Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
The Deep Front Line
DFL is necessary for successful application of nearly
any method of manual or movement therapy.
Overview
Interposed between the left and right Lateral Lines in
the coronal plane, sandwiched between the Superficial
Front Line and Superficial Back Line in the sagittal
plane, and surrounded by the helical Spiral and
Functional Lines, the Deep Front Line (DFL) (Fig. 9.1)
comprises the body's myofascial 'core'. Beginning
from the bottom for convenience, the line starts deep
in the underside of the foot, passing up just behind the
bones of the lower leg and behind the knee to the
inside of the thigh. From here the major track passes in
front of the hip joint, pelvis, and lumbar spine, while an
alternate track passes up the back of the thigh to the
pelvic floor and rejoins the first at the lumbar spine.
From the psoas-diaphragm interface, the DFL
continues up through the rib cage along several
alternate paths around and through the thoracic
viscera, ending on the underside of both the neuro-
and viscerocranium (Fig. 9.2/Table 9.1).
Compared to our other lines in previous chapters,
this line demands definition as a three-dimensional
space, rather than a line. Of course, all the other lines
are volumetric as well, but are more easily seen as
lines of pull. The DFL very clearly occupies space.
Though fundamentally fascial in nature, in the leg the
DFL includes many of the deeper and more obscure
supporting muscles of our anatomy (Fig. 9.3). Through
the pelvis, the DFL has an intimate relation with the hip
joint, and relates the wave of breathing and the rhythm
of walking to each other. In the trunk, the DFL is
poised, along with the autonomic ganglia, between our
neuromotor 'chassis' and the more ancient organs of
cell support within our ventral cavity. In the neck, it
provides the counterbalancing lift to the pull of both
the SFL and SBL. A dimensional understanding of the
Postural function
The DFL plays a major role in the body's support:
• lifting the inner arch;
• stabilizing each segment of the legs;
• supporting the lumbar spine from the front;
• stabilizing the chest while allowing the expansion
and relaxation of breathing;
• balancing the fragile neck and heavy head atop it all.
Lack of support, balance and proper tonus in the DFL
(as in the common pattern where short DFL myofascia
does not allow the hip joint to open fully into extension)
will produce overall shortening in the body, encourage
collapse in the pelvic and spinal core, and lay the
groundwork for negative compensatory adjustments in
all the other lines we have described.
Movement function
There is no movement that is strictly the province of the
DFL, aside from hip adduction and the breathing wave
of the diaphragm, yet neither is any movement outside
its influence. The DFL is nearly everywhere surrounded
or covered by other myofascia, which duplicate the roles
performed by the muscles of the DFL. The myofascia of
the DFL is infused with more slow-twitch, endurance
muscle fibers, reflecting the role the DFL plays in pro-
viding stability and subtle positioning changes to the
core structure to enable the more superficial structures
and lines to work easily and efficiently with the skele-
ton. (This also applies to the DFL's first cousins, the
Deep Arm Lines; see Ch. 7, pp. 151-155.)
Thus, failure of the DFL to work properly does not
necessarily involve an immediate or obvious loss of
function, especially to the untrained eye or to the less
than exquisitely sensitive perceiver. Function can usually
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