Healthcare and Medicine Reference
Fig. In. 11 Although the myofascial meridians have some overlap
with oriental meridian lines, they are not equivalent. Think of these
meridians as defining a 'geography' within the myofascial system.
Compare the Lung meridian shown here to Figures In. 1 and 7.1
- the Deep Front Arm Line. See also Appendix 3.
Fig. In. 12 Although Dart's original article contained no
illustrations, this illustration from Manaka shows the same pattern
Dart discussed, part of what we call the Spiral Line. (Reproduced
from Manaka et al. Paradigm Publishers; 1995.)
1, Chapter 2 sets up the rules and the scope for the
Anatomy Trains concept. Chapters 3-9 present the myo-
fascial meridian lines, and consider some of the thera-
peutic and movement-oriented implications of each line.
Please note that in Chapter 3, the 'Superficial Back Line'
is presented in excruciating detail in order to clarify the
Anatomy Trains concepts. Subsequent chapters on the
other myofascial meridians are laid out using the termi-
nology and format developed in this chapter. Whichever
line you are interested in exploring, it may help to read
Chapter 3 first. The remainder of the topic deals with
global assessment and treatment considerations, which
will be helpful in applying the Anatomy Trains concept,
regardless of treatment method.
Moving out from anatomical and osteopathic circles,
the concept that the fascia connects the whole body in
an 'endless web' 2 8 has steadily gained ground. Given
that generalization, however, the student can be justifi-
ably confused as to whether one should set about fixing
a stubborn frozen shoulder by working on the ribs or
the hip or the neck. The next logical questions, 'how,
exactly, are these things connected?', or 'are some parts
more connected than others?', had no specific answers.
this topic is the beginning of an answer to these ques-
tions from my students.
In 1986, Dr James Oschman, 293 0 a Woods Hole biolo-
gist who has done a thorough literature search in fields
related to healing, handed me an article by the South
African anthropologist Raymond Dart on the double-
spiral relationship of muscles in the trunk. 3 1 Dart had
unearthed the concept not from the soil of the australo-
pithecine plains of South Africa, but out of his experi-
ence as a student of the Alexander Technique. 3 2 The
arrangement of interlinked muscles Dart described is
included in this topic as part of what I have termed the
'Spiral Line', and his article started a journey of discov-
ery which extended into the myofascial continuities pre-
sented here (Fig. In. 12). Dissection studies, clinical
The Anatomy Trains concept arose from the experience
of teaching myofascial anatomy to diverse groups of
'alternative' therapists, including Structural Integration
practitioners at the Rolf Institute, massage therapists,
osteopaths, midwives, dancers, yoga teachers, physio-
therapists, and athletic trainers, principally in the USA,
the UK, and Europe. What began literally as a game, an
aide-memoire for my students, slowly coalesced into a
system worthy of sharing. Urged to write by Dr Leon
Chaitow, these ideas first saw light in the Journal of Body-
work and Movement Therapies in 1997.