Everything is Connected

body skeletonThe muscles of the body are woven together in a richly mulitdimensional structure, as coach Brook Thomas describes here.

She is writing about the importance of fascia or connective tissue but her description of it helps illustrate how acupuncture, which treats the fascia, works to release the muscles. The picture on the left shows a “muscle chain” – an interwoven system of muscles, tendons and bones that are involved in holding the body upright and stable. The picture on the right shows the pathway of the Tai Yang, or Bladder meridian used in acupuncture. This may help us to see why a tightness in the back might cause pain in the foot, for example. Ms Thomas explains how this give rise to the “dreaded domino effect”, or how an injury in one part of the body can give rise to pain and dysfunction elsewhere, because everything is connected.

Acupuncture as a system depends on the fact that in the body, everything is connected. We treat the back of the skull and see the achilles tendon relax. We treat the shoulder and see the gluteus maximus release. Understanding the pathways of the meridians gives the acupuncturist a set of maps of the fascia, and many ways to design an effective treatment. It seems magic in some ways, but it is no more magical than the way everything is connected.