Addressing the Mind and Body with Gary Ward – Part 1

Watch Gary and Victoria on the Ixchel Therapies YouTube Channel 


I started learning from Gary Ward about 9 years ago. I was really interested in what he had to say about the foot and how it could impact the whole body. Even though I had a degree in Clinical Massage, I was still fascinated by the effectiveness of reflexology and how working with the feet could make a difference to the entire body.

I found that Gary’s FlowMotion Model provided a way to understand and experience how the body’s joints can connect and disconnect the mind and body. I have seen this in hundreds of my clients, where the story of their body or the alignment of their feet often has a much deeper impact than just physical pain or restricted movement.

In the Podcast Transcript read about:

  • The experience of how Gary Ward’s Flow Motion Model helped me find the keys to unlocking years of unconscious emotional holding.

  • How feeling the connection with your bones and joints can be key to finding safety and resolving trauma.

  • How your body unconsciously copes with an injury

  • How Emotions and the Nervous System Impact Alignment

  • Alignment equals movement, whether emotional pain or physical performance

  • Why Mind and Body should be one word

  • How fight or flight and freeze state distort your movement

  • Why creating safety is the key to realignment

Below is transcript for part one of our discussion.

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Transcript of Podcast Addressing Mind and Body – Part 1  with my teacher and special guest Gary Ward


joints, movement, people, body, foot, muscles, pain, pronation, injury, alignment, bone, creating, gait cycle, sensation, trauma, long, learned, personal trainer, feel, problem


Victoria Salomon, Gary Ward

Victoria Salomon  00:01

Hi, Gary, welcome to the Positive Power Pain podcast. We are going to be talking about your anatomy in motion flow motion model today, and how it impacts different aspects of health in our body. Can I ask you just to introduce yourself a little bit first? 

Gary Ward  00:25

So my name is Gary Ward. And I created Anatomy and Motion in around 2007. I been working to understand the human body’s movement through the gait cycle since approximately that time, or a little bit before. 

I’m a personal trainer by background, qualified in 2001 so 21 years ago, and moved into education.

People started asking me to tell you what the hell I’m doing, because I put it in quite nicely. And at the time, I wasn’t 100% sure what I was doing.

Using Movement To Correct Peoples Movement Patterns

So the long and the short of it is anatomy and motion was founded as an idea almost where we can use movement to correct people’s movement patterns that would serve to benefit them in  a sense of well being in the long run.

So as a personal trainer, people would come to me because they had back pain or shoulder pain or knee pain, not necessarily to run a marathon or lose weight or put on extra muscle.

So I was instantly looped into this corrective exercise scenario, which just meant  lots of looking into what I can do to help people more.

But alongside that was this fascination of how the body moves, and recognition that there is this thing called a gait cycle.  You can listen on loads of other podcasts, with my kind of insight from the ski boot fitting angle, I was previously a ski boot fitter,  I had three days training in the foot and the anatomy of the foot and what pronation is and what supination is and I was fascinated.

So finding a neutral foot, helping people access a neutral foot meant that people’s comfort and their performance improved in their skiing. And so I was instantly working with this idea that alignment equals better, whether it’s pain or performance.

Alignment equals ‘better’, whether it’s pain or performance

And then it was about understanding why can’t we stay aligned? Why do we distort away from alignment, what is alignment,  and then this whole journey opens up.

But the interesting thing that was documentable, for me it was a description of how the foot moves through the gait cycle. And that it should be able to access both ends of its movement spectrum.

So pronation and supination. And for those listening who are unsure of what that language is, a pronation is where the foot flattens, the arch lowers towards the ground, and supination is when it rises up comes away from the ground becoming more rigid.

So we have this idea of moving from a flat, softer, more malleable type foot shape to a hard rigid structure where the arch was down and the arches bump. And in that sentence, what you’re hearing is a list of opposites. So the two states of one structure can oppose each other. And it’s incredibly healthy to experience that in a footstep.

So, if the foot is flat, I wanted to know what the influence of that is on the knee. And if the foot is high, arched, and rigid, what’s the influence of that on a knee as it turns out?

You need to be able to do both of those things in a single footstep so then connect up to the hip, the pelvis, and the spine.

It turned out that in order to have a healthy body, and when I say healthy, I’m back into the realms of pain and performance, we need to enable our structures to be able to access both sides of their possible movement scenarios. So like I said, pronation supination.

In the back, you need to be able to flex and extend your spine or side bend left and right. And that creates a balance.

The big difference about anatomy and motion versus the concepts that were being taught in the early 2000s, was a lot more about stability, not being stable, not having movement and a stable spine was a neutral spine.

But for me, I was seeing people train hard at finding neutral but having a distorted sense of posture, whereas what I was finding is that people were able to move and develop a straighter spine by experiencing the two ends of the extreme possibilities of movement.

I think that opened my eyes hugely to a lot of the concepts that you probably want to talk about today.

Victoria Salomon  05:16

It’s all about the contrast of experiencing different movements and sensations in the body.

So the contrast, is all about the contrast of experiencing different movements and sensations in the body. 

Gary Ward  05:25

Anatomically, it makes complete sense, because a muscle is designed to both have length and shortening. And when it’s long, the bone or the joint is in one position. And when the same muscle is short, the bone or the joint has to be in the opposite position.

So can we create an environment where we’re able to enable all of our joints in all of our body to experience both ends of its movement potential for all of our muscles to both lengthen and shorten, and then find a resting point in between.

So no muscles are left long, which is actually tension and tension equals stress. And no muscles are left short, which is actually where joints are being compressed, and compression equals discomfort as well.

So are we stuck in these positions, some muscles long, some muscles short, some joints, closed, some joints open, and then unable to get out of those positions. And just living in them exercising, taking medicine to overcome them, injecting them, foam rolling them, doing stretches, but actually what we need to then talk about is that these are habits that the human itself, its innate intelligence has enabled us to access, for a higher a higher goal.

Victoria Salomon  06:43

I just want to speak a little bit about what brought me to you initially, because it was all about the foot,  I had just completed a Clinical Massage degree where I’d spent three or four years learning in-depth about different ranges of movement of the body, how muscles and connective tissue, and everything kind of worked. And you know, nothing, everything, there was every technique to release pain from injury.

We learned about how to mobilize joints, but we didn’t actually learn about the movement of gait. 

I remember I went to a myofascial release convention, and someone there told me that they’d been on your course and that you’d written a book called What the Foot.

The moment I heard the title of your book, it was like something in me just switched on. And I was actually due to go on and become a Clinical Massage teacher. So on the very course that I’d done my degree on, but when I heard about your book, something just happened. And you know, you get those moments in life where you just feel pulled towards something. 

And the reason for that was that even though I had done my long Clinical Massage degree, and I was trained as a Systematic Kinesiologist, I knew that years ago, back in 1997, when I’d learned Reflexology, as one of the first therapies that I ever did, no matter what else I had gone and learned, I was still fascinated that I could come back to reflexology and get a therapeutic, measurable result on a health condition, not just on pain relief, but on a health condition.

So I knew having done the whole journey of learning incredibly in-depth stuff, you know, 1000s of clinic hours by that point, but the foot was a gateway to the body.

So when I heard about your course, for me, that was like, Oh my God, I didn’t know there was no reasoning other than it was a feeling but I just knew I had to come and train with you.

Then I came and you split the first course I did with you. You split into two lots of three days. And I think it was in the first lot of three days that we were there.

There were about 40 of us in the room. You had a few people supporting you and Chris was one of them. And Chris was getting us to do something where we were moving our hip joints and our adductors and abductors in our thighs.

I literally went into a kind of freeze state.  I remember feeling very unsafe and very, very numb and disorientated. He was saying do this, and I literally couldn’t even access it. It was extraordinary because I felt like most people in that room were personal trainers or maybe osteopaths.   I felt quite unusual in terms of clinical massage.   I mean, we had Pilates teachers, Bowen… 

But at that moment, I felt more like a client suddenly experiencing something that was being triggered. And Chris said to me, do you need to leave the room?  He could clearly see. And I was like, Yes!

You and I went out of the room. And I’ll never forget that moment because you basically got me to begin to breathe into what is a cog, which is something that we teach, and to start to change, not just movement, but timing of movement of different parts of my body with each other.

But for me, I wasn’t there, as a personal trainer, I was there as a practitioner who works with a lot of clients who are in chronic pain, or have histories of chronic trauma and memories locked into their bodies. And for me, that’s my history, that’s been my journey.

Your model,  what it’s done. as I described to you, it’s almost given the keys to unlock the joints. 

I see the joints as like the locks, a lot of trauma work is about chronic pain, it’s about releasing muscles, stretching muscles, contracting muscles. But what I learned through your model was that actually, it’s learning to remind the body of the joint movements, in different directions.

As you say, joints act, muscles react. And out of every model, and everything I’d learned, it was actually your model that gave me the keys to access parts of my body that until then, were basically numb, and I didn’t have access to them.

And here we are, I think that was 2013, 2014. And, as I’ve said to you since if I’d known what was going to happen when I unlocked those parts of my body that had managed to hold in a lot of memories and unconscious stuff, would I have continued?

I’m not sure, here I am, I’ve had a divorce and so much else.

I had to learn for myself, to then be able to bring to my clients and people that I teach that our body is a master of holding stuff unconsciously.

And that’s where you know, you come from a personal trainer background I come ultimately from,  chronic illness.

You’ve got chronic pain, let’s start to get your body feeling safe enough and realign it.

I use what I’ve learned with you to do that.  Then I use other techniques that I’ve learned from other aspects of my training over 25 years to help move that pain or that trauma out of the body.

But it’s your model of getting into the bones getting into the alignment, that gives the strength and the connectedness to move that pain safely.

I think that’s how I would describe it. And I remember saying to Chris, there’s something going on here that you’re not teaching in the room. And he was like, ‘Well, yeah, but we can’t get all that out when we’re teaching’.

Can you kind of say what your take is on that aspect of what I’m talking about?

Gary Ward  14:12 

I don’t know if we’ll ever answer the question about what’s not being talked about in the room. Not because we don’t want to, because we probably can’t, 

What about just the simple idea that if we think about the brain, if we think about the nervous system, I don’t think we understand it. I certainly don’t. 

Even those who endeavor to work in such environments, claim something like we only understand or use a really small percentage of what our brain is capable of doing.

So if I chunk all the way up to the top of, let’s consider your scenario I think of two words come to mind and one is protection, and the other is survival. And, as humans, there is nothing holding our skeleton in place except ourselves, our bones have definitely got limitations,to their movement, or definitely boundaries to what they’re able to do.  That comes down to the joint surface anatomy which is the shape of the end of the bone, meeting the shape of another end of the bone.

That bone, that shape creates an actual possibility of movement and for many of them in three dimensions.

So the whole thing isn’t going to fall out, but it can hold itself in awkward positions.

So we’ll talk about the response to injury, response to daily life, daily habits, we can talk about the response to trauma.

All of these adaptations are kind of in the name of protection, and survival, which is kind of ironic because then we’re going to say that

The posture that you have adopted to protect yourself is now the posture that is actually causing you problems.

We’ve gone from a short-term solution to an injury, creating a long-term problem’.

One of the analogies I’ll always use to keep it simple is you sprain your ankle.  For most people, it makes sense. (Not necessarily consciously, you do this unconsciously) and you do it immediately, you put your weight on the other leg  like the engine.  It doesn’t take long, it’s a period of I can’t remember now if it’s two minutes or two hours, but two hours of holding your foot in a non-usual position is enough.

The analogy was taping your fingers, if you tape your fingers for a couple of hours, your brain will start to eliminate the idea that you’ve got two fingers, you just think of it as one. But think about spending time in a cast for a week.

How does your body unconsciously cope with an injury?

Rolling your ankle, fibula bone finds a different position foot can’t go back to where it was rested. We do some circles with it in the air to write our name and kind of hope that the skeletal structure goes back to normal.

In fact, we don’t even get that far. We just hope it feels okay. And we can play football on Saturday. Without any of those thoughts, our body is done, it’s gone.

Well, I can’t put my weight on that thing. But I do need to play football on Saturday. So what we’ll do is we’ll put 70% of weight through our left leg.

Now the whole body has had to change position and we look at that as your center, you moved your center of mass from right to left.

Your body starts shifting your centre of mass

If you move your center of mass left, your pelvic position changes. So it might hike up on one side, it might rotate away from the problem leg, it might tilt in order to accommodate movement on the left leg.

Now your spine is in a different shape, the bottom moves towards the left, and it will have rotated back towards the problem it will have extended as a result of a tilt.

Now your shoulder girdle was in a different place, you’re necks in a different place, your eyes are having to take different input in.

But the fascinating thing about the human body is how quickly it normalizes this one shock.

Now you are in a normalized alternate state of structure that is now going to dictate the rest of your days; until you are able to revert it back to where it was pre-ankle sprain.

That is not going to be achieved by doing rolling circles in the air to write your name, it’s not going to be achieved by putting it in an ice bucket, it’s not going to be achieved by strapping it because of the two-hour rule.

It’s going to be achieved by somebody paying enough attention to say that bone is not in the right place, that movement is unable to happen because of this position of this bone, understanding the mechanism and ism of the injury

Then getting you to create an environment through movement or even manual intervention to allow that foot to work as it did before that injury.

Once you do that the brain will no longer make sense to be on the left leg and will start to come back to the right leg.

And just in that note, if just talking about the structural plan before we get to your space, that left leg if it’s been carrying you for 10 years, maybe the one where all the problems are and then the problem with where the problems are is people want to treat it.

You want it treated? That is the actual problem that is being tackled. And so back to those two words, protection and survival, one, we’re protecting the injury by moving away. And survival, I think is the innate goal of this, as being, I suppose, as we will do, we can then start to put a label.

Everything that you’ve done is about survival and that happens in your structure or body as well as in your mind.

So in the classroom, because what you’re talking about as a general guided session, we would do these things called check-ins. So Gary’s talked about how when you move your pelvis, the spine should respond when you move your spine, how the shoulder girdle should be responding, etc. And so, you’ve just heard that the pelvis can do eight things, it will, it will tilt in both directions, hike on the left hike on the right shift to the left, shift to the right, rotate, left, rotate, right, let’s just find out which of those you are physically capable of doing.

Victoria Salomon  21:18

Exactly. Or remembering,  remembering like this, there’s that difference? Isn’t there? There’s what you’ve just forgotten, you can do?  And then there’s what you can’t do, because you really can’t do it. 

Gary Ward  21:32

 And the idea that if you can’t do it here, quietly concentrating on it, you aren’t doing it out there. 

Because out there is where life happens. And so walking down the road, you aren’t doing it, going for a run, you aren’t doing it playing football on the weekend, you aren’t doing it sitting delivering a podcast, you aren’t doing it is not happening.

We call that what’s missing. So one of our jobs is to pay attention to what it is that the human in front of me who is suffering from pain can’t do in the room.

Because then we’re able to create a map or chart if you’d like, how a person stands. I use stick man.

But my biggest, highest and most expensive assessment tool is a stick man.

People say, Can you teach me to draw a stick man?  It’s the most information-giving aspect of an assessment, when you can draw a stick man that represents the person in front of you, they are able to look at it and go, ‘Oh, wow. No wonder I have discomfort’ – you can point it up.

Can you see how all of that area is long? You see how all of that is short? And these problems, I was able to pinpoint a person last week, his stick man was able to show the assessment and show that his piriformis syndrome or sciatica down the leg was basically a hip that was internally rotated, extended and abducted, and he couldn’t get out of it.

When we asked him if he can do these movements, that would give him the solution. He couldn’t. So that’s what we do. And we simply teach him to put the movements back.

But if you just go straight to sciatica to the piriformis syndrome, you can inject the piriformis, you can foam roll it, you can stretch it, you can you can even look at foot pronation, etc.

If it’s not going to be in like foot pronation, is great. But if it’s not useful, if it’s not actually feeding the appropriate movement into the whole body, that’s why we become a whole-body fascinated rather than anything else.

So what I wanted to get to is that all of those adaptations, I think, come down to us, either moving into a place that protects us from the problem, or let’s say you had an accident, and you actually got forced into a shape.

When either way, you ended up in a non-aligned space and your movements created habits and behaviors that left you stuck in that space.

Victoria Salomon  24:17

And can I just butt in here, Gary, because we’re talking about or you’re talking about when we’ve had an accident or an obvious injury, but I suppose a lot of what I’m working with, or what was my experience as well, is the alignment can go out because of a chronic state of grief or fear or emotion where it’s like, literally when you’re feeling that emotion or you’re in a state of fear your alignment can collapse.

As a Clinical Massage Therapist, obviously people are coming because of injuries.  However, very often they have undiagnosed pain.  When I say that I mean they may have gone through the medical world, they’ve had all kinds of tests, and no one can really find what the problem is.

Often it is because their nervous system is so numbed out and I believe this was my personal experience, that my posture had just collapsed.

How Emotions and the Nervous System Impact Alignment

In terms of the nervous system,  after years of using your process, I’ve been fascinated about the numbing out trauma response in the body and the collapse that causes misalignment in the joints.

Anatomy In Motion is the closest thing I found that’s helped me make sense of it,

So I use it with my clients together with Polyvagal Theory.

When stress hormones numb the body

It’s appears that when we are in deep trauma or under life threat, cortisol can make us go numb in our pelvic area, or the fight or flight response can completely send us out of alignment in our rib cage area, 

These nervous system responses, are very healthy or natural reactions to difficult situations, and obviously we need to be mobilised, we need fight or flight.

But I think my for my own personal journey, when I learned about the Polyvagal Theory,  where we have the dorsal vagal nerve in our belly, which is actually designed when you’re in danger to make you numb, so you can survive.

If you were feeling such high levels of terror, or whatever it is, you couldn’t actually get on with your life.

The Get Into Your Body Methodology

For me, that’s where I bought other elements of my learning to try and understand because, as you know, I created my own course based on your flow motion model and a few other bits called Get into your Body.

It’s a seven week course and the level one starts with the feet, getting people to move and understand the different ranges of movements. 

Basically, I teach them all these movements, and they start to see what’s missing, or what they can’t feel, or what doesn’t make sense.

I remember you saying in the first three day course, you know, there’s this day of chaos, because as the brain starts to explore different sensations, it feels chaotic. And also the nervous systems going like what on earth is going on, you know, this is like nothing makes sense in the body.

But in my work, I have made some sense of the fact that if there isn’t a specific injury, very often there are emotional elements, and life experiences that can have the same impact on collapsing the alignment as a physical injury. So I’m interested to see what you have to say about that.

Gary Ward  28:09

And as I just said undoubtedly, it is nice, from my perspective, if you do have a very real tangible event. To me, it makes sense to listen to how an injury occurred, I think about what impact that would have had on the body, I’ll check the body in reality to see if, if that’s actually where it’s still stuck. And then, you know, got an easy pathway out.

I guess, that if there’s trauma or emotional issues, looking for a better word, then it’s very similar to you need to try and understand the trigger of those things in order to be able to work with him, because I think in any scenario you will respond in one of two ways.

And that’s a yin way or a yang way. And normally, they are opposites. And I think this may be a little oversimplifying, but it does seem that everything has its its two extremes. Happy and sad. Right? And we get stuck in sadness, or we get stuck in happiness. And actually, as most people know, if they if they’re perpetually happy, they’re not really happy.

So neither is a good thing. You need a good healthy balance of both and be able to manage both sides of this coin. Because you mentioned fight and flight. And as stuff got unhappy in your system, in the classroom, you go into fight or flight and you choose you chose one. And then if that happens in your body, one of your ways to protect yourself is to flee.

When you unconsciously choose a state

Suddenly you maintain yourself in that state, and you can’t get out of it. And you’re there for long enough, you don’t know how to get out of it, you then need guidance and help in order in order to do that.

Victoria Salomon  30:14

And you don’t even know you’re in it. You’re not even aware of it. So how do you even know you need to get out something when you don’t even know you’re in it?

Gary Ward  30:25

And the vast majority of the Western world will be in fight or flight. And that’s the big conversation.  You’re not running from the Sabre-toothed Tiger anymore. You’re actually creating stress through your everyday activities.

My friend, Mike Weeks, who wrote a book called Resilience by Design, which is recently out, anybody who finds himself in this scenario is well worth looking at that.

He says, ‘We do stress, we don’t have stress, and we are not stressed, we choose to do it’. And it’s empowering yourself to recognise that it’s no longer something you want to do. Or you’re going to do it when it’s useful.

Because it’s always useful. Everything is actually necessary. Stress is necessary. Like you said, being able to run when the bear walks down the street is a really good idea. But just stop running and recover, and find a place where there’s no bear, and then be happy and be content again.

And so doing stress, recognising that you have the power and the choice to know that I’m doing it, or I’m doing it and it’s not serving me, you know, what’s the opposite scenario? And so when it comes to I guess, working with trauma, traumas and emotions, if they don’t know it’s happening to them, it’s going to take somebody to point that thing to help them see it to help them recognise it and to help them unravel it in a way like what are the opposites?

What states can we begin to access to make that happen?

It seems like and I know, if I’m blatantly honest,  I chose to move more into the anatomical structure, one because I had a very strong reason to try and promote this, this model and work with it.

But I also found it a lot easier to work with structural skills, musculoskeletal injuries. So you know, kudos for you for taking on that other side. And I’ve heard so many of your stories, they’re just wonderful.

But I feel like in that conversation, what we’re doing is we’re splitting or separating mind from body. And we shouldn’t do that.  Mind, body, it’s almost one word.

Where what we know is you can influence the the mind, if you get on top of these mental scenarios that are dominating you, you will have more freedom in your body. And if your body is the thing that is causing your mental stress, because of pain or chronic issues, then getting on top of your body is going to instantly alleviate those stresses and strains as well. So there’s a  two way road in here.

Victoria Salomon  33:25

Because my experience of this  is that a lot of pre verbal experiences are also in the body. So we’ve been living in our body since before we took our first breath.

In my experience of working with people with the Get Into Your Body System, which I’ve taken from your system, is that the body is holding, like pre verbal experiences, there are things that we can’t, as an adult, remember experiencing as a child or experiences we had, which we were having when our alignment actually was forming the foundation.

I’ve worked for years with trying to release, facilitating people to release undiagnosed pain, but actually, without a strong foundation, it’s quite an unsafe thing to do.

To  start trying to change or shift what people are holding. And actually it was your model, the anatomical model, and coming into the bones that actually gives, bizarrely enough the feeling of safety, the sensation of safety in the body, you know, and I’ll just share, I said this to you, I was  going through a very traumatic core process in the last three or four years which finished about a year ago and the one thing out of all resilience tools that I’d learnt, the one thing when I was in kind of what was like the line of fire in the courtroom, with coming into the sensation of my joints, and my bones, nothing could make me distrust that sensation, I could feel it and having learned to move in different ranges of movement, I knew how to bring myself into my body.

And that brain, that animal brain that we have, it loves the feeling of connection.  I think that’s what inspired me to make a course as well, put hours and hours of time into it, creating this model of how to move safely and feel into our bones. Because that, for me, in my experience is that now, so many clients, and people who’ve done the course, has been the foundation for everything else to realign itself. 

Gary Ward  35:56

Is it possible that that is  because that is a very tangible feeling that you can have?  You can touch it, experience it, explore it, whilst with the mental side of things it is very difficult to do that.

Victoria Salomon  36:16

confusion, what’s real, what’s not?  

Gary Ward  36:20

Ultimately to make it tangible, you almost have to write them down. Feel them on paper, somehow, you have some way to make them come to life so that you can stare at them, almost as if you’re looking at them as somebody else’s, which is actually another good technique to be able to do, then guide yourself as if  that was your friend, how would you what would you tell them to do?

So there are processes that make it tangible, but until you bring it into reality, it becomes it’s very abstract and almost impossible to deal with.

In NLP terms, we have these state generalisations, distortion and deletion. So all of the stuff that’s going on up there in your head,  then realised from experiences  where one thing went wrong at some point, and you made that into lots of things, causing the same problem.

So distortion is, taking the idea of falling off a chair, it’s got four legs, and you’re afraid of chairs, but actually, you’re afraid of anything with four legs, you’ve distorted.

Victoria Salomon  37:29

and you’ll catastrophize about it. Oh, my God it’s got four legs!

Gary Ward  37:33

And it’s all going on up here and you feel like you don’t have any control over it. And then deletion is the final one, which is where you we have memories that we don’t ever want to touch again, or reach into or open the door of and will shut them away.

And interestingly on our last one, and I think this may have been what was going on in the room for you, is you can use movement to push all those things out and back to the surface.

Again, I have no idea how and why that happens. But it happens so many times. 

I think more than what you said about the joints, just the system itself has organised itself distorted itself, in order by deleting movements, in order to manage what is going on in the head. 

Victoria Salomon  38:23

I know I spent years trying to release muscles to get in touch with my feelings and it never worked.

Then the joints, when you get into the joints and it’s a different sensation. You know when you’re in there because when the joints engage your brain, I mean, this is what I see with my clients and participants. It’s like these lightbulb moments of  ‘Oh, my, wow, I can feel that now’. And it always generally feels like support, stamina, powerful, safe and and you’re just in.

I describe it as is ‘coming in’. And of course, it has to start with the correct connection to the foot tripods and we haven’t spoken about the tripod.

But it all starts there because actually engaging anything further up without being connected to your foot tripod is also a bit meaningless. 

Gary Ward  39:26

There’s lots of things around that. So the thing is, we choose to work with muscles releasing muscles, stretching muscles, activating muscles.

If the joint that those muscles connect to is unable to perform its full potential. The work with the muscle is either a very, very long process or a waste of time.

Getting a muscle, getting a joint to perform to execute its movement in the way it’s designed, creates no option but for a muscle to respond and that’s the ‘joints act muscles react’ scenario.

So this, and then another addition addendum to that is if you get that joint to fulfil its potential, you instantly ask the next one in line to do the same.

That’s how we end up with these long chains of movement from that foot tripod up all the way up to the neck.

There is a connection that we can make from the foot to the spine, or the foot to the neck, because it’s just becomes patterns.

There’s a real simplicity to it that I can never overestimate to people. But it seems difficult, it seems impossible. But there’s a there’s a very simple step by step ABC journey through the skeletal structure.

If you can then use that simple structure to unlock people’s position and give them access to new positions, which is going to then create mind body response. 

Victoria Salomon  40:57

For me, as those joints engaged, and as you say, the relationship that is one engages, that it has with the next one moving up the body.  It’s like, wow, I could start to feel I just could, I didn’t have to try.

I just, it just was.  There’s a big difference between trying to feel something and something just switching on.

 I think in what I teach with people who aren’t practitioners, I’m teaching people who are coming because of some challenge or curiosity about the body.

It’s, it’s that sensation of something switching on with no trying, where it’s like, Oh, my goodness, and it feels right.

Then the brain is immediately, kind of like, whoa, and it sounds so simple.

Yet, it needs to work from the feet up so that the joints, align correctly.

And of course, people meet the places where they notice how they can’t feel that, and say  ‘I don’t know what you mean’.

It’s like, okay, well, that’s great information, the fact that you now know, there’s something you can’t feel or an area this, is a great starting point, to see what we can do around that.

For someone like myself, who had a history of trauma, those engagements of those joints, that was the sensation that brought me into my body, it wasn’t going back to a memory or trying to remember some traumatic event. Yeah, to get back in my body, it was the feeling, the engagement of those joints. It was a really, really powerful experience, which I now share with people.

Gary Ward  42:46

I think you’re tapping into, I think the real side of the work is the unconscious side, because you’re using the word try.

There are all kinds of quotes out there about trying yoga, there’s only ‘do’ so there’s no point trying something, if you’re just going to, if you do something the right thing, you will get a response.

If we can trust that the body is intelligent enough to take the information and do with it what it needs.

Then, I guess the flip side is that if it doesn’t, if you’re stretching your hamstrings every day, and you were told to do that, but it’s not improving your back pain, stop stretching your hamstrings. It’s not it.

Because what we know is that when you tap into the right movement, you do get really strong positive outcomes.

I’m not saying solutions. I’m not saying back pain gone. Sometimes you get these kind of miracle outcomes. Amazing. But for a lot of people, there’s a lot of work.

But the work involves then understanding what’s required how to move a joint and this starts to then get like, Oh my God, I need to become an anatomist or a doctor myself.

Actually, no, they’re just very simple movements that we can instruct and guide and you can do for yourself.

For me, if you know what gets me out of bed is more the idea that we can help people take ownership of themselves.

So I teach practitioners but on teaching practitioners the understanding that the person who is capable of doing the healing is not them. They are not responsible for your well being you are!

More Info on Gary Ward
Gary is known for breaking the mould of anatomical thinking in the realm of human movement and for his creation of the Flow Motion Model. A model which breaks down the movement of every single bone and joint in the human body during a single footstep which can be used for therapeutic purposes.
#flowmotionmodel #garywardsanatomyinmotion #whatthefoot #wakeyourbodyup #wakeyourfeetup #anatomyinmotion #garyward

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