Little insight into the Franklin-Method®

Being an enthusiastic scholar of Eric Franklin and a convinced lecturer at the Institute for Franklin-Method®, it is an actual want of mine to show you the uniqueness of the Franklin-Method®. Such a holistic way to work with a body can’t be communicated with only a few words. To simplify matters I will pick up a simple exercise.

Lifting an arm
The lower tip of our shoulder blade is moving alongside the thorax to the outside when the arm is lifted up. This movement requires a good gliding of shoulder blade on thorax. We imagine much space between shoulder blade and thorax and we let those two elements slide toward each other like a wet soap in a bathtub.

lifting an arm

For Franklin-Method® a classical imagery of lifting an arm is sand flowing out of fossa supraspinata. Tipping out the sand enables us to lift the arm without pulling up the shoulder blade far too high. In addition, it helps to stimulate the flow of m. supraspinatus and therefore to lift the arm without exertion of force.
Firstly, lift the right side and while lifting let the sand flow as well as the lower edge of the shoulder blade sliding to the outside. Afterwards, compare both sides in its quality of movement. Can you detect any difference? Is one movement easier for you than the other? Now, also train the left side and thereafter compare both sides again.
Most people note easiness and a higher level of movability. However, perception is very individual, which makes this type of movement very exciting. If the imagery of tipping out the sand does not help, or if you have an allergy to sand or if you have any other difficulty with this image you may decide for another, more pleasant imagination, for example the image of a gate :

the arm being a gate

Imagine the arm being a gate at a railway crossing and the shoulder blade is the counterweight to enable the gate being lifted with only low exertion of force. Let the heavy shoulder blade, so to say the counterweight to the gate, slide down to the back. With help of this imagination your arm will slide up high like the gate of the railway crossing without any exertion of force. Train this movement exercise again by comparing both sides. The experience, that an imagination being bound to a movement can significantly improve this movement, is very important. It helps to learn further strength sparing exercises. One elementary principle of Franklin-Method® is; Being relaxed makes strong. Only relaxed muscles are able to perform at its maximum. Without doubt, a tense antagonist will slow down the movement and its execution. With some help of imagination we elongate the antagonist to execute the movement. When lifting the arm, this will be the elongation of m. latissimus.

The application portfolio of Franklin-Method® ranges from gymnastics to dance, gymnastics for elders and professional sportsmen, and therapies. Take yourself some time and train for approx. 10 minutes.

In case you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to contact me.

Helene Moser, Physiotherapist, Movement Pedagogue and Franklin-Method® Therapist,

Source of imagery: Books of Eric Franklin: „Relax your Neck, Liberate your Shoulders“ and „Dynamic Alignment Through Imagery“