MODULES

These twelve modules are based on the approach and principles of Body-Mind Centering® and my practice as a movement researcher and educator. As the primary mode of learning is through embodiment, participants will need to spend time studying the different systems and developing a personal and collegial movement practice. The modules include somatizations (guided movement); experiential anatomy (structures, systems and tissue); images & objects; videos; touch & repatterning; and integration (moving, writing, drawing, walking, dreaming and/or conversation). Studies are supported through private sessions and supervised practice.

Pre-requisites: 50 hours study (workshops | private sessions)
Prior professional experience or related studies can be taken into consideration

Skeletal System (45 hours)

Embodying bones offers an experience of our inner structure and architecture. We discover the skeletal system’s capacity to stabilize and mobilize. How as a basic framework it gives form and structure to our body; contains our organs; offers qualities of clarity and effortlessness; provides stability, leverage and mobility through space; and supports our articulation of form in space. Through anatomical and somatic exploration we discover both the specificity of our articulating bones and their global organization in locomotion through space.

This module will include:
·       Structure of bone: periosteum, compact and cancellous/marrow
·       Axial and appendicular skeleton: dynamically address structural alignment
·       Bones as levers
·       Joints and joint action: cogwheel principle, rotation and excursioning
·       Partnering hands-on practice: tracing bones, differing qualities and mind of bone, supporting joint action

Organ System (45 hours)

Organs are the contents of our musculo-skeletal container, providing us with a sense of volume and weight.  They are about process, fullness and emotional expression. They provide multi-dimensional support for our movement, breath and voice.  Organ tone underlies alignment, presence and our sense of vitality.

This module will include:
·       Finding the fluid weight of organs as internal support for the skeletal system
·       Experiential anatomy of particular organs and the systems they contribute to, including: respiration; circulation; digestion; elimination; sexuality and reproduction
·       Recognition of their role in our emotional life and expression
·       Their global organization in locomotion providing buoyant resiliency and sequential integration

Senses & Perceptions and the Vestibular System (45 hours)

From the recognition that, the moving body is perceiving, we begin to realize an embodied kinaesthetic knowing through our organs of perception and their relationship to the planes of existence, gravity and space. Through the specificity of our sense organs we feel and sense the role they contribute to our expression of self and engagement with others. This study recognises perception as a psychophysical process and perceiving as the process of how we receive and respond to new information. This includes the bonding and defending response in every act of perceiving and its influence on learning.

 This module will include:
·       Identifying the six sense organs of the body and understand their basic functions – movement, touch, taste, smell, hearing and vision.
·       Recognising movement as perception
·       Kinaesthetic exploration of the axis, dimensions and planes of space – horizontal, coronal and sagittal and their relationship to the sense organs of the head
·       The vestibular system: relationship to balance and integration of the planes through embodiment
·       Developing an understanding of the process of perception through awareness of how we receive and respond to new information.
·       Bonding and defending response in every act of perceiving and its influence on learning
·       Understanding perception as a psychophysical process
·       Practice empathic whole body listening and responding  

Fluid System (45 hours)

We are essentially a fluid dynamic body, changing from breath to breath and moment to moment. Fluids support our feeling life and our capacity for empathic response. Our fluids transport essential elements around the body through our blood, lymph, and cerebro-spinal fluid. Fat provides warmth and protection, whilst fascia creates a network of tensegrity support through the body.

 This module will include:
·      Embodied anatomy & physiology of major fluid systems of the body: cellular (cellular, transitional, interstitial); circulatory (arterial, venous and capillary isorings); lymphatic; synovial; cerebro-spinal; fat and fascia
·      Recognition of the movement qualities of each fluid
·      Awareness of personal fluid affinities and the potential for transformation  
·      Fluid membrane balance through an understanding of the fluid mosaic model of cellular respiration.
·      Developing the capacity to bring inner and outer environments into dynamic relationship, enabling modulation and responsiveness
·      Guided hands-on to support embodiment of different tissues and states

Nervous System (45 hours)

The nervous system is a communication system that underlies thinking, movement precision, perception, creativity and imagination. The nervous records experience for later recall, reflection and repatterning. Different branches of the nervous system support a balance of action and rest, and contribute to our capacity for a variation of response depending on content and context.  Embodying the brain and spinal cord as organ tissue allows emotional expression. In this course we will also address recent research regarding the role of the vagus nerve and trauma. As we gain insight into our personal style we learn to recognize and reflect on our responses to differing stimuli, widening the field of our awareness and through this our capacity for relationship.

 This module will include:
·      Experiential anatomy and physiology of nervous system
·      Embodying the brain and spinal cord as organ tissue
·      Identifying different branches and functions of nervous system: central/peripheral, somatic/autonomic, sensory/motor, sympathetic/para- sympathetic
·      Enteric nervous system
·      Vagus nerve – polyvagal theory and practice
·      Hands-on practices to support repatterning
·      Expression through reflection, moving and dialogue

Muscle System (45 hours)

Together with our bones, our skeletal muscles create the protective container for our more vulnerable organs and soft tissue. They provide the flesh covered boundary for our bodies. Muscles contribute generously to the expression of who we are, offering comfort and ease to our moving lives. Muscles move us through space and enable us to develop specific kinesthetic skills. Embodying muscles allows us to feel resistance and boundaries and to navigate release and resolution. Maintaining flexibility and mobility throughout our lives requires that we engage our muscles with intelligence and sensitivity. A balanced approach creates an enduring capacity for pleasure in moving. This course will include elements of the ligament system. Embodying the ligamentous system helps us find specificity in movement, refines articulation and clarifies our focus.

This module will include:
·      A generic understanding of the mind of muscle
·      Relationship of muscles and bones
·      Concentric, eccentric and isometric contractions
·      A & B currenting principles
·      Proximal and distal initiation
·      Anatomy & physiology - identify specific muscles - origins & insertions
·      Muscle touch & repatterning – through different forms of engagement with a partner (assisted, resistive, and active movement)
·      Hands-on techniques - muscle binding, muscle puffing, kneading

Endocrine System, Breath & Voice (45 hours)

The endocrine system is closely aligned with the nervous system and is the first system to mature in our development. This underlies its critical role in our survival through relationship and attachment. It is the system that connects us at a personal level through the expression of our sexuality. It is also the system that connects us to a more impersonal universal state of awareness. A highly selective communication system – the endocrine glands rely on the fluids to transport the desired chemicals to specific cells – it is the system underlying the paradox of our existence - spirituality, play and spontanaeity. As a field of energy it constellates the attraction and magnetism of relational life – the sensual Eros of love.

 This module will include:
·      Anatomy and physiology of the endocrine glands/bodies: coccygeal body, ovaries/testes, adrenals, pancreas, thoraco body, heart body, thymus, thyroid, parathyroid, carotid bodies, pituitary, mammillary, and pineal
·      Expression through sound and movement from each of the glands/bodies
·      Alignment of head and spine through glandular support
·      Sensing affinities and recognising potentially different glandular responses and possibilities
·      Hands-on partnering practice – glandular reflex points

Breath & Voice
We manifest our state of being through our breath and we communicate with the world through the expressive qualities of our voice. Our voice reflects the functioning of our whole body and being.

This module will include:
·      Recognising breathing and vocalization are a continuum and reciprocity of the same process
·      Bring kinaesthetic and auditory consciousness to our vocal structures.
·      Sounding as expressive of our conscious and unconscious self
·      Vocalizing, play and improvisation

Embryological Development (45 hours)

This is the study of human development during the first eight weeks following conception/fertilization. Conception involves the joining of the ovum of the mother and the sperm of the father – two diverse cells create a unique individual. From embryonic breathing to the embodiment of all our tissues – we sense and feel our way towards the embryological consciousness that is still present in us. We sense our potential ... new life pauses on the threshold of becoming.

 This module will include:
·      Through embodiment and somatic guidance we explore the origin of ourselves from 2 cells to the complexity of embryonic life
·      The specificity of these stages of growth: ovum; sperm; morula; blastocyst; 2 layered disc; 3 layered disc; embryo
·      3 germ layers: endoderm; ectoderm; mesoderm
·      The supportive tissue that surrounds and contributes to embryonic growth: corona radiata; zona pellucida; uterine wall; placenta; yolk sac; primitive streak; notochord; neuro-enteric canal; neural tube; amniotic sac
·      The processes involved: conception; cleavage; zona hatching; implantation; gastrulation; neurulation
·      Development as a series of folding, migrating, expanding and continuously becoming.
·      The recognition and support of space in embryological development
·      The heart guides the brain and the hands in their development

Basic Neurocellular Patterns

Embodying the developmental movement patterns brings all our movement history into the present moment. During the course of these two modules you will be guided through the different stages of human evolution from pre-vertebral to vertebral, from pre-birth to locomotion. We will embody these patterns and learn how they establish the foundation for attachment, language and communication. The integration of these patterns brings fluidity, openness, power and clarity to all of our actions. When we add an understanding of our bones, organs, fluids and endocrine system we find further integration and pleasure in the ease of transitions and moving through space.

Pre-vertebral Patterns (45 hours)
In this first module we explore the pre-vertebral patterns – the developmental stages of our ontogenetic evolution from conception to readiness for birth, mirroring the phylogenetic life of different animal species – from the single celled animal through sponges, starfish, sea squirts to the pre-spinal amphioxus.

 This module will include:
·      Somatic explorations of the states of being in these pre-conscious patterns including: Vibration; Cellular Breathing; Sponging; Pulsation; Navel Radiation; Mouthing; Pre-spinal
·      Learning how to support re-patterning and integration of these neurological pathways through skilful observation and hands-on practice.

Vertebral Patterns (45 hours)
Pre-requisite: Pre-vertebral module

In this second module we explore the vertebral patterns – the developmental stages of our ontogenetic evolution from the readiness for birth, to standing and walking, mirroring the phylogenetic life of different animal species – from the spinal fish, through amphibian and reptilian to contralateral mammals.

 This module will include:
·      Pathways of support: Yielding; pushing; reaching and pulling
·      Yield and Push Patterns: Spinal; Homologous; Homolateral
·      Reach and Pull Patterns: Spinal; Homologous; Contralateral
·      Learning how to support re-patterning and integration of these neurological pathways through skilful observation and hands-on practice
·      Understanding and embodiment of the principles: support precedes movement; attention, intention and action: inner and outer focused aspects; central and peripheral support and movement; development is not a linear process
·      Personal integration and expression

Primitive Reflexes, Righting Reactions and Equilibrium Responses (RRR’s) (45 hours)

Embodying and integrating the RRR’s supports all integrated, effortless movement. They create the alphabet for the development of our movement vocabulary. RRR’s occur as a response to relationship – with oneself, the earth, space and/or others. We will embody the reflexes, righting reactions and equilibrium responses that underlie, support and integrate our capacity to gather into ourselves, reach out into the environment, take hold of what we need, balance our weight and move through space - from rolling through to verticality and locomotion.

 This module will include:
·      Embodiment of the RRR’s through movement, play, experimentation, and partnering support
·      Balancing postural tone, flexor and extensor tone
·      Hands-on techniques to elicit reflexes
·      Playful support and expression to uncover/discover righting reactions and equilibrium responses
·      Differentiating the RRR’s in relation to the three planes of movement
·      Evaluate movement patterns and choices

Psycho-physical Integration (45 hours)

Through somatic practice we access ways to transform habitual psychophysical habits to realize the potential and possibilities present in the relational field. This requires a practice of conscious presence that engages with self, other and community. Bringing these qualities to our lives enables us to deepen our connection with the living world, cultivating and sustaining our aliveness. Guided somatizations will encourage and enable embodiment of the different systems and neurocellular patterns that lay the ground for deeper emotional, psychological and physical integration. As we attend to moving as research we attune our whole self to being present in each moment with as much awareness as possible. This provides insight and the potential to support clients in their integration and transformation of experience.

 This module will include:
·      Psychophysical integration principles: expression and shadow elements; support preceded movement; mobility/stability
·       Attention to different qualities: timing, flow, weight, intention, spatial awareness and mind
·      Understanding and practice of self-care
·      Recognising transformation and change occur when we are physically and emotionally supported by self, others and our environment


Student Requirements

Evaluation & Feedback
Students are required to submit a 500-word essay at the end of each module with their reflections and self-assessment. A feedback form will provide an opportunity to comment on all aspects of the course, accommodation and teaching in order to adapt or improve the program.
Continuous evaluation and conversation is invited during the course or when requested.

Private Sessions
Students are required to do a minimum of 10 hours private sessions with the professional practitioner of their choice. They are encouraged to try different somatic modalities i.e. Alexander Technique, Shiatsu, Cranio-sacral Therapy and Feldenkrais, as well as BMC.

Study Notes & Booklist
Students are sent a booklist and are required to purchase these beforehand. On arrival they are given comprehensive notes related to the module and a journal. Included in the notes are an introduction to ISMETA’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice and a feedback form. A library of anatomy and reference books is available for student use.