Navigating the Figure
In anatomy, terms of location and action presume a figure standing in a particular pose called the anatomical position. In this position, the arms are down, with palms turned forward, and the figure is otherwise in a straight standing position.
The midline divides the left and right sides of the body.
This midline indicates the longitudinal axis of the body. Anything that runs parallel to the longitudinal axis is said to be vertical. Anything that runs perpendicular to the longitudinal axis is said to be horizontal or transverse. Anything that runs diagonally to it is said to be oblique.
Anterior refers to the front of the body. Posterior refers to the back of the body.
Ventral means anterior. Dorsal means posterior, and can also refer to the back of the hand and the top of the foot.
Superior refers to the upper end of the body, towards the head. Inferior refers to the lower end, towards the feet.
Medial means towards the midline. Lateral means further away from the midline, left or right.
Internal means towards the center of a hollow form, such as the trunk. External means towards the outside of a hollow form.
Deep means towards the center of a solid form, such as the arm. Superficial means towards the surface of a solid form.
Proximal refers to a point on a limb that is closer to the trunk (as in proximity). Distal refers to a point on a limb that is further away from the trunk (as in distance).