We are in the midst of a radical rethinking of how the musculoskeletal system works. It is ever more clear that ‘the muscle’ is an outdated and un-physiological concept and that the understanding of the fascia as a body-wide regulatory system will yield the next generation of effective hands-on interventions. (Tom Myers, Anatomy Trains)
In the most recent conference, a startling paper and talk by Dutch anatomist Dr Jaap van der Wal, M.D., Ph.D, (Fig 1) shoved us right through the looking glass into this new wonderland with no looking back. Jaap’s work overturns our understanding of the interplay between muscles and ligaments across the joints.
Although Jaap’s seminal paper was published for the Amsterdam conference in 2009, his original work was published way back in the mid-’80′s. At that time, his findings were simply too radical for the prevailing wisdom, and was given the standard scientific treatment: his work was ignored, shelved, and dismissed. Even now, his ideas present a significant challenge to our understanding. Once grasped however, his logic has that obvious, ‘of course it’s that way!’ inevitability.
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