Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
The Arm Lines
Overview
push-up or yoga inversions, or in hanging from the
arms, as in a chin-up or tree play (DVD Ref: Shoulders
and Arm Lines, 03:01-09:33).
In this chapter we identify four distinct myofascial
meridians that run from the axial skeleton to the four
quadrants of the arm and four 'sides' of the hand,
namely the thumb, little finger, palm, and back of the
hand (DVD ref: Shoulders and Arm Lines 13:05-14:35).
Despite this apparently neat symmetry, the Arm Lines
(Fig. 7.1) display more 'crossover' myofascial linkages
among these longitudinal continuities than do the
corresponding lines in the legs. Because human
shoulders and arms are specialized for mobility
(compared to our more stable legs), these multiple
degrees of freedom require more variable lines of
control and stabilization and thus more inter-line links.
Nevertheless, the arms are quite logically arranged
with a deep and superficial line along the front of the
arm, and a deep and superficial line along the back of
the arm (Fig. 7.2/Table 7.1). The lines in the arm are
named for their placement as they cross the shoulder
(Fig. 7 .3). (In Ch. 8 we look at the extensions of these
lines that connect from the shoulder contralateral^ to
the opposite pelvic girdle.)
Movement function
In myriad daily manual activities of examining, manip-
ulating, responding to, and moving through the envi-
ronment, our arms and hands, in close connection with
our eyes, perform through these tensile continuities. The
Arm Lines act across the 10 or so levels of joints in the
arm to bring things toward us, push them away, pull,
push or stabilize our own body, or simply hold some
part of the world still for our perusal and modification.
These lines connect seamlessly into the other lines, par-
ticularly the helical lines - the Lateral, Spiral and Func-
tional Lines (Chs 5, 6, and 8 respectively).
The Arm Lines in detail
Common postural compensation patterns associated
with the Arm Lines lead to all kinds of shoulder prob-
lems, as well as arm and hand problems, usually involv-
ing the shoulders being protracted, retracted, lifted, or
rounded. These compensations are often founded in the
lack of support from the rib cage, which leads us to look
to the cardinal lines as well as the Spiral and Deep Front
Lines for a solution. Carpal tunnel, elbow and shoulder
impingements, and chronic shoulder muscle or trigger-
point pain emerge over time from these postural and
support faults.
The Arm Lines are presented from the axial skeleton
out to the hand. The order in which they are presented
carries no particular significance.
Postural function
Since the arms hang from the upper skeleton in our
upright posture, they are not part of the structural
'column' as such. Thus we have included the appen-
dicular legs in our discussion of the cardinal and spiral
lines, but left the arms for separate consideration. Given
their weight, however, and their multiple links to our
activities of daily driving and computer life, the Arm
Lines do have a postural function: strain from the elbow
affects the mid-back, and shoulder malposition can
create significant drag on the ribs, neck, breathing func-
tion, and beyond. This chapter details the lines of pull
on the axial skeleton from the arms when relaxed, as
well as the tensile lines that come into play when using
the arms in work or sport, supporting the body as in a
Orientation to the Arm Lines
The Arm Line anatomy presented in Table 7.1 is suffi-
ciently complex to merit a simple way to orient to
these lines and organize them in the reader's
mind before setting off on this intricate journey. You can
see the following for yourself in a mirror, or by observ-
ing a
model
(DVD ref: Shoulders and
Arm Lines
16:01-17:19).
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