The 5 qualities

The 5Q system breaks down movement into these simple categories: carry, fall, throw, flow, put.

I have been teaching and practicing bodywork as well as Dance and Martial arts for over 35 years. In that time it has become clear to me that these 5 qualities or movement principles appear as part of every movement or bodywork system I have encountered to date.

Working with Howard is one of the best choices I’ve ever made for my body and for my music. – Jeffrey Walton

A 5Q session starts with a discussion, an exchange to discover what might be a goal for the work on that day. This gives me an idea which body parts might be out of sync or isolated from the whole person. Next is a body scan where you examine the way you sit, stand or lay on that particular day. Then we work together to improve a specific movement connection.
Every session moves from the somatic or subjective feeling process to concrete physical and emotional goals and has both passive and active movement processes. As you feel the habit changing you can take distance and develop a cognitive understanding of your own behavior.
For instance, a client has a problem with shallow breathing which is causing pain in the back or chest. We find the best movements to help integrate the parts that are not working in harmony with each other. And we will find the best movements that will improve the function of the breathing mechanism and relieving the pain.

Here are some examples of how the 5 Qualities already seperately exist in other forms of bodywork. Shiatsu works with the Put quality, Cranial Sacro therapy works Primarily with Carry, Massage tends to work with Throw and Put energy. Physical therapy generally seeks to improve the function of a singular body part.
5Q works using all 5 movement qualities and focusing globally and not just on one body part or symptom. It works through the integration of the whole, therefore improving the parts.

If you are trying to decide between an investment in a traditional massage or body work, I recommend Howard's work. He has a singular gift in his ability to read bodies. – Hana Ginsburg

5Q is available in group workshops or as private sessions.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or sign up for the next demonstration.

The body is a great teacher when we learn about our bodies we learn about ourselves.


Carry, Photo: Sven Hagolani Carry, Photo: Sven Hagolani
  • A person with a constant energy, “can carry a tune” concentrate, has physical as well as emotional stamina.
  • Can have a calming effect on others.
  • Can seem one dimensional , without dynamic, unexciting

Carry (short video)

Movement tendencies

Symmetrical Smooth long movement

Can move in one energy for a long time (endurance)

Personality Traits

Can appear patient, slow or sluggish

Eye focus

Tends toward a Softer eye focus 


Fall, Photo: Sven Hagolani Fall, Photo: Sven Hagolani
  • A person who feels there weight on the ground and can adjust easily unstable dangerous interactions because they know where there ground is.
  • Is not easily swayed, can stick to there ground.
  • Can seem stubborn, hard to uproot.

Fall (short video)

Movement tendencies

Downward gravity driven movement

Not so much homeostatic body tension

Tends to be good at Drunken movement

Likes the ground and falling toward it

Personality Traits

Can appear to let go easily, (emotionally and physically) Tends not to stand up to tense situations

Eye focus

Tends toward a Softer eye focus


Throw, Photo: Sven Hagolani Throw, Photo: Sven Hagolani
  • A passionate person.
  • Someone who feels they can trust there life path and throws themselves into there decision with abandon.
  • Can seem reckless.

Throw (short video)

Movement tendencies

Dynamic movement

Tends toward thrashing

Tends toward high, energetic movement into space

Personality Traits

Can appear insensitive, wild, extraverted or confident/ competent

Eye focus

Tends toward a harder eye focus


Flow, Photo: Sven Hagolani Flow, Photo: Sven Hagolani
  • Some one who goes with the flow is traditionally an easy going person who does not impose on others.
  • Inspires friendship and a non judgmental attitude
  • Can appear flakey.

Flow (short video)

Movement tendencies

Asymmetrical continues movement

Can put many movement impulses into one

Tends to like movement more than shape

Likes to go with and stay in the flow

Personality Traits

Can be or appear free and wild or unfocused, running on without clear goals

Eye focus

Tends toward a Softer eye focus


Put, Photo: Sven Hagolani Put, Photo: Sven Hagolani
  • Showing clear short precision in your movement – like a gesture
  • The put quality inspires trust, competence and professionalism in others
  • Can seem impatient

Put (short video)

Movement tendencies

Staccato, broken, sharp, Fast movement

Has an attraction to shape, very sensitive to variations in form.

Personality Traits

Can appear precise or inflexible

Eye focus

Tends toward a harder eye focus

I have finished each session with Howard feeling as if pieces have fallen back into order, and that there is greater efficiency available for my body. – Kathryn Alter

Main Profile

We all have types of movement we are more attracted to than others. Mostly because there is something familiar about them. This naturalness or familiarity leads us to perform these movement motors or qualities more proficiently. These are usually 3 of the 5Q.

Shadow profile

These are the movement motors or qualities that don't come so easily to us. We have to work at them by practicing and analyzing them. These are usually 2 of the 5Q.

We are in fact all a mixture of these pure movement qualities and personality structures.