Massage & Bodywork

September/October 2013

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education classrooM to clIent | PatHoloGy PersPectIves | boDy awareness | functional anatomy | soMatIc researcH transversus abdominis By Christy Cael the transversus abdominis is the deepest of the abdominal muscles. its fibers run horizontally and wrap around the waist from the vertebral column to the linea alba; it also joins the internal and external oblique muscles at the abdominal fascia, a sturdy sheath of connective tissue terminating anteriorly at the linea alba and lying superficial to the rectus abdominis. Because it lies deep to the rectus abdominis and the external and internal obliques, the transversus abdominis can be difficult to locate. A unique muscle in that it has no true action, the transversus abdominis is instead defi ned by its function of increasing intra-abdominal pressure. Contraction of the transversus abdominis compresses the organs and contents of the abdominal cavity; the resulting increase in pressure within the abdominal cavity serves three functions. First, it assists with expulsion of air during forced exhalation. Second, it assists with expulsion of abdominal contents such as urine and feces, or stomach contents during vomiting. Third, and most importantly to human movement, it supports and stabilizes the lumbar spine. This last function earns the transversus abdominis the nickname "anatomical weight belt," as a strong, functional transversus abdominis serves the same purpose as the thick belts worn to prevent injury when lifting heavy objects. transversus abDominis attachments • Origin: Internal surfaces of ribs 7–12 • Insertion: Abdominal aponeurosis actions • Compresses and supports abdominal organs • Assists with exhalation innervation • T7–12, L1 • Lower intercostal, iliohypogastric, and ilioinguinal nerves See what benefits await you. 49

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