August 1, 2017
Embodiment of Function
Embodiment, according to Merriam-Webster, is someone or something that is a perfect representative or example of a quality, idea, etc. Therefore, to embody the design of our body, or its function, we need to learn about ourselves from the inside out. Embodiment of your body’s function cannot happen without noticing, feeling your physical body. I don’t mean just looking in a mirror and seeing yourself. At any given point in time, you know where your physical body is in space. You feel your bones, joints, and muscles, and your breath flow through you body. How is this done? First, you must understand the mechanics of how a part of the physical body is designed to move. This is achieved through studying topical anatomy of the body. Secondly, experience the actual function in order for your brain to relate to the sensation of the movement in your body. Thirdly, you focus your attention on this movement. Lastly, repetition of the movement while focusing. An example would be pelvic movement in hip flexion. Learn where your hip joint is located, and that when you bend your hips, the sit bones (ischial tuberosity) of the pelvis widens. Then repeatedly bend at your hips with your fingers on your hip joints, thinking of the mechanics (sit bones widen), until you experience the movement from within your body. Repeat this five to seven times as you notice the feeling of movement.
Why is embodiment of function important? I think it is safe to say that if you use anything as it is designed, it functions better. In The Franklin Method when you embody your function you improve function. When your function is improved, your overall health is improved. So, with the example of hip flexion, if you become proficient in the overall design of this movement, then you improve the way you stand. If you improve the way you stand, then your posture will improve, you can then breathe better, and ultimately move with ease. With healthier movement patterns, your overall health will improve, you will experience less stress, and you will feel better. If you feel better your mood elevates, and this lends to happiness.