Dissection Final 2009 – the Lines!

One final picture – a teaser for those who share my hunger for ‘just the facts, ma’am’, a relief for those of you who have found these last few posts a trial of too much meaty reality.  Conceived by Todd Garcia, realized by David Lesondak, with some of yours truly in there for the actual arrangement.  There’ll be a video tour of this available later this year with any luck:


These are the Anatomy Trains myofascial meridians we took from ‘George’ over the last six days.  To my students: can you identify them?

For you others, these abstracted shapes are an unfamiliar way of seeing the body in motion / stability.  From the left: Superficial Front Arm Line, Deep Front Arm Line, Superficial Front Line, Deep Front Line, Superficial Back Line, a bit of the upper posterior Spiral Line, the Back Functional Line, the Deep Back Arm Line, and the Superficial Back Arm Line.

Not shown (viva 2011!): Lateral Line, full Spiral Line, Front Functional Line, and the (new to the 2nd edition) Ipsilateral Functional Line.


One final note: I have an arse-kicking moment in every one of these dissections; most people do – it’s just too out of the normal realm and confrontive not to.  Although I certainly felt like a proud father to see the concept laid out so concretely on the concrete floor of the lab, my mental sock drawer was rearranged by:

(Isaac Asimov says most scientific discoveries are not acccompanied by the equivalent of Archimedes’ “Eureka!” but a quiter, “That’s funny…”.)

I was taking a postage-stamp-sized window out of the leg’s interosseous membrane to examine under Eric’s microscope.  Before I could even get it out of the leg it turned into gossamer, curled up and shrunk and went all wispy. We put it on the slide, and were able to roll it out a little, but this was true all over the body.  We took a scar from George’s leg, but by the time Eric had tomed it for the microscope, it had disappeared, reorganized out of being a scar.

Conclusion (these conclusions to spiritual events are always banal, but here it is): Structure is contextual, and only contextual.

The scar is only a scar when it is in its milieu of forces around it. The interosseous membrane is not the sturdy fabric we see in Clemente unless it is strung between the two bones.  Long live biotensegrity, and thank you Dr. Stephen Levine, and Tom Flemons, and Phil Earnhardt for sticking to your guns. I have a new appreciation for bones after this and their role in shaping the tissues.  But a strong new appreciationfro the whole, the pattern in its entirety, and its malleability in consciousness, so thanks to Ida for sticking to her guns also, and what the hell, thanks to me for sticking to mine.

But this week, thanks to Todd, David, Eric, and all the other students who supported our work with theirs.


3 Responses to “Dissection Final 2009 – the Lines!”

  1. Michelle Bellerose Says:

    Thank you muchly Tom for being just so beautifully tolerant, that inimitable way you multi-task… so brilliant! You found space not only for your own lab inquiries, but you made this an intense and fulfilling learning experience for every single participant, from colleagues to your most junior of students. It was great meeting Phil Earnhardt in the final moments too, I look forward to a fruitful exchange with him, which I’m sure will goad me into writing some articles this June on the vectors of context in the structural ape… I’m so proud to be a student of yours and to have, at last, found my life’s work. Looking forward to seeing everyone in July!

  2. Jennifer Hicks Says:


    As is so frequently true, way you share is as rich as what you share. Thank you for opening this experience through your words and David’s images to those of us who wanted to, but could not be there.

    “Structure is contextual, and only contextual.” I do believe, from my perspective, this is the most brilliant thing I have seen you write or heard you say. Realizing that I could very well have missed something else equally so or of greater brilliance along the way 🙂 , but I really like this! I can relate to it intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually. It resonates deeply with my experience.

    As always hugs of love and gratitude,

  3. neil goodenough Says:

    Have to concur with the above and ‘structure is contextual’. Has some resonance with Chaos theory in living structure which researching.
    I absolutely love this work with all my heart and I love all that we are able to do and explore within the human form.

    Thanks for leaving this trail of thread behind for us to follow, and to the colleagues who helped fluff and embroider it into a beautiful fabric. it’s not easy work in the lab.

    And thanks to the spirit of the donors for revealing their secrets to you all.

    see you soon

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