What is the Franklin Method

What is the Franklin Method and why is it part of your rehabilitation?

At Guided Audio Exercises, we have incorporated some of the principles of the Franklin method into our audio exercise “sheets”. The Franklin method is built on training good biomechanical function.  In other words, it teaches patients how the bones are structured, and how they are supposed to move.

By practicing the Franklin method, patients can gently invite their nervous systems back into movement.  Our nervous systems are very plastic and adaptable and they are capable of great change, even after years of not functioning ideally.

The Franklin method is about developing better body awareness.  This refreshes your body maps.

When refreshing your body maps, you need to pay close attention to your movements and exercises.  To retrain the body, your mind has to be actively engaged in the process.

Many of the body mapping exercises in these audio files are inspired by the Franklin method.  For more information on the Franklin method, visit www.franklinmethod.com.

Using imagery to focus on sensation and movement

When retraining movement by addressing the sensitive nervous system, you need to consider your patient’s readiness to participate in these types of exercises.  Consider the following principles:

  1. Awareness and Arousal: What is their arousal and awareness in the body part that they are working on?  Can they touch it, is it safe, and where is the body part?  Is it a “black hole” for them or does it have a defined space? Can they close their eyes and picture it? Paying attention to their body parts before and after exercise is one way of creating more awareness and arousal in that body part.
  2. Expectations: Have your patient consider their expectations for that body part. For example, have your patients ask themselves,  “What kind of a pelvis do I want when I walk- that of a queen, rock star, sumu wrestler?  Do I want the pelvis of a 20 year old or 90 year old?” When practicing sensori-motor exercises patients should have an expectation of how they want their body part to move during that exercise.
  3. Enjoyment: Do they enjoy using that part of their body?  Is it a positive or negative experience? How can you change that as a therapist?  Can you get them involved in exercises that are novel, new and interesting?

What is health?

  1. To be able to move in new and different ways with good variability
  2. To be able to adapt and give the body different options for whatever we throw at it- novel, fun and interesting movements are the spice of life.

Getting started- paying attention to sensation

  1. First, stand or sit, and just become aware of how that body part feels.  How does the rest of your body feel? Tense? Tight? Pain? Light? Loose? Well grounded? Well balanced?
  2. Take a ball, or your hand(s) and lightly tap the entire area that you are trying to become more aware of.  Tap all around it paying attention to what it feels like to be tapped and what it feels to be the “tapper”.  Observe and continue this for several minutes.
  3. Now, take your hand (s) and stroke down that body part, brushing all the tension in that body part into a big, imaginary hole in the ground.  Imagine stroking the soft fur of a kitten.
  4. Now, sit or stand still again and observe any changes.

Practice this awareness and arousal technique to bring your brain’s attention to an area of the body that needs to be “mapped” in a more accurate way.  Maybe it is hypersensitive, or maybe there is a lack of awareness in that area.  Tapping and brushing heighten your brain’s awareness of the area, at the same time as decreasing threat associated with it.