In the study of human anatomy we oftentimes isolate the various bones, tendons, ligaments, and muscles into individual sections. For example, a biceps muscle, or a patellar tendon. This system gives us deep understanding of the individual properties of the muscle tissue. A singular view has led to advances in surgery and rehabilitative modalities. While it is of utmost importance to emphasize the importance of the individual roles of various tissues, we must also remember there is no true separation and that the human body is one interconnected organism.
To begin, let\’s do a quick review of human cellular development. I\’m sure its been a while since biology class, so I will keep it simple. First, we start with a fertilized ovum. Second, the ovum splits into stem cells, Finally, stem cells develop into specialized cells. For example, nerve cells, muscle cells, brain cells, etc are specialized cells.
We can break this down with the kidneys as an example. Specialized cells become tissues called nephron loops. The nephron loops become functional units or kidney cells. These cells add up to functional units that make up organs, or the kidneys. Then, the different organs, such as the kidneys and bladder, make up organ systems called the urinary system. Finally the organ systems, urinary, digestive, nervous, etc. make up an organism. That is you the human.
Bones as organs?
So how does this apply to bones, ligaments, tendons, and muscles? If we look at outermost layer of the upper leg bone we will find the periosteum. The periosteum is just bone tissue with a lower amount of mineral salts, like calcium, and carbon. As we move on to the facial layer, we find more of the same base material with a slightly different mixture from the periostuem. This allows for more elasticity. This elasticity shifts to become ligament and muscle tissue.
Holisitic view of fitness
Whether we provide manual therapy or movement therapy we must treat the body as a holistic model. When we accept the fact that you cannot separate tissues, then we start to understand that everything you do effects everything else in your being. Eating the wrong food inflames your colon, an inflamed colon can hinders your abdominal wall, an inhibited abdominal wall puts strain on your back.
A traditional approach is to stretch the tight back muscles. Alternately, modern approach is to strengthen the abdominal muscles. Whereas a holistic approach would be to first clean up your diet, then strengthen the abdominals, and also stretch the back muscles to correct any tightness not eliminated by an increased abdominal strength.
In sum, the more we understand the holistic nature of the human organism it is more likely to live a healthy, vibrant life. As always comments and questions are encouraged and appreciated.
BS Ex Science