P069
Movement, stasis and interoception: unsettling the body [Medical Anthropology Network]

Convenors:
Andrew Russell (Durham University)
Anna Harris (Maastricht University)
Jane Macnaughton (Durham University)
Format:
Panels
Location:
Horsal 5 (B5)
Start time:
14 August, 2018 at 10:30
Session slots:
2

Short abstract:

This panel applies anthropological theories of embodiment, including interoceptive awareness, to movement-based approaches in health and wellbeing. In this way the panel will offer new perspectives on movement as a means of unsettling habitual embodied practices.

Long abstract:

The movement of bodies is a key focus of attention for wellbeing and health in both clinical and non-clinical contexts. For example, the training of health professionals involves the unsettling of the body to take on new forms of movement in relation to examination techniques, caring practices and surgical procedures. These new movements must become embodied, or settled within the body in order for practices to become expert and second nature. Secondly, for those with a chronic illness, new approaches to movement are also gaining increased attention, not just because of their role in enhancing fitness, but because they direct individuals' attention upon the body. Chronic debilitating illness, such as respiratory disease, is often associated with reduced bodily movement, and in turn with poor interoceptive (internal body) awareness. Reduced interoception is equated with problems of accuracy in symptom perception, and can lead to worsening outcomes, loss of agency and control. New approaches to movement in community settings, including arts-based interventions using dance or singing in the case of lung disease, aim to unsettle habitual embodied states. These are just two examples of possible topics this panel might address in applying anthropological concepts and techniques to better understand the relationships between movement, stasis, interoception, health and wellbeing. It thus offers a different take on the conference theme of 'moving', one that focusses on how movement unsettles and reorients individual, social and political bodies, enabling new perspectives not only on moving but on stasis and repose.