Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Much of the manipulative work of the last 100 years,
like most of our thinking in the West for at least half a
millennium, has been based on a mechanistic and reduc-
tionistic model - the microscopic lens (Fig. In. 4). We
keep examining things by breaking them down into
smaller and smaller parts, to examine each part's role.
Introduced by Aristotle, but epitomized by Isaac Newton
and Rene Descartes, this mechanical type of approach
has led, in the physical medicine field, to books filled
with goniometric angles and force vectors based on
drawing each individual muscle's insertion closer to
the origin (Fig. In. 5). We have many researchers to
thank for brilliant analysis and consequent work on spe-
cific
and reach physical medicine. this topic is one modest
step in this direction - general systems thinking applied
to postural and movement analysis.
What can we learn from looking at synergetic
relationships - stringing our parts together rather than
dissecting them further?
It is not very useful merely to say 'everything is con-
nected to everything else', and leave it at that. Even
though it is ultimately true, such a premise leaves the
practitioner in a nebulous, even vacuous, world with
nothing to guide him but pure 'intuition'. Einstein's
special theory of relativity did not negate Newton's
laws of motion; rather it subsumed them in a larger
scheme. Likewise, myofascial meridian theory does not
eliminate the value of the many individual muscle-
based techniques and analyses, but simply sets them in
the context of the system as a whole. This scheme is
generally a supplement to, not a replacement for, exist-
ing knowledge about muscles. In other words, the sple-
nius capitis still rotates the head and extends the neck,
and it operates, as we shall see, as part of spiral and
lateral myofascial chains.
The myofascial meridians approach recognizes a
pattern extant in the musculoskeletal system as a whole
muscles,
individual joints,
and
particular
impingements. 11 " 1 3
If you kick a ball, about the most interesting way you
can analyze the result is in terms of the mechanical laws
of force and motion. The coefficients of inertia, gravity,
and friction are sufficient to determine its reaction to
your kick and the ball's final resting place, even if you
can 'bend it like Beckham'. But if you kick a large dog,
such a mechanical analysis of vectors and resultant
forces may not prove as salient as the reaction of the dog
as a whole. Analyzing individual muscles biomechani-
cally likewise yields an incomplete picture of human
movement experience.
Early in the 20th century by means of Einstein, Bohr,
and others, physics moved into a relativistic universe, a
language of relationship rather than linear cause and
effect, which Jung in turn applied to psychology, and
many others applied to diverse areas. However, it took
that entire century for this point of view to spread out
Fig. In. 5 The concepts of
mechanics, applied to human
anatomy, have given us much
information about the actions of
individual muscles in terms of
levers, angles, and forces. But
how much more insight will this
isolating approach yield?
(Reproduced with kind
permission from Jarmey 2004. f
Fig. In. 4 Leonardo da Vinci, drawing without the pervasive
prejudice of the mechanistic muscle-bone viewpoint, drew some
remarkably 'Anatomy Train'-like figures in his anatomical
notebooks.
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