Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
The Functional Lines
when working above the head), these lines transmit the
strain downward or provide the stability upward to fix
the base of support for the upper limb. Less frequently,
they can be used to provide stability or counterbalance
for the work of the lower limb in a similar way, as in a
football kick.
There is but one common postural compensation
pattern associated with the Functional Lines and that is
a preference rotation usually associated with handed-
ness or a specific and oft-repeated activity such as a
sport preference, bringing one shoulder closer to the
opposite hip, although this affects all four Functional
Lines, as well as having a Spiral or Lateral Line element
to the pattern.
The Functional Lines (Fig. 8.1) extend the Arm Lines
across the surface of the trunk to the contralateral
pelvis and leg (or up from the leg to the pelvis across
to the opposite rib cage, shoulder, and arm, since our
meridians run in either direction). These lines are called
the 'functional' lines because they are rarely employed,
as the other lines are, in modulating standing posture.
They come into play primarily during athletic or other
activity where one appendicular complex is stabilized,
counterbalanced, or powered by its contralateral
complement (Fig. 8.2/Table 8.1). An example is in a
javelin throw or a baseball pitch, where the player
powers up through the left leg and hip to impart extra
speed to an object thrown from the right hand
(Fig. 8.3).
Movement function
These lines enable us to give extra power and precision
to the movements of the limbs by lengthening their
lever arm through linking them across the body to the
opposite limb in the other girdle. Thus the weight of the
arms can be employed in giving additional momentum
to a kick, and the movement of the pelvis contributes to
a tennis backhand. While the applications to sport spring
to mind when considering these lines, the mundane but
essential example is the contralateral counterbalance
between shoulder and hip in every walking step.
The Functional Lines appear as spirals on the body,
and always work in helical patterns. They could be con-
sidered as appendicular supplements to the Spiral Line,
or, as stated above, the trunk extensions of the Arm
Lines. In real-time activity, the lines of pull change con-
stantly, and the precision of the lines detailed below is
a summary of a central moment in the sweep of forces.
Postural function
As mentioned, these lines are less involved in standing
posture than any of the others under discussion in this
book. They involve superficial muscles, for the most
part, that are so much in use during day-to-day activi-
ties that their opportunity to stiffen or fascially shorten
to maintain posture is minimal. If they do distort posture
as a whole, their action is to bring one shoulder closer
to its opposite hip, either across the front or across the
back. Although the pattern just described is certainly
not uncommon - especially closing across the front - the
source usually resides in the Spiral Line or in the deeper
layers. Once these other myofascial structures have been
balanced, these Functional Lines often fall into place
without presenting significant further problems of their
These lines do, however, have strong postural stabi-
lizing functions in positions outside the resting standing
posture. In many yoga poses, or postures that require
stabilizing the upper girdle to the trunk (as, for example,
The Functional Lines in detail
The Back Functional Line
The Back Functional Line (BFL) begins (for analytic pur-
poses; in practice it connects in with the Superficial
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