innate: belonging to the essential nature of something
What is the essential nature of movement?
Our structure is very specifically designed to move in this gravitational environment.
From the moment we are conceived we are subjected to the forces of gravity. During development, we are protected somewhat from these forces by being suspended in fluid, but even then, it is not an anti-gravity environment. And our structure is being specially formed to survive the full gravitational force at birth. In infancy, our bones, muscles, and organs continue to grow and develop in relationship to one another, for perfect functioning. And, if something has prevented this development, the body will strive to find adaptations to support the body in gravity.
By design, each body segment has specific movements that are innate to that structure, or group of structures. We can easily illustrate that by looking at a joint – how is it designed to move? It can move well in some directions, but not in others. Fingers easily curl towards the palm to make a fist, and can separate and close together, but would not so easily fold backwards to touch the back of the wrist, nor can they easily rotate – a very specific design for gripping. A shoulder, on the other hand, is designed with almost a 360-degree range of motion (limited in many of us due to injury or lack of use), perfect for throwing (and swinging from trees!).
Not only do our joints and muscles move, but so do our organs. When considering innate movements of the body, let us also remember that the brain, lungs, heart, liver, kidneys, stomach and bowel, etc are also always moving as they perform their functions. They are held in place by connective tissues that allow for certain ranges of movement. If not, what would stop them from succumbing to the forces of gravity and all fall into the bowl of the pelvis (where they would be caught by bones and muscles)?
And, although we may think that our bones and muscles stop moving when we stop moving, don’t the other systems go on functioning? So is the body ever truly still? Even at rest, the human body continues to quiver and undulate with the life coursing through it. All of the body’s systems continue to operate and since they are part of a greater whole, wouldn’t it stand to reason that there are some small movements that get translated through the rest of the tissues, on into the bones and muscles?
For me, when I consider “innate movement”, I’m thinking about the movements that are natural to the human body; both the voluntary range of motion of the limbs and spine, and also the quieter motions of the entire body even at rest.
Innate movement is the movement your body was designed to do, that it wants to do, and my role as a practitioner is to help get the obstacles to those movements out of your way. And then you can return to the movement and flow that is essential to you.