The first thing to do is to focus upon the terms that explain orientation and direction in space of areas of one’s individual body. Be particularly careful not to mix up left and right. Our use of computers has taught us some habits. We left and right justify material on the screen without thinking much about it, the reference always being our own left and right side. However, in anatomy and physiology, you need to always think with regards to the specimen’s left and right side.
Pay attention to the correct pronunciation of physiological terms. Most brain components dedicated to processing of auditory signals are superb at critical pitch of the individual speech and giving meaning to it. If English is not your primary language and you are taking an anatomy and physiology course with an English speaking instructor, Google has a great free website to help you. There, you can enter the scientific term from your anatomy and physiology book and then have it converted into virtually any language in the world. Under each term is a mic symbol that you can click to hear the phrase in both languages. Practice saying the terms and pay attention to your own speech.
Break lengthy anatomic names into small areas to extract meaning. Researchers love to make up lengthy terms from a combination of small terms. Originally, shorter terms used in anatomy and physiology were Roman Latin and Greek terms. Early anatomists established the concept of using the meaning of the Latin and Greek terms to explain newly observed areas of one’s individual body.
Work at understanding what is meant by homeostasis. Briefly, every aspect of anatomy is directed toward the body maintenance of an optimal set of working circumstances, set temperature, neutral blood pH, precise body fluid composition and so forth. Physiologists call this process of keeping individual body conditions in the correct range maintaining homeostasis. Maintaining homeostasis requires a network of Receptors that signal when a property of the system wanders out of the preferred range. Receptors or sensors send alerts to Responders. Responders bring the system back to the preferred condition. Individual sets of Receptors and Responders are called Feedback Loops.