When studying human anatomy we often compartmentalize the various bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles into individual sections (ie a biceps muscle, a pateller tendon). This system allows us to develop an in depth understanding of the individual properties of the given tissue we are studying and has led to miraculous advances in surgery and rehabilitative modalities. While I can’t emphasize enough the importance of understanding the individual roles of various tissues, we must not forget that there is no true separation and that the human body is one interconnected organism.
Lets do a quick review of human cellular development (I’m sure its been a while since biology class, so I will keep it simple). We start with a fertilized ovum, the ovum splits into stem cells, stem cells develop into specialized cells (nerve cells, muscle cells, etc..), specialized cells become tissues, tissues become functional units (nephron loops), functional units make up organs (kidney), organ make up organ systems (urinary system), and finally organ systems make up an organism (human).
So how does this apply to bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles? If we look at outermost layer of the femur (upper leg bone) we will find the periosteum. The periosteum is just bone tissue with a lesser concentration of mineral salts (Calcium, Carbon, etc..). As we continue on to the facial layer we find more of the same base material with a slightly different mixture from the periostuem to allow for more elasticity. This trend continues to become ligament and muscle tissue.[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjTQy6WJFOs&w=425&h=344]
Whether we are providing manual therapy or movement therapy we must treat the body as a holistic model. When we can accept the fact that you can not seperate tissues we can start to understand that everything you do effects everything else in your being. Eating the wrong food for you metabolic type can inflame your colon, your colon can inhibit your abdominal wall via viscero-motor inhibition, an inhibited abdominal wall can put more strain on your back. A traditional approach would be to stretch the tight back muscles, a modern approach would be to strengthen the abdominal muscles, a holistic approach would be to clean up your diet, then strengthen the abdominals, then maybe stretch the back muscles to correct any adaptive shortening not eliminated by an increased tonus of the abdominal wall.
The more in-depth ones understanding of the holistic nature of the human organism the more likely you are to live a healthy, vibrant life. As always comments and questions are encouraged and appreciated.
BS Ex Science