compression model.
Its central compression member, a wooden pole, can be likened to the spine. Arranged circularly around this axis are the tensile parts, the hanging ropes and girders. The top loop corresponds to the shoulder girdle hanging from the apex of the spine, the middle loop to the ribcage hanging from the thoracic spine, and the final loop, rather low and small, to the pelvis.
Unlike the "tensegrity" model described below, this structure depends very much on the central pole for its integrity.
To turn the playground tree into a tensegrity model, you could attach the ropes firmly on the top and bottom and take the slack out of them so that the structure would be maintained even if the tree were uprooted. Your arms are the branches and your upper body and legs are the trunk. Be aware of the upward force of the trunk and of the downward pull of the hanging branches. Now imagine being covered with snow. Watch the snow slide off the branches. A tensile plane created by the axes of the legs extends upward through the thigh joints.
A compression plane created by the axis of the spine extends sideways and downward "through the lower border of the sacrum. Should something happen to make either portion of the chain relax or contract more than the other, it could not be moved forward, around, back, and up over the little wheel, and forward again smoothly Power, in the form of compression force, comes down the back and turns forward through the pelvis, and as tensile force it travels upward again from the pelvis to the top of the chain, through sternum, hyoid, mandible, to the base of the skull, and down the spine again, p.
You can also use the image of an energy flow or a conveyor belt. Now try imagining yourself running to power the bicycle chain.
Keep the chain moving smoothly up the front and down the back. The connective tissue and the organs are also involved. The organs are not just passive weights that need to be carried around by the bony framework and muscles; they can contract and even move around a bit.
Muscles depend on the organs for their "fuel. Deane Juhan , instructor at the Trager Institute and author of Job's Body, describes a model of the human body as a water-filled balloon tightened by circular cords and shaped into a cylinder. He writes: If you cradle a baby in your arms, it feels like a little balloon filled with warm water, not like a structure that is primarily maintained by bony girders.
You can, of course, carry out the image ad infinitum: If the organs are waterfilled balloons in their own right, then the "master" balloon would contain smaller balloons, which again would contain even smaller ones, the cells. In reality, the cells are not impermeable, as are latex balloons, but allow fluids to pass through their membranes by osmosis, permitting two adjoining compartments to balance their concentration of salts. Whether corded or stacked, the balloon structure is capable of bearing weight yet is flexible and resilient enough to adapt to many situations.
The same alignment principles as with the building-block model apply here. The importance of this model lies in the fact that it appreciates the supportive function of each individual cell, the connective tissue, the fluids, and organs of the body. It allows us to feel fluid inside the body while maintaining a clearly delineated structure outside. The bones can be seen as spacers that help maintain the overall shape.
The ideal water-filled balloon model can bear and move weight without losing elasticity. Weight bearing actually helps distribute the nutrients within the balloon.
The beams represent bones, and the wires are the muscles and connective tissue such as tendons, ligaments, and fascia. The great tensile strength of the wires absorb the force created by weight and thereby prevent the beams from being compressed. The building-block model requires heavier materials because the compression elements carry all the weight. The tensegrity model can carry larger loads than a building-block model of equal weight and remain resilient.
If you compress a tensegrity model, it will rebound immediately figure 2. Alexandra and Roger Pierce contend that the body is more like a "tensegrity mast" than a single spherical structure. The spine, with its tapestry of soft tissues built up around the outthrusting bony processes of each vertebra, bears a striking resemblance" p. Seat yourself in an upright position without leaning against the back of your chair. Think of your spine as a tensegrity mast.
Imagine the connections between the individual vertebra spacers to be numerous small rubber bands. These rubber bands maintain the upright integrity of the spine by keeping the vertebrae aligned on top of each other.
Allow your spine to bend in any direction, stretching some of the rubber bands. As they contract, the rubber bands restore the spine to its original alignment. The spine is not rigid, but bobs back and forth for a while until coming back to its full upright resting position.
Repeat the exercise in another direction, maintaining awareness of the reboundlike quality of the return to center. He describes three basic layers of the body.
Digestion and breathing take place in the innermost layer; the middle layer provides support and movement; the outer layer, the skin, separates us from the outside world. The layering aspect of the tubular model is very valuable in creating a three-dimensional feeling of movement and alignment. Using the planes and axes to improve your alignment may limit your perspective to the notion of two-dimensionality. Tubes add depth. Three discrete layers: Visualize the three basic layers of the body.
The innermost is organ or the marrow of a bone on a limb , the middle layer is muscles, and the outer layer is skin. Imagine initiating movement from the different layers. What is it like to initiate movement from the innermost layer? From the middle layer? From the outermost layer? Once you have gained a sense of the different layers, try to switch your awareness rapidly from one layer to another. Notice how this affects your movement. Interconnected layers: So far you have been focusing on the depth of the three separate layers: Now focus on the concept of one layer interconnected throughout the body.
Begin with the skin. Become aware of how it covers the whole body. Notice how stretchable and strong it is. Notice that it is constantly interfacing with the environment. Once you are attuned to your skin layer, move down to the muscle envelope and feel that layer throughout the body. Notice the inherent strength of the muscle, its potential for movement, its elasticity, its power.
Now move to the next-deepest level, organ and bone. Concentrate on that layer throughout the body. Notice the stability of the bone and the plump, resilient volume of the organs.
Finally, go to a even deeper layer— focusing your awareness inside the marrow of the bone and the core of the organs. Now head back up to the surface of the body. Guide your awareness back through the consecutive layers like a submarine coming up from a deep dive. Each model discussed in this chapter brings us closer to the concept of dynamic alignment—the clear-cut shapes of the building block, the bounciness of the balloon, the depth of the tubular layer, the self-contained resilience of the tensegrity model, the loops and circles of the atomic model.
Shape and motion are intertwined; motion creates shape, and the shape contains the motion that created it. In a sense, we are surrounded by a sea of information, impressions, and events, and we are constantly choosing to react or not to react to this environment.
We also have an inner sea of thoughts, images, and emotions that influence our actions. This chapter investigates several theories on how imagery affects the body, but before considering them, let's try to better understand the concept of bodymind interaction by comparing the body to a ship at sea figure 3.
The captain the brain looks out for danger and makes sure that the ship is on course. If danger arises, the captain needs to evaluate the situation and decide how to act. Fortunately, the ship's systems can function independently of the captain's conscious awareness, or he would not be free to steer the ship. He is assisted by information from his radar mate and lookouts eyes, ears, nose and his navigational charts memory.
The ship has a gyroscope vestibular system, reflexes that automatically keeps it upright. Experienced at sea, the captain has mastered many difficult skills developmental memory, sensory memory. Once he makes a decision about what action to take, he does not need to run down to the machine room muscles, organs himself to change the speed and the direction of the ship. Instead he sends his command through an intercom nervous system that connects to the machine room.
If the machine room operators lower brain functions have received clear orders, they perform all the necessary tasks independently of the captain. They make sure that the angle of the rudder and 29 the rotations of the propeller bones as levers conform to the captain's orders. Occasionally, they will need to inform the captain of a problem with the machinery uneasiness, pain.
The captain may choose to go to a harbor doctor, therapist for repairs, or to ignore the problem for the moment if there is imminent danger. Figure 3. The ship, of course, will only maneuver as well as the skill of the captain permits. To improve his skills, the captain might choose to take some additional training body therapies, imagery training. It is said that a good captain identifies with and becomes one with his ship physicality, sensory awareness, embodiment.
He might find ways to become more aware of the special behavior of his ship at sea. He might also ask the mechanics to inform him about inherent problems with the rudder and motor sensory acuity. The more he knows about his ship and its behavior in all kinds of weather, the better he will master difficult situations.
Obviously, we need to train our captain-brain to guide our ship-body with greater skill. Perhaps less obviously, the reverse holds true as well—our body teaches our brain. Once trained to be fully conscious, the sensory abilities inherent in our anatomy are a source of tremendous information.
We must train ourselves to process and react to that information as soon as it is sensed. Everyday thinking is not sufficient training for complex changes in our mindbody organization. Like muscles, our brains get stronger at whatever they do regularly. If we practice visualization techniques and use imagery, our brains get better at doing that.
Conversely, if our minds regularly wander off into a jumble of random thought, they get better at that. To understand how best to train our thought process, we need to know more about the nature of consciousness. How can a purely mental experience, an image, give rise to a material change? Sweigard , quoting Mabel Todd from a privately published book and from The Thinking Body , explained that the image changes the patterning of the nervous system: It can be accomplished only if the method of teaching informs, stimulates, and challenges the student The idea of the movement alone suffices to start all movement along its most suitable path.
This concept as a method of teaching was first proposed by Todd. Her basic premise was that "concentration upon a picture involving movement results in responses in the neuromusculature as necessary to carry out specific movements with the least effort. Having a thought or holding a picture in the mind sends a message through the nervous system because thoughts and the nervous system are connected.
Recent scientific studies and advances in physics have spawned fierce controversy over this premise of the inseparability of mind and body. The machinists explain consciousness as a pure function of the brain, which is a supercomputer whose functions they cannot explain.
The mysterians, who contend that there is an aspect to mind that we just do not understand, counter that there is no way to scientifically evaluate an individual's way of experiencing. Damasio, a neurologist at the University of Iowa, was interviewed in the October 10, issue of the New York Times. Instead you compose an internal image of the cup drawn from its features. The cup is part of a cone, white, crushable, three inches high and can be manipulated.
The accumulation of sensory perceptions of an object lead to the ability to image it: The process begins with the baby taking objects into its mouth. Using this sensory method, the baby soon learns to distinguish the feel of wood from the feel of cloth and the round shape of a teething ring from the square shape of a building block. Later, a doughnut can be appreciated as something that is round as well as soft; still later, one can also recognize the letter in the doughnut.
This is why an important part of imagery training is sensory stimulation. Experience in the use of imagery reveals that certain ways of thinking are more effective than others. Ask a friend to extend one arm straight to the side and tell him or her that you are going to try to bend the arm. Notice how much your friend can resist your effort. Then tell your friend to think of a river of energy flowing through the arm and out into space.
He or she should keep the image of energy flow alive as you again try to bend the arm. You will notice that the arm is harder to bend, even though your friend has not suddenly become stronger. Certain ways of thinking increase the body's force without altering the structure.
The sensory part of this network reminds of me of an enormous market. Like a messenger sent out from the brain to get specific information, for example, about the position of a limb, the nerve cell, or neuron, can be thought of as the brain's personal shopper. Amid the jumble of voices touting oranges, apples, broccoli, and turnips information about limb positions , it needs to find lettuce only.
Neurons consist of a cell body with a nucleus, dendrites, and an axon. There are three types of neurons: Interneurons allow communication between sensory and motor neurons, among other higher tasks. Sensory neurons gather information and provide stimuli for reflex activity, then bring the information to the attention of the central processing unit, the brain.
Motor neurons carry commands to their attached muscles. If enough motor neurons are "firing," the muscle will contract. There is, in fact, a strong similarity between firing a gun and stimulating a muscle. Instead of gunpowder, electrochemical activity is shot down the axon, the neuron's lengthy arm Miller Because a single muscle fiber always releases the same amount of work at the same time, the motor neurons need to fire many shots at many fibers to activate an entire muscle.
The metaphor fails, however, to incorporate the whole class of operations in the nervous system that are not excitations but inhibitions. Is it possible to fire a shot that inhibits? Instead of stimulating a process, an inhibitory signal restrains or stops a process. Compare this concept to how a dam regulates the flow of water through a river. The amount of water arriving at the dam cannot be regulated, but what can be regulated is how much water is retained and how much is allowed to continue its flow down the river basin.
The body's dam is made of certain chemicals called amino acids Gottlieb They are activated by command of the higher brain or cortex. The cortex "exercises all of its effect on the rest of the brain through inhibition" and ensures that the flood of messages from the lower brain is properly regulated p. Muscles receive excitatory and inhibitory messages all the time.
If excitation dominates, the dam is not functioning and the river banks of the structure are overwhelmed. The result is loss of coordination and spasticity. As in the case of the ancient Nile, the whole country, or anything resembling conscious movement, may be lost. Good alignment, like water control, is a balance between sufficient stimulation of muscle activity to create an upright stance and sufficient restraint of muscular activity for this stance to be as effortless as possible.
The nervous system is divided into the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system. The central nervous system consists of the brain and the spinal cord. The cord transfers information to and from the brain and is encased within the spine and the dura, an extra-strong connective tissue covering. The peripheral nervous system can be subdivided into the somatic and the autonomic systems. The somatic nervous system maintains contact with the outside world and sends impulses to the striated muscles used in gross and subtle movement.
The autonomic nervous system controls the internal organs, which generally are not consciously controlled although, with practice, such control can be exercised to a limited degree.
The main portion of the brain, the cerebrum Latin for brain , is divided into lobes that relate to the overlying cranial bones. The frontal lobes are said to control movement and produce speech; the parietal lobes receive and process data from the senses; the temporal lobes hear and interpret music and language; the occipital lobes specialize in vision.
The cerebellum, located just below the cerebrum, is responsible for skilled movement. The cerebellum retains the coordination of the dance movement sequences we have learned, storing them in the brain to be recalled when necessary. Although he hadn't pirouetted in a long time, he astounded us with an astronomical so it seemed to us six or seven perfect turns. He explained that once the correct feeling for a movement has been firmly established, you only need to recall the sensation and the body will automatically with the help of the cerebellum reproduce even complex movement sequences.
Other brain structures include: The cerebral cortex, which is only a few millimeters thick, covers the four lobes that make up the left and right hemispheres of the brain. Left Brain and Right Brain Generally, the left hemisphere of the brain is considered to be logical, rational, intellectual, and deductive and the right to be metaphorical, intuitive, imaginative, and timeless. Recent studies, however, have proven such neat compartmentalizing of brain functions to be false. Some people seem to have language areas on the left and right sides of the brain.
Patterns or organizations of language ability have been found to be as unique as fingerprints. Knowledge of words and concepts is found to be spread widely throughout the brain. A third-party mediator, the convergence zone, is needed to join the knowledge. Much is being discovered about the hemispheric functions through people who have experienced partial damage to the brain. For example, people with damage to an area on the right side of the brain where sensory signals are processed exhibit unusual behavior.
They are paralyzed on the left sides of their body, but, as the medical section of the December 6, New York Times reported, "when asked if they can tie their shoes or wave their left arm, they say 'of course I can. I'll do it! When we think "extend left leg," our bodies obey according to an established pattern of neuromuscular coordination. She writes: Ernest Rossi states that the right hemisphere plays the primary role in the production of "raw" imagery, but that the images can be "cooked" in a secondary process by the left hemisphere.
This can be seen in people's eye movements when they are being tested for imagery and spatial relations p. Jacobson demonstrated that thinking intensely about a certain movement activates the appropriate neurons that control the muscles involved in that move ment. Consistent with these findings, Sweigard showed that consistent practice of certain images results in an overall change in postural alignment. The ability to effect changes in the body through visualization seems to be quite "natural.
No thought, no emotion, is without biochemical, electrochemical activity; and the activity leaves no cell untouched. No longer in the category of mere folk wisdom or superstition, the body-mind connection is now a matter that has been demonstrated by careful scientific inquiry" p. Rossi proposes that the limbic-hypothalamic system of the brain is the prime candidate for the role of connecting mind and body.
The hypothalamus is the major regulator of the body's basic systems, such as hunger, thirst, temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. Recent research reported in the New York Times on August 31,, shows that: The brain uses virtually identical pathways for seeing objects and for imagining them—only it uses these pathways in reverse.
In the process of human vision, a stimulus in the outside world is passed from the retina to the primary visual cortex and then to higher centers until an object or event is recognized.
In mental imaging, a stimulus originates in a higher center and is passed down to the primary visual cortex, where it is recognized. Mind Versus Body Although we may have pathways from mind to body and from body to mind, questions remain. How did the mind get into the body? Is the body the only outlet for the activities of the mind? In attempting to solve these problems, are we trying to make bread without dough?
There are several schools of thought. The mysterians believe that there is an incomprehensible component to mind that is nonmaterial. Physicists Bohr, Heisenberg, and Margenau agree that "consciousness cannot be fully accounted for by the physical sciences as they are currently understood" Dossey , Experiments in quantum optics show that events can influence each other faster than any signal can travel between them Chiao et al. Perhaps images are not bound exclusively to the nervous pathways.
Interactions between the nonmaterial and material are commonplace" Dossey , There is mounting evidence that the mind's influence can be found outside the body. If you divide a colony of worms with identical genetic material into two groups and give them to two separate groups of experimenters the following occurs: If the experimenters are told that the worms are especially intelligent, they will do better than the other group, whose "trainers" are told that the worms are especially "stupid.
Does this imply that the mind has effects outside of the brain? Thomas Nagel Gelman et al. Imagine you come across a wiggly, crawly creature. You put it in a box and leave it awhile. When you open the box, a butterfly flies out, and you say, "Gee, that's got to be the wiggly, crawly creature. That's the problem with consciousness, the butterfly that emerges almost magically from the brain, p.
Could it be that the mind of the teacher influences the student directly, not just through the use of words or touch? I have known teachers of dance with the attitude: I am sure we have all experienced the benefits of receiving encouragement, or what is often referred to as positive "vibrations.
Sometimes the presence of a certain teacher makes a student perform better. Perhaps the student's ability reflects the teacher's attitude. Perhaps the student feels more confident or simply wants to do better. Mabel Todd writes: What actually happens is that we get a picture from the teacher's words or his movements, and the appropriate action takes place within our own bodies to reproduce this picture.
The result is successful in proportion to our power of interpretation and amount of experience, but most of all perhaps to the desire to do [sic], p. THE SENSES The capacities to think ahead, to recognize novel situations as harbingers of good or ill, and to speedily and imaginatively solve problems are among our most valuable capacities.
They were almost key to our survival and proliferation of our species. Overall, our brain is the most powerful anticipation machine ever built. Flanagan , When we consciously decide to move, we need information. To gather this information, we have six senses including the sense of proprioception, which tells us our body positioning. We even have seven senses if you include right brain intuition or the sudden hunches we have all experienced. Even though the sensory information we receive seems complete, it is only relatively so.
A shark's eyes, for example, according to the December 10, Zurich Edition of the International Herald Tribune, are equipped with lenses seven times as powerful as ours. Sharks can sense a drop of fish extract in quarter-acre lagoon six and a half feet deep. They even have a sense that enables them to detect bioelectric fields radiated by other sea creatures guiding them to the heartbeat of a flatfish buried in the sand. Imagine you are in a dark room with a flashlight in your hand. If you shine the light in one direction, you can see a chair leg; if you shine it in another direction, you see a vase and a telephone.
Although you only see parts of these objects, you still recognize them. If the flashlight emitted a ray of light as thin as a laser beam, this would be a good representation of how limited our senses are. The brain purposely gives us a sense of completeness to make us feel safer.
The senses send the brain information about our environment, registering what changes and what doesn't. The nervous system does not supply us with all the information it gathers with its sensors throughout the body. If it did, we would be flooded with information. The brain completes the picture, makes sense of it, gives it meaning Schwarz An image localized in only one part of the body can powerfully influence the entire body. The image may be just one aspect of what is needed to change the whole.
Trying to process all the information needed to make a change may be overwhelming, but give the brain just one hint and it can absorb the other changes below the level of consciousness. The more you can develop the richness of your senses, the greater the impact of your images.
Like a painter who needs to create the subtlest changes in hue, we need to hone the precision of our sensory images. Sensory richness: Imagine a waterfall in front of you. See the sunlight reflected in it, making it glitter like a fluid diamond; feel the pressure created by the water's force; hear the high and the low pitches of a crescendo; taste the water droplets on your lips; smell the pungent, enriched air.
Sensory stimulation: Carry a sack of rice on your head for a moment. When you remove it, you can readily experience your head floating upward.