How to Remember Human Anatomy

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The human body is an amazingly complex structure. It is unmatched by any of man’s inventions for longevity, durability and the functionality of multiple systems working in unison. A careful study of the human body in motion reveals just how many different body parts become involved, and work together, in the simple act of walking. With so many bones and muscles involved, remembering them all, and where they are located, becomes a chore. The only way to get a command of human anatomy is to develop a system for remembering so much information.

1 Divide the body into parts

Divide the body into parts to learn the bones of the body. Set up a logical, systematic, directional approach. Study and learn these parts one body area at a time.

Starting your study with the head gives you a good point of orgin from which to begin.

2 Start with the head

Start with the head. Begin your memorization with the top of the head, the cranium, and work your way down the head to the jaws, mandibles. Develop a mental picture of the head from top to bottom, and create a short saying, rhyme or acronym to help you recall the bones.The old "head bone connected to the neck bone ..." can give you an idea of an example, and "bi-tri-fore" can help you remember muscles of the arm.

3 Rehearse the memory

Rehearse the memory prompt with the mental picture of the head until it is firmly implanted and stored in your memory bank. Move next to the torso. Study the vertebrae, shoulders and rib cage. Repeatedly name them, taking note of the specific position of each. Employ the same memory tool from Step 2, remaining on this section until it is learned.

The feet are so complex they have their own body of medical knowledge to treat foot problems called podiatry.

4 Look at

Look at and study the hips and legs next, but do not include the feet. Save them for their own dedicated study time, since there are so many bones in the feet. Use the same system already outlined to plant and store this part of the information.

5 Write down the same kind

Write down the same kind of memory prompt to separate the skeletal system from all the other systems of the anatomy. For instance, the sequence B-H-T-H-L-F, pronounced BHT HLF, could be the prompt to remember Bones-Head-Torso-Hips and Legs-Feet.

Creating word sequence clues is very effective for retaining large bodies of information.

6 Continue to develop your study system

Continue to develop your study system for the other parts of the human anatomy in the same manner. Try, as much as is possible, to come up with real words for the more difficult ones to remember.

7 Study

Study and learn the muscular system of the human anatomy by specific body parts as opposed to the general division used with the skeletal system. Retain the same starting point for every system studied. Start with the muscles of the jaws and move to the neck front and rear.

Retaining the same up or down direction of study organization will make learning less confusing.

8 Consider the muscles of the back

Consider the muscles of the back, starting at the top/traps, going to the middle/lats and then the lower/erectus muscles. Repeat the same format for the front, starting with the chest/pecs, sides/coastals and lower/abs. Separate the arms into three main parts of upper front/biceps, upper rear/triceps and forearms.

9 Adapt this same system

Adapt this same system as you are required additional aspects of human anatomy. Be careful to set up a system, strictly honor the learning system you devise and do not deviate.

  • Do not expect to learn all the systems of the human body quickly; instead learn one at a time and build on that.
  • Even vast bodies of information can be mastered with organizational study and determination.

Chuck Brown is a freelance writer and former teacher and athletic coach. He has held professional stints as a business owner, personal fitness trainer, curriculum designer, website designer, market trader and real estate investor. Brown holds a bachelor's degree in English and a master's degree in Christian counseling.