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an objective finding makes it much easier to approach
the whole client innocently and with humility. Jumping
to conclusions can land you in the drink.
Additionally, you may find value in considering an
assessment of some of the following more subjective
parameters. (These are offered as extra, practically
useful, and quick assessments, with references for
further study when helpful. None of the following are
essential to the Anatomy Trains process per se.)
A. Whole systems communicators
In Chapter 1, we noted that there are three whole-body
networks, all of which communicate within themselves
and with each other. It is a subjective but worthwhile
exercise to call each of these to mind when looking at
the client for the first time. What is the state of the neural
network? (Are the eyes and skin clear? Are the client's
responses timely and appropriate, or awkward and
heavy-handed?) What is the state of the fluid network?
(How is the skin color, and is it consistent across the
body?) What is the state of the fibrous network? (Are
they lax or tight? Toned or collapsed?) (See Fig. 1.30, p.
36 for more detail.)
A
B
Fig. 11.14 Although we are of course looking at still photos, the
man on the left shows signs of being 'stuck on the inhale' - with
his breath pattern moving around the inhale end, whereas the
woman on the right shows signs of being 'stuck on the exhale' -
with her breath pattern oscillating around the exhale end of the
spectrum.
B. Tissue dominance
Although it is less in vogue these days, noting where
your client lies in the endo-, meso-, and ectomorphy
scale is definitely worthwhile, as ectomorphs will
respond quite differently to manual therapy than will
endomorphs. You cannot approach Cassius (who has a
'lean and hungry look') in the same way you would
approach Falstaff (who was born with 'something of a
round belly', and whose voice was 'lost with hollering
and the singing of anthems'). 2
Students of Aryuveda will note the similarity with
the doshas.
common behavioral responses. Any of these
typological systems can be helpful, though this
author's experience has been that they are not totally
reliable and can be tempting pigeon-holing traps.
D. Perceptual orientation
According to Godard, there are two primary orienta-
tions - one either grounds to reach out, or reaches out
in order to ground. 1 9 Here is a simple test for determin-
ing which is dominant: stand behind the client and have
them jump lightly on the balls of their feet. It does not
matter how high or well they do this. Make two tests,
repeating each of these movements on successive jumps
for a few seconds: (1) lift them slightly from the sides of
their rib cage as they go up, or (2) press them lightly into
the earth on their shoulders as they come down. Which
movement produces the more organized result in the
client - pressing down or lifting up? The ones for whom
a slight pressing down results in a more organized
spring up are oriented to the ground; those for whom
even a few ounces of lift on your part produce a large
result in terms of height and delight achieved, are ori-
ented out into the environment around them.
C. Somato-emotional orientations
Since many of the patterns people present unconsciously
express emotion (especially the unacknowledged ones),
it is worth looking to see some of the more obvious
telltale signs.
• An anterior pelvic tilt most often indicates a
sympathetic, or ergotropic, orientation (a sanguine
or choleric character), whereas the posterior pelvis
more often accompanies a parasympathetically
oriented, trophotropic character (phlegmatic or
melancholic). 1 4
• Breathing patterns often hover around one end
or the other of the respiratory cycle. Those stuck
on the exhale side of the pattern tend toward
depression and introspection, relying too heavily on
their own internal world, while those stuck around
the inhale end of the cycle tend toward a false
heartiness, relying too heavily on the impressions
and responses of others for their sense of self (Fig.
11.14A and B).
• Various somatically oriented psychotherapists have
coupled particular structural patterns with
corresponding psychological tendencies and
E. Internal and external orientation/cylinders
Sultan, building on the flexion-extension preference
models in Upledger's version of Craniosacral Therapy,
has posited an Internal and External type, which has
enjoyed currency at the Rolf Institute of Structural Inte-
gration {www. rolf.org) . 6-20
A similar assessment can be made of each segment:
It is easy to see that a human being is two cylinders
side-by-side when looking at the legs, for that is essen-
tially what we are, and each cylinder can medially or
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