Home » Embodied Anatomy & Movement Re-patterning

Module: Embodied Anatomy & Movement Re-patterning

Tutors: Jane Okondo & Paul Beaumont – see below.
Dates: 15 long-weekend workshops over 2 years.

  • 2022: 23 – 25 Sept, 21 – 23 Oct, 18 – 20 Nov, 9 – 11 Dec
  • 2023: 13 – 15 Jan, 17 – 19 Feb, 17 – 19 Mar, 14 – 16 Apr, 19 – 21 May, 16 – 18 June, 8 – 10 Sept, 3 – 5 Nov
  • 2024: 19 – 21 Jan, 15 – 17 Mar, 17 – 19 May, 5 – 7 July (New date to replace June 2023 weekend)

We will next run this module from Sept 2025. Join our mailing list to receive details.

Times: Fri. and Sat. 10:30am–6:00pm Sun 10:00am–5:30pm
Venue: To Be confirmed: Near Totnes, Devon, UK
2022 – 2024 Fees: £4230 (£300 Deposit to secure your place, plus 1 monthly payments of £222 (due 1.9.22) & 18 monthly payments of £206 (due on 1st of each month, Oct 2022 – Mar 2024); or the EARLY BIRD fee of £4080, when paid in full to be received by 1st July 2022).

The Embodied Anatomy module runs over 2 years, offering an embodied exploration of the Skin, Skeletal, Organ, Muscle, Fluid, Endocrine, Immune, Somatic and Autonomic Nervous Systems systems of the body, through touch, movement and dialogue.

See here for Blogs written during this module.

See here for an article written by Fernanda Munoz Newsome, choreographer and student on this module.

Study includes both theoretical and experiential aspects, with a strong focus on the embodiment of each system. The personal meanings and psychological expressions embodied within these different tissues are also explored.

Based on Body-Mind Centering®, this approach offers a way to gently come back home to the body, to re-experience the integration of sensation, feeling, mind and spirit that is ours by nature. We learn to awaken awareness in the body through focused touch, breath, guided imagery, movement and vocal expression, allowing the innate cellular intelligence of the bodymind to guide our explorations; we can learn to trust again the body and the knowledge that it carries.

Through focused touch and sensitively guided movement, areas of tension and blockage can be released, and the core of inner support and strength experienced. As habitual patterns in the body change or become more flexible, the mind also changes, allowing for greater openness, choice, spontaneity of being, and a deepening connection to self.

This module also provides a thorough grounding in Anatomy and Physiology that embraces both a practical and holistic understanding of the human body. Beginning from the premise that the body and its systems not only take form and function physically but also hold the stories and life experiences of the individual, the course material will examine the concept of a “psychosomatic unity” (Reich) in conjunction with clinical theory and major pathologies.

Prerequisite – Attendance at a Intro Workshop

Attendance at one of the IBMT Workshops, if you have not worked with us before.

Weekend 1. The Skin, Touch and Tissue Layers (Jane & Paul)

Bodyworker working on the hand

We explore the layers of skin and subcutaneous tissues, and how personal boundary issues are embodied within them; the significance of touch for physiological and psychological development; touch in bodywork practice, and the ethics of touching. The Body-Mind Centering® approach to Touch and Repatterning is introduced. Students also learn to identify and make contact with the various tissue layers of the body.

Anatomy & Physiology studies will include:

  • The skin: layers of skin; sensory receptors of skin; body temperature control
  • Function of skin as place of boundary, definition, communication and transformation between inner and outer worlds
  • Cellular membranes as primary boundary and place of communication and transformation

Weekends 2, 3 & 4. The Skeletal and Connective Tissue Systems (Paul)

Bones, joints, ligaments and connective tissue are studied, and awareness brought to these tissues and the qualities of touch, movement and awareness expressed through them. Techniques of Touch and Repatterning through the skeletal system are taught, to experience the inner core support that this system provides. Attention is given to working with postural and movement problems, and injury prevention.

  • Anatomy & Physiology studies will include:
  • Development, structure and function of bone; the three layers of bone •   Bones and joints; types of joints, their function and alignment
  • The skeleton – function of individual bones; emotional function of bone
  • Skeletal structure and energy; palpating bone
  • Synovial fluid
  • Connective tissue: fascial sheaths, tendons, and ligaments: differentiation and integration of structures and systems

Weekends 5, 6 & 7. Organ System: Cardiovascular & Respiratory, Digestive & Urogenital (Jane)

The organs give volume, internal support, power and emotion to movement and vocal expression. They carry our ‘gut feelings’ and embody emotional attitudes and responses. Physiological and emotional functions of the organs are explored, and techniques of Touch and Repatterning taught. Through focused touch, movement and voice we can find the internal support of the organs for the skeletal-muscular framework, and discover and give expression to feelings and attitudes embodied within them.

Anatomy & Physiology studies will include:

  • Heart, blood, blood vessels, and circulation
  • Lungs, pleura, diaphragm; movements and regulation of respiration
  • Breathing as a bridge between conscious and unconscious processes
  • Gastrointestinal tract – mouth, stomach, intestines; liver, gall bladder, pancreas
  • Digestion, absorption and metabolism of food
  • Emotional function of organs
  • Structure and function of kidneys, bladder and reproductive organs

Weekends 8 & 9. Muscular System (Paul)

The muscles bring activity, vitality and power to movement. They function through largely unconscious neuro-muscular patternings, influenced by the emotional, physical and mental experiences of life; this can create tension, pain and restriction, as well as strength, flexibility and grace. Through bringing subtle awareness to these patterns, postural and movement problems can be addressed, emotional attitudes made conscious, and new choices experienced. Touch and Repatterning through the neuromuscular system is taught.

Anatomy & Physiology studies will include:

  • Structure, function and action of muscle tissue; smooth and striated muscle; nerve innervation, neuromuscular junctions, reflex responses.
  • Anatomy of the muscular system.
  • Functions and actions of specific muscle groups.
  • Movement and sensation; muscle spindles and golgi tendon organs.
  • The repatterning of unconscious neuromuscular patterns.

Weekend 10. The Fluid Systems (Jane)

The circulatory systems of blood, lymph, cerebrospinal, interstitial, connective tissue, cellular, synovial and fat are a connected and constantly transforming system of fluids which provide the matrix for life within the body. All life processes are dependent upon them. They mediate communication, nourishment, healing, protection and transformation. Their flows and rhythms support movement and emotional expression, as well as specific qualities of touch; we explore how the fluids inform each individual’s quality of touch in bodywork practice.

Bodywork Practice

Anatomy & Physiology studies will include:

  • Anatomy and physiology of the Circulatory Fluids (cellular, interstitial, lymphatic, blood, cerebrospinal; connective tissue, fat, synovial fluid)

Weekends 11 & 12. The Nervous System (Paul)

The Nervous system coordinates all our activity and rest, stimulating, inhibiting and balancing all of the body tissues and influencing their function through the communication of conscious and unconscious thoughts and emotions. We will study the Somatic and Autonomic aspects of the Nervous system, seeking balance and integration of physiological and psychological function, and explore how nerve tissue itself can support integrated movement; this includes the support of specific areas of the brain for specific Developmental Movement Patterns. Through embodying the Nervous system as cellular and organic tissue, tension within it can be released, and the imprints of early trauma and disruptions of natural function may be resolved.

Anatomy & Physiology will include:

  • Structure and function of nerve cells; impulse conduction and generation, sensory-motor pathways
  • General anatomy and physiology of nervous system
  • Central and peripheral nervous system: brain, spinal nerves, and cranial nerves
  • Somatic nervous system: control of voluntary movement, muscle tone and posture
  • Autonomic nervous system: regulation of visceral processes, energy and attention
  • Sensory receptors and sense organs

Weekends 13 & 14. The Endocrine System (Paul)

The Endocrine Glands form an energetic system located along the front of the spine and within the brain, closely associated with nerve plexes and the chakras of the subtle energy body; they release hormones which affect both physiological and psychological function. The glands dynamically support posture and movement, including the Developmental Movement Patterns, and connect us to deep archetypal and creative sources of energy. Through body meditations, Touch and Movement Re-patterning, voice and creative movement we explore and seek to balance the Endocrine system, and experience the profound and dynamic support it offers to movement, posture and creative expression. Anatomy & Physiology will include:

  • Endocrine glands: pineal, pituitary, thyroid, parathyroids, thymus, pancreas, adrenals, ovaries, testes; hypothalamus, stomach & intestines, kidneys; other ‘bodies’ with possible endocrine function.
  • Function of hormones; neuroendocrine feedback cycles; physio-emotional effects
  • Relationship of glands to chakras

Weekend 15. Immune System & Psychoneuroimmunology (Paul)

The Immune system serves to protect the integrity and health of the organism through defending against disease and helping repair damaged tissue. It interacts in complex ways with the Nervous, Endocrine, Neuropeptide, and other body systems, and is affected by thoughts, emotions and stress of all kinds. We will study the Immune system, its relation to psychological and emotional factors and to other body systems, and ways in which bodywork and somatic movement therapy might contribute to its balanced functioning. The growing field of Psychoneuroimmunology, which studies the relationships between body systems, mind and emotion, will be introduced, and ‘heart electronics’ and the heart-DNA connection explored.

Anatomy & Physiology studies will include:

  • Lymphatic system, including spleen and thymus, and the immune response
  • Neuropeptides and the body-mind-emotion link
  • Psychoneuroimmunology, and the functional integration of systems

For more information the other modules, please click the links below:

Infant Movement Development

Authentic Movement and Therapeutic Presence

Somatic Psychology