Body reading is a valuable skill any Manual Therapist should practice. The essence of the skill is to build a working knowledge of the ideal center of gravity of the human body, and to be able to effective guess at the center of mass of the body which you are reading. Variances between these two lines indicate imbalances which offer clues to what to do to improve physical function. These variances also suggest which evolutionary layer is most active in the imbalance.
Body reading is an acquired skill that involves significant investment to master. An excellent overview of the subject and place to start learning this skill can be had by reading this book:
For this website, a simpler form of body reading is described, which is adequate for suggesting therapeutic tactics. Here we simply divide the body through its midpoint in the planes of the three dimensions: Top/Bottom, Left/Right, and Front/Back. Because this strategy relates to variances in the musculoskeletal form, it does not include the first category (Living Things). If a significant variance in the distribution of mass relative to the gravity (center) line in one of these planes the related category should draw emphasis.
TRANSVERSE PLANE: ANIMAL
Does the body mass appear more dominant above/below the horizontal midline?
FRONTAL PLANE: VERTEBRATE
Does the body mass appear more dominant between the front and back of the body, or is there a slumped forward or hyperextended appearance? Toe walking is an example.
SAGITTAL PLANE: MAMMALS
Does the body mass appear more dominant on one side? Baseball pitchers often have an extreme example of this asymmetry. More common is a “hip hiking” pattern which is dominant on one side.