- Paperback: 295 pages
- Publisher: Churchill Livingstone; 2nd edition (2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 044310283X
- ISBN-13: 978-0443102837
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.6 x 0.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 240 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #366,985 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists, 2e 2nd Edition
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"Anatomy Trains champions a wider scope of the body and it's movement systems." -- Gray Cook MSPT, OSPT, CSCS, Developer of the Functional Movement Screen
"The Anatomy Trains metaphor is a revelation; a way of seeing the body's interconnectedness more clearly, offering new physiological and anatomical perspectives, and therefore different clinical choices. Quite simply the content of this book is revolutionary." -- Leon Chaitow ND DO, Honorary Fellow, University of Westminster, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies
“Clinicians, researchers and educators alike will find this an invaluable text, which leads to new insights on each reading. -- Thomas Findley MD PhD, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Editor-in Chief, International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: Research, Education and Practice
"This book is an eclectic overview of many strands of information garnered from at least a dozen disparate sources. Its format is young, light, and easy on the eye, and is a book of the 21st Century - it may well be a template for future texts."
The Osteopath, October/November 2009
About the Author
Thomas Myers studied directly with Drs. Ida Rolf, Moshe Feldenkrais, and Buckminster Fuller, and a variety of movement and manual therapy leaders. His work is influenced by cranial, visceral, and intrinsic movement studies he made with European schools of osteopathy. An inveterate traveller, Tom has practiced integrative manual therapy for over 30 years in a variety of clinical and cultural settings, including 10 years in London, and practices in Hamburg, Rome, Nairobi, and Sydney, as well as a dozen locales in the US. He is a founding member of the International Association of Structural Integrators (IASI). Author of Anatomy Trains and a set of supporting videos, and co-author of Fascial Release for Structural Balance (Lotus, 2010), Tom has also penned over 60 articles for trade magazines and journals on anatomy, soft tissue manipulation, and the social scourge of somatic alienation and loss of reliance on kinaesthetic intelligence. A certified Touch-in-Parenting instructor, Tom retains a strong interest in perinatal issues. Living on the coast of Maine, Tom and his faculty conduct professional certification and continuing education courses worldwide.
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Top customer reviews
The book is wonderfully done, and the theory is well presented with ample and useful anatomical illustrations of each anatomy train. There is a lot to learn from here, and as always, Tom Myers' writing is thought provoking, intelligent and easy to read. This is not one of those books that tantalizes you with tidbits and then says "but to really learn it you need to take my classes." Myer's doesn't hold back in his books. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in anatomy from a movement or manual medicine perspective. That being said I do have some reservations about the Anatomy Trains concept and the phenomenon of whole scale acceptance that surrounds the theory. If you want a great book that explains the Anatomy Trains concept clearly and deeply enough to take to the clinic or massage table, then definitely buy this book. Read no further, it is worth it. IF, on the other hand, you are reading reviews wondering what the Anatomy Trains phenomenon is all about, then read on.
What is troubling is not the theory presented in this book, but the almost ubiquitous acceptance in massage and chiropractic circles as proven fact. One repeatedly reads reviews calling this book "essential" and referring to other theories on fascia as "outdated" or "misguided." I believe this speaks to the elegant and intuitive nature of the Anatomy Trains concept and the way it is presented, rather than speaking to its veracity. In fact, the most basic elements that would make this a relevant clinical tool seem to be completely missing from the scientific literature.
I say this not as a skeptic of manual medicine. I myself trained with Tom Myers 20 years ago, trained and practice as a practitioner of structural integration (Rolfing) and use manual medicine in my veterinary practice. I've had anatomy instructors in Rolfing training, in pre-medicine in college, and in both chiropractic and veterinary college, and I can say Tom Myers is as good as they come in making anatomy relevant to clinical treatment. I think he is a visionary in stepping back to look at functional anatomy from a whole body perspective
While there has been a great deal of basic scientific work done on the microscopic structure and chemistry of fascia, the work has yet to be done to verify what Rolfers have always proposed: 1) that restriction in a small area of fascia can be propagated across long distances and across firm attachment points to cause global movement dysfunction and 2) that deep manual intervention is actually able to stretch or "free" fascial restrictions deep in the tissues. Over the years I have seen some prominent Rolfing authors back away from these theories after participating in actual anatomical dissections. I myself was taught that I could stretch the quadratus lumborum fascia with my elbow, yet even a cursory look in dissection at the depth and overlying muscle would lead one to doubt the possibility of achieving that outcome. I was also taught that I could "effect" the TFL and the very tough fibrous fascial attachments around the hip joint (think lateral line here) with manual intervention. Having actually held these tissues between my fingers, I have to doubt the possibility. In fact, given the strength and organization of those tissues and the forces they must withstand, any gross change in them whether manual or surgical would amount to tissue damage and joint capsule injury and would require substantial healing.
While the Anatomy Trains concept is an excellent theory that, if true, would be a wonderful guide to strategy in manual therapies, there are other competing theories that make as much sense and may have a better scientific underpinning. One such theory is that deep fascial intervention, as a secondary byproduct, causes mast cell degranulation in superficial tissues and that the released histamine granules cause extravasation of intravascular fluid into the tissues which "hydrates" those tissues, bringing about better sliding between fascial planes. My Rolfing teachers often commented on this feeling of "tissue hydration" underneath their fingers as they worked. A German medical approach to fascial manipulation is based on this phenomenon. The redness you see on the skin after fascial treatment and acupuncture is partially due to this phenomenon of mast cell degranulation.
Moshe Feldenkrais, one of Tom's teachers, repeatedly showed that supposed "physical restrictions" in the body were actually habitual parasitic muscle tensions that could be eliminated simply through a few minutes of low amplitude client-directed movements to bring awareness to those parasitic actions. Joanne Elphinston in her excellent text Stability, Sports and Performance Movement takes us critically through many of the stereotypical aberrant movement patterns we in the fascial world have always credited to fascial "restriction." She shows how these are often related to and corrected by addressing weakness in stabilization strength and stabilization strategies. She also shows how weakness in stabilization in one area of the body can demand compensatory and inefficient movement patterns elsewhere in the body. Like fascia, movement strategies are also global whole body phenomenon, and weakness in one area can result in visible movement compensation across joints distant from the weakness. Not only are these compensation strategies clearly visible, but being inefficient, often lead to pathology and injury, again distant from the underlying problem. Without fascial work these problems can be reversed through skill and strength acquisition.
Lastly, where physical restriction and tension are actually palpable and measurable, current scientific research seems to implicate vascular, neural and local chemical mediators all playing an intertwined role in initiating, sustaining and propagating such restrictions. Fascial adhesion may be an end point, but to what extent and how far reaching from the initial insult its effects can travel are still unknown.
The manual medicine and massage world has always struggled to get itself accepted in the mainstream world of medical treatment modalities. We have often stood by the roadside watching the parade of medicine and patted ourselves on the back for being visionaries and 20 years ahead of our time. We compliment ourselves for having already accepted what "they" have yet to discover. However this is no excuse for not recognizing the difference between fact and theory. This is why I see it so troubling that the Anatomy Trains concept has become so pervasively accepted as fact, yet the most basic premises, 1) that gross fascial strain can be transmitted physically across chains of firm anchor points and 2) that deep manual intervention can stretch or "release" fascia in vivo, remain completely unproven theories.
I hope Tom Myers continues to use his unique gifts to develop this and other theories that really feed the imagination. However I wish that the massage therapy and chiropractic worlds would embrace critical thinking rather than merely embracing every new enticing theory as fact simply because it has a certain intuitive appeal. Our clients invest a great deal in time, effort, hope and money when they come to us. We owe it to them to separate fact from theory, and to not sell them the latter as the former. As it is, the Anatomy Trains concept is an exciting theory, but it is as yet only a theory, not an essential revolutionary truth in manual medicine, as many claim.
Anatomy is taught in isolated motion. No one moves strictly in isolated motion in anything pertaining to every day life. This book provides the theory as well as dissection evidence to give credibility to the arguement that those of us in our field need to be more open minded to treatment outside the realm of strict anatomical interpretation. The problem there lies more in America's fixation with treating the problem, but not addressing the cause. Its not just the professional's fault for this, but the client's uneducation or miseducation.
When a client comes in to get a massage because they're back is tight, a massage therapist treats the back. It doesn't matter if the cause is actually a tight lower SFL causing anterior pelvic tilt then causing compensation in the SBL for the back pain; the back is still what the professional treats. Most of the time, it isn't the professional's fault for not knowing; it isn't taught in most schools.
Anatomy Trains is a great tool to show the benefits of progressive thought and prehab to prevent injuries in our clients and do a better job. Knowing how to fix is what we know, but knowing how to prevent is what we SHOULD know.