Anatomy in Motion (AiM)

I completed my AiM training about a year ago and have been using it with clients since then. I thought I should give a brief overview of AiM.

Anatomy in Motion (AiM) is the brainchild of Gary Ward; focusing on the relationship between movement dysfunction and pain.

Throughout our lives, bodies through go through a lot – this includes, but not limited to, injuries, surgeries, our posture or lack of movement (i.e. being in one position regularly for significant parts of the day). This leads to our bodies making adaptations by either restricting movement in one part of our body and compensating by making another part move too much, or by preventing us from doing a certain movement altogether. Over time this new movement, or lack of it, becomes the norm and we don’t even realise we have changed. Pain is usually caused by a joint or tissue being forced to move in a way it does want to or being overworked (due to something else not working properly). This is why treating just the area of pain does not usually relieve the pain long term.

AiM focuses on looking at an individual’s injury history (this includes traumas and surgeries) and assessing each joint’s movement. With this information it then looks at re-teaching the body to move better and thereby getting over-worked joints and tissues to relax and joints and tissues that weren’t working properly, to start working harder/better.


But where AiM really differentiates itself from other courses is its focus on the feet and there is a good reason for this. The spinal column only has 33 bones (24 that are movable). In contrast, each foot has 26 bones and 33 joints. With the exception of the ankle, all 32 joints articulate in all three planes of motion whenever we move. The bones in the feet equate to a quarter of all the bones in the body.

As the only part of the body to be in contact with the ground when we walk and stand, a small restriction in one joint can cause huge problems elsewhere. For example, a broken bone in your big toe when you were a child can cause issues with the neck. (The opposite is also true. Restrictions elsewhere in the body cause the feet to move differently and over time restrictions develop in the feet.)

To see the foot’s effect on the body try this – stand up and move your neck side to side and then rotate around and see if there are any restrictions/tightness. Now straighten out your big toes and then try the same movement and check if there are still restrictions. You might be surprised how such a small adjustment to your big toes can have an effect on your neck.

However, don’t mistake AiM as just a foot or gait training course. It uses a whole body approach and looks at integrating whole body movements. In essence, AiM is about re-teaching the body to move better and thereby giving the body more and usually better options to move. This in turn allows the body to recover/remove pain and perform at a higher level.

More information about Anatomy in Motion can be found on their website or in Gary Ward’s book What The Foot . Alternatively, if you have any other queries please feel free to contact me.

AiM being applied starts 30 minutes in