ASM Wellness is dedicated to a well-rounded and multi-faceted approach to wellness. As a massage therapist and personal trainer, I approach my work with my clients similarly. Sometimes there are concepts and information which apply to multiple programs, simultaneously, and happen to illustrate the synergy of our programs, and modalities such as fitness training and massage therapy.
For several years, massage and other manual therapists have been aware of a different way to approach anatomy and kinesiology: using Tom Myers’ Anatomy Trains. It used to be that we looked at the muscles as isolated units, beginning and ending their influence where they attach to the bones. Anatomy Trains is a way of looking at the body – specifically muscles and connective tissue – in terms of how everything interacts with one another. By looking at anatomy this way, we can see how one muscle may influence its neighbors via the connective tissue they share. What’s more, is that Tom Myers and his team noticed that the most direct links between muscles and their connective tissues ran along many “functional” lines of movement.
The implications of this on massage and fitness training are profound. It provides us with an entirely new paradigm in which to address our clients’ needs. As massage therapists, we can identify associations in soft tissue dysfunction which was not obvious using the more traditional approaches to conceptualizing soft tissue anatomy. As personal trainers, we can help our clients train using complex, compound movements which mimic real-world movements more effectively than workouts focused on isolated muscle groups (eg “chest” or “back and shoulders”) ever could.
As more massage therapists and personal trainers adopt this way of considering anatomy, they are seeing even better results with their clients. With its track record, so far, it seems that Anatomy Trains will continue to gain momentum (pardon the pun) in massage and movement disciplines, making it the way of the future.
If you would like to know more about Anatomy Trains, you can see the official site, here. Learn more in an article, Learning to Train the Myofascial System, by massage therapist and personal trainer, Debbie Roberts, about training the myofascial system rather than individual muscles.