Healthcare and Medicine Reference
under your middle fingers (while getting your client to
engage the longus muscles in the front of the neck).
While these two patterns often accompany each other in
the extreme head forward posture, they also occur sepa-
rately, so that this distinction becomes useful.
From occiput to supraorbital ridge
From the occipital ridge the SBL continues up and over
the occiput as these layers blend into the galea aponeu-
rotica, or scalp fascia, which includes the small slips of
the occipitalis and frontalis muscles, all clearly oriented
in the same direction as the SBL. It finally comes to rest
in a strong attachment at the brow or supraorbital ridge,
on the frontal bone just above the eye socket (Fig. 3.30).
Fig. 3.31 The scalp is a rich area for releasing the head from its
accustomed posture, but also for releasing the very tops of the
Anatomy Trains myofascial meridians.
Though the scalp may seem plastered down to the skull
and largely amuscular, it is still an active area within the
SBL and other lines, where much relief can be obtained.
The scalp is the end of several of the longitudinal lines,
so tugging and releasing here can be like playing with
the strings of a marionette. Larger areas of stringy
tension can be 'scraped' caudally with the fingertips
working in extension. In those with a head forward
posture, the fascial attachments of the erectors 'creep'
up the back of the occiput, seeking higher leverage on
the skull, just as a quadruped's erectors do - thus
explaining why your cat or dog loves to be scratched
behind the ears. Part of the solution, besides easing pulls
from the Superficial and Deep Front Lines and correct-
ing faulty breathing, is to release these extra fascial
attachments to allow the head to rise (Fig. 3.31).
A detailed examination of the scalp from the occipital
ridge to the brow ridge will also reveal little spindle-
shaped fascicles that, though sometimes difficult to find
because they are so small, are often extraordinarily tight
and painful to the touch. They can be released through
steady finger (or even fingernail) pressure, applied to
the very center of the knot (use client feedback to locate
yourself) for around a minute or until the knot or trigger
point is entirely melted. Effectively applied, this can
often occasion blessed relaxation through the entire
Care must be taken to notice the orientation of the
spindles, since several lines melt into the scalp fascia,
and the spindle will line up like a compass needle along
the direction of pull. Pulls from any of the cardinal lines
- Front, Back, or Lateral - plus the Spiral Line or the
Superficial Back Arm Line, can all show up here.
A generally over-tight scalp can be released more
gently by applying the fingerpads slowly in a circular
motion, moving the skin on the bone until you feel the
scalp melt itself free from the skull beneath. This method
can be particularly effective if you stay with the pads,
not the fingertips, and stay with melting, not forcing
(DVD ref: Superficial Back Line, 57:05-59:59).
The neurocranium and the SBL
Although there are further fascial connections from the
brow down onto the face, they are very superficial and
loose, and do not constitute a line of structural pull. The
facial muscles are loosely set into the superficial fascia,
readily palpable as you move the tissue of the face
around (compare to the minimal movement available in
the fascia under the skin in the forehead). The brow
ridge is the effective end of the SBL.
It also makes sense for the SBL to end above the eye
socket when we consider its evolutionary origins. In the
earliest vertebrates, the agnathous (jawless) fishes,
the skull ended just above the eyes. The underside of
the eyes and the mouth were all defined by soft tissue
alone. It was some millions of years later that the bony
structure of the gill arches 'migrated' up into the face to
form the zygomatic, maxillary, and mandibular arches
Fig. 3.30 From the erector fascia the SBL travels over the top of
the skull on the galea aponeurotica, or scalp fascia, to attach firmly
onto the frontal brow ridge.