LIBRARY - Reference(s)

Anatomy Trains

Myofascial meridians for manual and movement therapists
Material type: 
AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
274 x 218 mm.
ISBN 0443063516 / 978-0443063510
Additional notes: 
Second edition in 2008: 044310283X / 978-0443102837.
Mouritz Bibliography
Cover image: 
Biblio ID: 
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Publisher Description: 

An accessible and comprehensive approach to the anatomy and function of the fascial system in the body combined with a holitsic overview of myofascial therapy. Many different therapists now use myofascial techniques to influence postural change and pain relief. This book demonstrates exactly how the muscles connect within the connect tissue to affect posture, compensatory strain and pain patterns. The aim is to present scientifically sound and often complicated material in a way which can be easily learned, understood, and applied by those who do not necessarily have a scientific background.

Anatomy Trains is written and presented in a style that allows this new information on the myofascial system to be easily absorbed by a wide range of readers: from the student, athlete, or client to the most experienced therapist.

About the Author
Thomas W. Myers is a massage therapist and Rolfer. He has served on the Rolf Institute Board of Directors and the National Certification Board for Therapeutic massage and Bodywork. He has lectured widely in the USA and runs frequent workshops around that country. He also lectures in the UK and Europe and his book has recently been translated in German by U & F. He publishes regularly articles in Massage Magazine (USA publication for massage therapists) as well as in JBMT. Through his articles in these journals he is know becoming better known internationally. He is regarded very highly by his peers.


How is it that when we put our hands on a student's arm or foot, we are able to make contact with their head and neck relationship? As Frank Jones asked, ÒWhat is the mechanism?Ó Thomas Myers, in his long-awaited follow-up to his 1999 video, blends the concept of tensegrity with his years of experience and study of myofascial anatomy to provide a powerful model for understanding these kinds of questions.

His contribution, in my opinion, is a fundamental guide to structure and the functional ÒrelationingÓ of the body, and belongs beside David Gorman's series ÒIn Our Own ImageÓ and Raymond Dart's work on the double-spiral arrangement of the human musculature (a primary inspiration of Myers' thinking) among the primary texts for Alexander teachers and trainees. Phenomenally rich in detail, yet well-designed and comfortably organized for clarity and readability, Anatomy Trains will reward frequent review as the reader incorporates its ideas into practice.

Connective tissue, or fascia, plays a crucial but often overlooked role as the interface of bone and muscle. Through his years of work and study as a Rolfer, Myers has developed a metaphor for the lines along which fasciae and muscles flow longitudinally through the body. These ÒtrainsÓ or Òrailway linesÓ form a network of connections, creating a functional unity in the system, such that distortion (or release) in one area can be seen in effects at points far distant. Unless one takes into account these lines and their (seemingly) indirect effects, the process of undoing excess tension in the body will remain something of an unpredictable black box. As we know from the ÒmappingÓ work of Barbara and Bill Conable, confusion about how things really work becomes embodied as confusion in use, for both student and teacher. The book goes on to discuss structural analysis from this viewpoint, along with some manual interventions which are thought-provoking, if not directly applicable to AT teaching. A little bonus at the end is his concise but well-rounded list of some of the goals of myofascial and movement work, evidence of his concern not only with the body, but with the whole person's ability to respond to life with awareness, ease, and resilience. Refreshingly, Myers is clear about what the Anatomy Trains approach is not: an exclusive or comprehensive theory of manipulative therapy, muscle action, movement, or structural analysis, or even a complete anatomy text. He sees it as complementary and additive to other systems of looking at structure and function, and hopes his theory will Òcontribute to the dialogue and cross-pollination across technical boundaries.Ó Hear, hear!

© Andrea Matthews 2002

2007 © Andrea Matthews ( Reproduced with permission.

This edition © Mouritz 2008-2014. All rights reserved.