What is the Franklin Method®?
I get asked this a lot… and there are so many amazing and transformational components of the Franklin Method®, it really is body, mind, and LIFE changing. In a basic overview, the Franklin Method® is a true mind-body approach that can be incorporated into any exercise and all daily activities. It is the “why” behind movement: how the body is designed and functions. Its founder, Eric Franklin, developed his method over 30 plus years using a combination of practical experience, scientific and anatomical analysis, and personal insight. His joyful and unique method is used worldwide by movement professionals, Cirque de Soleil, professional dancers, dance schools, and companies (The Royal Ballet School in London, the Juilliard School of Arts in New York to name a couple), the Music Conservatory of Vienna, and world-class athletes. It is now a mainstay for qualified practitioners of Pilates, Yoga, physical fitness, and physical therapy.
One of the key concepts of the Franklin Method® is understanding the design and function of the body in a clear, easy and concise way, and then embodying this information. What does that mean? It means you don’t just learn parts of the body and how they work (anatomy), but you have a felt experience of this in the body (embodiment). This is the “body” part of this mind-body method, putting the learned information into the body. The mind piece uses mental imagery (called dynamic imagery which includes anatomical, metaphorical, and motivational imagery, and mental simulation of movement), to create feelings and experiences in the body that make you feel better than you did before. The imagery used is not “fantasy”, but based in science. These imagery methods, or interventions, have been scientifically proven to improve function (and mood). Studies have shown that imagery in conjunction with physical practice is the fastest way to affect positive change.
A great discovery of the 21st century is the plasticity of the brain, and how we can continue to shape our brains throughout our lifetime. The Franklin Method® is at the forefront of practical neuro-plasticity: showing you how to use your brain to improve your body’s function. Movement starts in the brain, and a Franklin Method® aphorism is: “If you want to change your body, first change your mind”. The Franklin Method® teaches many tools to access and use the transforming power of the mind. We all have the power to change and, for many, being able to create that change and have the felt experience in the body is a powerful starting point.
One of the pillars of the Franklin Method® is using balls (rolling, tapping, and exercises) to release tension, help strengthen, and restore balance in various areas of the body such as the pelvis and shoulder girdle areas (biggies!). The balls can also be used to awaken proprioception (sensory neurons) which can improve function. The Franklin bands are also used for whole body movement to strengthen, stretch, and tone the body using three-dimensional movements to maintain or restore full range of motion and function in the body. There are many band sequences, and when put to music (both fun and motivating), it brings joy and zest to moving while improving strength, balance, and flexibility for sports specific activities or every day movement.
Another pillar of the Franklin Method® is the application of imagery to our everyday activities. What do we do every day? We breathe, walk, sit, stand, relate to gravity standing and in movement, and use our brains to think and dream. Why bother using imagery to improve on these things we do most of the time? Simply because you get better and better at what you do most of the time. If you practice thinking negative thoughts, slouching, or standing with a certain postural habit, you get better and better at that. So, the saying “practice makes perfect” should really be “practice makes permanent whatever you are practicing”.
The Franklin Method® is a holistic approach that connects all the spokes of the wheel: movement; breath; posture; health; imagery, and motivation. The Franklin Method® not only makes you fit in mind and body, but it increases well-being for a healthy, happy and vibrant life. It truly makes you fit for life!
Franklin Method Workshops are held through out the year. The workshops are 2 – 2.5 hours in length and include:
Pelvic Power for Core Integration
The Art of Change: Imagery for Healthy Movement and Life
Mind the Spine: Imagery & Movement for a Strong and Flexible Spine
Strong, Flexible, Healthy Knees
Relax Your Neck and Liberate Your Shoulders
Please visit “Workshops and News” for information about upcoming workshops