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There is more to the human body, its movement, and its functioning than the old familiar muscle charts reveal.....
The Classical Muscle Chart we hang on our clinic walls, and see in our physician's offices was created/illustrated by Peter Bachin in 1947. It has been revised, recolored, and reprinted over the years, but has mostly remained the same. And while it shows muscle location....
It does not show the fascia....well, it shows some of it, but not the most of it.
In fact, the individual depicted in the chart could not move if they were real. Their muscles, ligaments, and tendons are static, frozen in position. The structures are stacked like blocks on top of each other, drawn strictly as a compression structure. In reality, the body is not held together that way and would crumple into a heap. The living human body stands using a combination of compression and tensegrity.
The old song we sang as kids.....
"The toe bone connected to the heel bone,
The heel bone connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone connected to the leg bone,....."
Not technically true, it does not account for the fascial structures/tissues in between which actually do the connecting.
And while compression forces are truly at work in the human body, our bodies also stand by tensegrity. The body's fascial system holds us together and utilizes tensegrity to promote the movement and balance necessary for our ranges of motions and functioning.
We can appreciate the Classical Muscle Chart for what it is....a great illustrative tool showing the locations of muscles. It, like much medical research of previous times, was based on cadaver research. However, there is another fascial level of anatomy we deal with as Massage Therapists.
We work with living and moving human beings. You know what I mean if you have tended a client's feet at the first and the last of a massage session. Quite likely you have found the feet to have changed during the session. The human body is constantly changing.
To study only the Classical Muscle Chart would be like studying a telephone pole to understand a living/growing tree. That is why I contend that our profession is as much art as science. We stand with one foot in art and one foot in science. We work within a constantly altered context.
Below is a video by Thomas Myers showing a tensegrity model, introducing how tensegrity works in the functioning of the human body. When we stretch a toe it effects the neck and shoulders, and this is why. We are connected, living, changing....contained within our fascia.
1. https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=BzgxYpDyO0M
2. https://www.mooremedical.com/index.cfm?/Muscular-System-Giant- Chart/&PG=CTL&CS=HOM&FN=ProductDetail&PID=27529&spx=1
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