Healthcare and Medicine Reference
In-Depth Information
Fig. 10.43 Anyone relying on his thumbs to create pressure should take care to keep the Deep Front Arm Line open and round.
Collapsing in the upper part of the DFAL is a reliable way to ensure subsequent hand, elbow, shoulder, or neck problems.
to the right shin, whereas B and C both show shortening
along the front of the torso and misalignment between
the thigh and lower leg. Once again, competence in the
twist is demonstrated by the balance between the two
Lateral Lines in the torso of A, whereas B shows some
shortening and our new student shows significant short-
ening along the right side of the torso.
It is, of course, in the Spiral Lines that the differences
are most evident. The reversal of the twist between the
pelvis and shoulders emphasizes the need for length in
the spirals. A 's ability to put her arm on the floor and to
look at the ceiling is entirely dependent on her ability to
stretch the right Spiral Line from the right hip around
the left shoulder to the right side of the head. It also
requires corresponding strength in the left Spiral Line.
It is difficult for B to bring the left ribs away from the
right hip, and thus the arm obscures the face. In C it is
the hips that are reluctant to turn, perhaps because of
tension in the deep lateral rotators, or the right Back
Functional Line, as well as the SPL.
In the arms themselves, both the Superficial and the
Deep Front Arm Lines, and the Deep Back Arm Line as
well, must be able to lengthen in the outstretched left
arm, out from their base in the Lateral and Functional
In summary, the straight lines through the skeleton
we see in Figure 10.42A are allowed in this pose because
of the availability of stretch and strength in the myofas-
cial lines. Experience teaches that conscientious and
well-tutored yoga practice turns the Bs and Cs into As.
curved position and relatively relaxed for this motion
compared to the other stabilizing lines of the arm. But
because of the connection from the thumb to the ribs
along the DFAL, it is very important.
Practitioners of these arts frequently present with
problems in their shoulders or neck. Our experience is
that when we have these practitioners mock up how
they work, universally they are collapsing somewhere
along the DFAL - in other words, along the myofascial
meridian that runs from the ribs out the pectoralis minor
and the inside curve of the arm to the thumb. When this
line shortens, the rest of the lines, and most usually one
of the back lines of the arm, must take up the flag and
end up overworking (Fig. 10.43A). For the Shiatsu worker
to stay healthy and pain-free in both joints and soft
tissues, it is necessary to keep the DFAL open and
lengthened, so that tension and pressure are distributed
evenly around the tensegrity of the arm (Fig. 10.43B). In
this way, the pressure is taken by the skeleton from the
thumb to a balanced axial complex, not distributed side-
ways through the soft tissues of the Arm Lines.
Aikido or judo roll
Although the limbs are bony and angular, practitioners
of martial arts can often make it look as if the body is
made of India rubber as they roll effortlessly along legs,
arms, and trunk. There are many rolls in Asian martial
arts. Here we discuss a forward roll common to both
aikido and judo, and probably several other arts. (Other
rolls would of course exploit other lines in a different
Looking at one of these forward rolls in terms of the
Anatomy Trains, we can see that in a forward roll the
little finger is the first edge of the body to make contact
with the floor or mat, bringing our attention to the Deep
Back Arm Line (Fig. 10.44A). The body supports or
guides itself on this line (although in an actual roll, little
weight is placed on the arm), moving up the surface of
the ulna and onto the triceps.
As the roll reaches the back of the shoulder, the baton
is passed from the triceps to the latissimus, or in
Anatomy Trains terms, from the DBAL to its extension,
the Back Functional Line. The body rolls on the diagonal
of the BFL, by now supporting the weight of the entire
Shiatsu, acupressure, or thumb work
The practice of Shiatsu, acupressure, and some other
forms of pressure-point work such as finding and eradi-
cating trigger points involve placing significant pressure
through the thumbs. The thumb, we remember, is the
end point of the Deep Front Arm Line. To 'give weight'
and create sustained pressure through the thumb
requires using many of the muscles of the arm - all four
lines, in fact - as fixation muscles to steady the limb. We
have noted that myofascial continuities can only pull,
they cannot push. Given that the pressure is coming
down through the thumb, one might expect that the
DFAL was the least important of the lines, being in a
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