Massage & Bodywork

JANUARY | FEBRUARY 2022

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Macroscopic Muscle Anatomy By Christy Cael essential skills | FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY To understand how muscles function when generating force and producing movement, we must look at their internal structure. A better understanding of what tissue types make up a muscle, the purpose of each, and the organization or architecture of a muscle also helps illuminate how bodywork may improve muscle function. This knowledge informs bodyworkers about what structures to target, how best to target those structures, and what exactly is occurring as specifi c techniques are applied. e functional unit of a muscle is the motor unit. A motor unit is composed of a group of muscle cells and the single nerve that controls their collective activity. To function optimally, this tiny structure relies on ideal proximity between the nerve ending and muscle cells, as well as delivery of energy and metabolic chemicals to both nerve and muscle cells. Delivery requires adequate circulation and eff ective chemical exchange between the vessels of the circulatory system and individual nerve and muscle cells. Under specifi c chemical conditions, the motor units are activated and proteins within the muscle cell interact to produce force and generate movement. Connective tissue wrappings support, protect, and separate the functioning units of a muscle, optimizing the chemical and electrical interactions between the nerve, muscle cells, and circulatory structures essential to muscle function. ese layers collectively are referred to as myofascia. Individual muscle cells, 74 m a s s a g e & b o d y wo r k j a n u a r y/ fe b r u a r y 2 0 2 2 Muscle Tissue Architecture Epimysium: myofascia surrounding entire muscle Perimysium: myofascia surrounding fascicles (bundles of muscle cells) Endomysium: myofascia surrounding individual muscle cells Endomysia Muscle fi bers Epimysium Tendon Perimysium Fascicles Muscle belly Bone AMY ROWE ILLUSTRATION

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