Massage & Bodywork

March/April 2012

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BODYREADING THE MERIDIANS 8 The Functional Lines extend the arms to the opposite legs, across the midline of the body, forming two large Xs—one on the front crossing at the pubic bone, and one on the back crossing at the sacrolumbar junction. these two lines is about right—if the angle is too acute, the humerus is laterally rotated; if too obtuse, it is medially rotated in the glenohumeral joint. THE FUNCTIONAL LINES Finally, we should mention the other two lines that extend the arms down to the contralateral legs—the Front and Back Functional Lines (Image 8). When you throw a rock or a spear, or bat a ball, the force generated by the arm is multiplied by the additional lever arm of the trunk pivoting on the opposite leg. The Functional Lines transmit these forces across the midline of the body in two large Xs—one across the front, and one across the back. These conjoined muscle linkages—the lower edge of the pectoralis major to the line between the rectus abdominis and external oblique across the pubic symphysis to the adductor longus in front, the latissimus to the thoraco-lumbar fascia to the lower gluteus maximus in back—team up to reciprocally impart more momentum and speed to the hand. Interestingly, despite the fact that we are all "handed" and thus use one set of these lines more than the other, my 30 years of observation tells me that these lines rarely govern posture, perhaps because they are used reciprocally with every step. Whatever the reason, when you see one shoulder closer to the opposite hip, it is usually the Spiral Line that is the culprit (January/February 2012, BodyReading the Meridians, page 94), not these innocent Functional Lines. The arms are highly complicated bits of machinery, very handy accoutrements to our body's repertoire, and amenable to the poetry of bird's wings and nonverbal haiku. We have covered only a few major assessments, but we hope they are of use to you. Next issue will be the last in this series as we take on BodyReading of the last of the Anatomy Trains lines, the core of the Deep Front Line. Thomas Myers is the author of Anatomy Trains (Elsevier, 2009) and Fascial Release for Structural Balance (North Atlantic, 2010). Myers studied with Ida Rolf and has practiced integrative bodywork for more than 35 years. He directs Kinesis, which offers more than 100 professional certifications and continuing education seminars per year worldwide. For more information, visit Celebrate ABMP's 25th anniversary and you may win a refund on your membership. 105

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