Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Aesthetically, a grasp of the Anatomy Trains scheme
will lead to a more three-dimensional feel for musculo-
skeletal anatomy and an appreciation of whole-body
patterns distributing compensation in daily and perfor-
mance functioning. Clinically, it leads to a directly appli-
cable understanding of how painful problems in one
area of the body can be linked to a totally 'silent' area
at some remove from the problem. Unexpected new
strategies for treatment arise from applying this 'con-
nected anatomy' point of view to the practical daily
challenges of manual and movement therapy.
Though some preliminary dissective evidence is pre-
sented in this edition, it is too early in the research
process to claim an objective reality for these lines. More
examination of the probable mechanisms of communi-
cation along these fascial meridians would be especially
welcome. As of this writing, the Anatomy Trains concept
is presented merely as a potentially useful alternative
map, a systems view of the longitudinal connections in
the parietal myofascia.
Fig. In. 2 The common
method of defining muscle
action consists of isolating a
single muscle on the skeleton,
and determining what would
happen if the two ends are
approximated, as in this
depiction of the biceps. This
is a highly useful exercise, but
hardly definitive, as it leaves
out the effect the muscle
could have on its neighbors
by tightening their fascia and
pushing against them. It also,
by cutting the fascia at either
end, discounts any effect of
its pull on proximal or distal
structures beyond. These
latter connections are the
subject of this topic.
(Reproduced with kind
permission from Grundy
1982.)
The philosophy
The heart of healing lies in our ability to listen, to per-
ceive, more than in our application of technique. That,
at least, is the premise of this topic.
It is not our job to promote one technique over
another, nor even to posit a mechanism for how any
technique works. All therapeutic interventions, of what-
ever sort, are a conversation between two intelligent
systems. It matters not a whit to the myofascial meridi-
ans argument whether the mechanism of myofascial
change is due to simple muscle relaxation, release of a
trigger point, a change in the sol/gel chemistry of
ground substance, viscoelasticity among collagen fibers,
resetting of the muscle spindles or Golgi tendon organs,
a shift in energy, or a change in attitude. Use the Anatomy
Trains scheme to comprehend the larger pattern of your
client's structural relationships, then apply whatever
techniques you have at your disposal toward resolving
that pattern.
These days, in addition to the traditional fields of
physiotherapy, physiatry, and orthopedics, there is a
wide variety of soft tissue and movement methods on
offer, and a wider circle of osteopathic, chiropractic, and
energetic techniques, as well as somatically based psy-
chotherapeutic interventions. New brand names sprout
daily in the field, though in truth there is very little that
is actually new under the sun of manipulation. We have
seen that any number of angles of approach can be effec-
tive, regardless of whether the explanation offered for
its efficacy ultimately prevails.
The current requirement is less for new technique,
but rather for new premises that lead to new strategies
for application, and useful new premises are a lot harder
to come by than seemingly new techniques. Thus, sig-
nificant developments are often opened by the point of
view assumed, the lens through which the body is seen.
The Anatomy Trains is one such lens - a global way of
looking at musculoskeletal patterns that leads to new
educational and treatment strategies.
approaches to movement facilitation. The concepts can
be presented in any of several ways; this text attempts
to strike a balance that meets the needs of the informed
therapist, while still staying within the reach of the
interested athlete, client, or student.
2
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