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Anatomy Trains
in motion
With the entire suite of 12 myofascial meridians delin-
eated, let us proceed into some of the applications and
implications of this Anatomy Trains scheme. Although
such examples for both movement and manual therapy
have been interspersed throughout the preceding
chapters, the specific sequencing of soft-tissue re-
leases or movement education strategies is left to sub-
sequent publications or in-person training. this topic is
designed to aid the reader in observing these body-wide
myofascial patterns, so that currently held skills and
treatment protocols can be applied globally in novel
These two final chapters expand on the variety of
ways in which the Anatomy Trains concept can be
applied as a whole. This chapter overviews application
to some common domains of movement, while Chapter
11 lays out a method of standing postural analysis used
in Structural Integration processing (see also Appendix
2). Neither of these forays is intended to be in any way
exhaustive, but merely to guide the reader a little way
down the road toward the variety of possible uses for
the scheme, both as self-help and in the healing/perfor-
mance/rehabilitation professions.
Although some movements are made with an entire
myofascial meridian as a whole, we should note that
Anatomy Trains is not primarily a theory of movement,
but a map of how stability is maintained and strain
distributed across the body during movement. For
instance, put one foot on top of the other as you sit, and
attempt to lift the lower foot against the upper by lifting
the whole leg. Although the rectus femoris and psoas
major may be the muscles primarily responsible for
attempting to move the leg, the entire Superficial Front
Line along the anterior surface will tense and 'pre-stress'
from toes to hip and even can be felt into the belly and
neck. This kind of stabilizing motion goes on mostly
under the radar of our consciousness, but is vitally nec-
essary for the effective 'anchoring' in one part that forms
the basis of successful movement for another.
Similarly, place weight into your forward foot to feel
both the Superficial Back Line and the Superficial Front
Line of the leg stiffen fascially as a whole, no matter
which muscles are actually involved in the movement.
Put your weight fully onto that single foot to feel the
interplay between the Lateral Line and the Deep Front
Line as they stabilize the inside-outside balance of the
leg as the weight shifts second-by-second on the medial
and lateral arches of the foot.
You can use your knowledge of the lines to see how
compensations or inefficient postures are inhibiting
integrated movement or effective strength in the moving
body. The medium of a topic limits us to still pictures;
there is no substitute for the practice of seeing the lines
in motion.
Let us begin with some fairly simple analyses of some
classical sculpture, before moving on to some more
functional applications:
Classical sculpture
KoiirOS (Fig. 10.1)
Aside from the modern and extraordinarily functional
example of Fred Astaire, this pre-classical sculpture rep-
resents, to this author's eye, the most compelling
example of poise and balance among the Anatomy
Trains lines - better even than the Albinus figure that
serves as a cover to this topic. This Kouros (lad) - one
of many such sculptures from the pre-classical period -
presents a balanced tensegrity between the skeletal and
myofascial structure rarely seen today; in fact rarely
seen in art after this period. The muscles and bones are
represented a bit massively for modern taste, but the
whole neuromyofascial web 'hangs together' with a
calm ease that nevertheless manages to convey a total
readiness for action.
Notice the length and support through the core Deep
Front Line that imparts support up the inner line of the
leg and throughout the trunk. Notice the balance of soft-
tissues between the inside and outside of the knee. See
the ease with which the head sits on the neck, and the
shoulders drape over the upright rib cage. There is dis-
tinct muscle definition, but the connection along the
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