Muscles and Meridians is a unique book that breaks new conceptual ground in the realm of human movement.
Firmly based in an understanding of evolutionary and developmental biology, this volume introduces some of the keys that open the way to an understanding of the Contractile Field (CF) model - a novel concept which promotes a fresh approach to exercise and represents a valuable means of understanding and treating musculoskeletal disorders.
The CF model represents a whole-organism approach to an appreciation of human movement. The fundamental biomechanical architecture of vertebrates imposes patterns of movement on our spine, patterns that offer the keys needed to begin a more robust understanding of human movement. The CF model suggests that sense organs are embedded in fields of contractility, and that the musculature of the viscera and the role of the kidneys need to be incorporated in this attempt to develop such a model. Fields of contractility are defined, borders between fields are identified, and field interaction considered.
The model also suggests a new assessment methodology: the Archetypal Postures. Many musculoskeletal aches and pains, such as back pain, are non-attributable to a standard tissue-related diagnosis. Rather we need to focus on the interrelationship of many named tissues via the emergence of postures that are deeply embedded in our evolution and childhood development. Archetypal Postures are essential to the ‘tune’ of the musculoskeletal system.
By showing a pattern of correlation, the CF model also sheds light on the Chinese map of the meridians suggesting a theory that unravels the complexity of the ancient map which the modern biosciences have been unable to comprehend or identify.
Muscles and Meridians presents an approach to musculoskeletal anatomy which will be widely applicable to all professionals who have an interest in human movement: physiotherapists, osteopathic physicians, osteopaths, chiropractors, acupuncturists, exercise scientists, manual therapists, and personal trainers.
'The biomechanical and postural concepts emerging from Phillip Beach's study of contractility and vertebrate movement patterns are revolutionary and clinically relevant to all manual therapists and acupuncturists. They change the way we need to view the body and its behaviour’. - Leon Chaitow, Registered Osteopathic Practitioner and Senior Lecturer, University of Westminster, London, UK
‘Reflecting his extensive education, profound explorations, and years of practical experience, Phillip Beach's ideas braid movement, embryology, and acupuncture into a unique and useful systemic perspective’. - Thomas W. Myers, author of Anatomy Trains
- Describes a new model of human movement - the Contractile Field model
- Offers a rare and serious attempt to look at whole person movement patterns - akin to ‘Anatomy Trains’ but with a stronger link to vertebrate evolution and development
- Suggests that much of our endemic back and leg pain is due to a loss of ease in postures that are ‘archetypal’ to mankind
- Offers a profound new understanding of the world’s oldest medical map, the Chinese meridian map
Table of Contents
1. A wriggle in deep time
2. Embryological morphogenesis
3. Modelling movement
4. Lateral contractile field (L-CF)
5. Dorso/ventral contractile field (D/V-CF)
6. Helical contractile field (H-CF)
7. Limb contractile fields (Limb-CFs)
8. Radial contractile field (R-CF)
9. Chiralic contractile field (C-CF)
10. Fluid field (F-F)
11. Archetypal postures: a self-tuning mechanism
12. Decoding the Chinese meridial map
13. Manipulating shape
Abbreviations and glossary
By Phillip Beach, DO, DAc, OSNZ, Osteopathic and Acupunture Practitioner, Wellington, New Zealand