I have always been fascinated with human anatomy. In college I had an incredibly engaging Anatomy and Physiology professor who really inspired me. At that point I knew that I wanted to major in Kinesiology and find a career in which I could use this information to help people feel more comfortable with and in their bodies. Throughout my professional career I have continued to expand my knowledge because understanding anatomy and alignment are integral to all aspects of fitness.
This year, Kerry Corcoran co-owner of the Berkeley studio went with me to a five day workshop in Arizona. Kerry is a registered nurse with her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in nursing. She worked as a critical nurse for over a decade, and, like me, has a love of learning and a passion for using her anatomical knowledge to help her clients. Kerry is the anatomy trainer for all our studios, so attending this workshop together was the perfect way for us to immerse ourselves in anatomy and therapeutic alignment and enjoy the process of integrating ideas together.
This workshop was taught by Martin Kirk and was called Anatomy/ Therapy training. I feel it’s important to learn similar content from a variety of teachers/experts because hearing something in a different way or from someone trained in a different discipline gives you a larger toolbox of cues, and sometimes a new perspective, which enables you to be more creative in helping your clients. This is especially important when teaching a class like the Dailey Method that has clients working at many different levels. Continuing education helps me to gain a deeper understanding of aspects of anatomy and movement that I am already familiar with and to acquire new knowledge. I am always so excited to share this information with my owners so that they can further educate their teachers. This way everyone learns along with me and we maintain consistency across every studio. In TDM, tiny micro adjustments can make a tremendous difference and the more educated we are the more we can help each other and our clients.
I learned so much in this workshop that I can use to improve my practice and teaching. For example, The Dailey Method teaches active stretching- engaging your muscles to support your joints during stretching. The reasoning behind this is that if your muscles are engaged the corresponding tendons and ligaments are working to stabilize your skeleton. It was so great to hear Martin explain this same concept in the context of yoga. By maintaining muscular energy while stretching you truly lengthen the fibers of the muscle without affecting the stability of the connective tissue. This focus creates balance between strength and flexibility. We learned some incredible new cues and different ways to get clients focusing on alignment and stabilization during their stretch segments. This is just one great example of how learning the same subject matter from different people coming from different disciplines can be both validating and inspiring!
I also gained a deeper understanding of scapula stability. This area is so integral to optimal spinal curvature and the health of the rotator cuff. The shoulder area can be a fragile system and with focus on the correct muscles to align the scapula we can offset a lot of potential imbalances and help heal past injuries. Constant focus on engaging the scapular stabilizers can also make a huge difference in both spinal health and improved posture.
The more knowledge I gain, the more I realize how complex the human body and movement are and the more excited I get about perfecting the Method. One of our core values at The Dailey Method is “always be a student” and continuing education always makes me feel refreshed and reignited.
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Kristin is not your only physician fan–I am a podiatrist with an interest in corrective exercise as well as a TDM student. Interesting about the active stretching!
Jill, I loved reading this post. As I just graduated from osteopathic medical school (which places a heavy focus on anatomy training), I can relate to your passion for learning, realizing “the complexities of the human body and movements”, and translating that to help clients (patients). The reason I am a loyal client of DM is this focus on proper alignment, micro adjustments, spinal health, healing injuries, and more. In fact, these core values are integral to osteopathic philosophy as well. This form of fitness has transformed my life– and body.
Stay curious, and keep up the great work– it’s working! 🙂
Refreshed, aligned, & forever a student,
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