Massage & Bodywork

MARCH | APRIL 2022

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visual representation of the harmony and fluidity that fascia lends to movement than that of a horse at a full gallop. Slowly, a language began to emerge within both my human massage classes and my animal bodyworker community. The first Fascial Congress was held in 2007, and the electron microscopic images that came out of it rewrote the history of movement and our understanding of the internal communications of the body. I started to find ways to describe what the horses had been telling me. Thanks to continuing education seminars with Leon Chaitow 1 and myofascial release (MFR) for horses under the direction of Mark Barnes (whose father, John Barnes, has paved the way for thousands of new MFR practitioners), my animal clients began to benefit from the research being done on humans, a welcome turning of the tables. For all the similarities between my human and animal clients, though, there are some significant differences. ANIMAL FASCIA IS DIFFERENT From a fascial standpoint, the horse is unique for a number of reasons. For one thing, horses employ an intricate system of balance in the limbs called the stay apparatus, which allows them to stand and even sleep with minimal muscular effort. Thanks to a pulley system created by the linkages of muscle, tendon, and ligament, the carpal bones and the stifle (the joint that closely resembles the human knee) lock in place to prevent the horse's massive body from causing the long lean legs to collapse when at rest. This fantastic feat is a magnificent example of the tensegrity system first described by Buckminster Fuller and later observed in living cells by Donald Ingber in the 1970s. 2 Secondly, lacking a clavicle, the horse has no articulation joining the forelimb and the body. The front limb is suspended alongside Comparing biped limbs to quadruped limbs. A few of the myofascial kinesthetic lines defined by Dr. Rikke Shultz and Dr. Vibeke Elbrond. GLEN-CARRIE/UNSPL ASH

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