Anatomy Revisited In A Book Review By FitOldDog, Veterinarian, Scientist, Aging Ironman Triathlete And Student Of Life

Life is truly wet and dynamic. Photo by FitOldDog

Biology [life] is [truly] wet and dynamic. Quoted from Random Walks in Biology by Howard C Berg. Photo by FitOldDog

“Where you think it is, it ain’t.” Dr. Ida P. Rolf, cited in The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy and Physical Reality. p. 126. by RL Schultz and R Feitis, North Atlantic Books.

Hi folks! Welcome!

What a great book, which I highly recommend to all people wishing to move more effectively. Click image for link.

What a great book, which I highly recommend to all people wishing to move more effectively. Click image for link.

As a veterinary student, I was trained in the fields of Anatomy, Histology, Physiology, Pathology, Surgery and many others, but one of the most important structural components of the connective tissue family, fascia, was treated as something that got in the way during anatomical dissections or surgical operations. When it came to fascia (loose connective tissue), we were instructed to get it out of our way by blunt dissection (tear it apart) – what an educational error that turned out to be. I’m making up for it now through my studies of body awareness.

Fascinating figure in The Endless Web - think about it. Our body history extends all the way back to our very earliest activities post-conception.

Fascinating figure in The Endless Web – think about it. Our body history extends all the way back to our very earliest activities post-conception. This never occurred to me, but it makes perfect sense! Image from The Endless Web.

[Scientific Aside: I first became aware of the paucity of information available for loose connective tissue structures whilst studying the testis of the rat in order to improve our assessments of human risk from toxic chemicals. The compound that we were studying, potassium bromate, induced lesions on the testes, and we knew that an understanding of lesion location is critical for adequate assessment of human risk when extrapolating from non-human animal studies (which I avoided at all costs, preferring mathematical modeling whenever possible РI like rats, they are great animals). This forced us to find the information for ourselves, and a long and difficult task it was. The result was figure 12, in the article linked here for those interested in such matters. At least it demonstrates that all those years ago we were aware of our lack of knowledge concerning loose connective tissue structures!].

My interest in the art and science of body awareness, which was first realized through Feldenkrais instruction by Karen, of Move with Elan, has dramatically improved my enjoyment of the sport of Ironman triathlons.

FitOldDog's first Continuum Lesson

Click image for free instructional video about FitOldDog’s first Continuum lesson from Rebecca.

About seven years ago, I was forced to stop and think about my body mechanics as a result of (a) chronic knee pain in response to running, and (b) two knee surgeries required as a result of running-induced injuries. Fortunately, Karen turned up in my life, and the rest is history, the rest including knee pain and other common running-induced injuries. This experience took me into a fascinating field of study, body awareness, including recent work on Continuum with Rebecca Amis Lawson, an active proponent of fascial awareness. So! Recently I was motivated to purchase another book on the topic, ‘The Endless Web: Fascial Anatomy And Physical Reality.What a great book it is!

From The Endless Web.

From The Endless Web.

The Endless Web provides a connective tissue-o-centric perspective of body structure. It clarified many mysteries for me, including the issue of guarding or compensation, which I thought was only related to injuries. It never occurred me that the way I behaved in my mother’s womb could influence how I stand, move and present myself to others as an adult. It was also made clear that there are strong links between our emotions, the fascial web of our bodily connective tissues, our posture and appearance. All of this is clearly and concisely discussed in this remarkable book, along with many other matters of considerable importance to the aging athlete.

As you get older you’d be wise to undertake your sport smarter rather than harder, or you’ll be sidelined by one injury after another, and you’ll fail to reach your full potential.

This book is a great investment for anyone interested in a more agile, happy, and effective body.

-k @FitOldDog

 

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.