Sunday, December 11, 2016

The Sinew Channels at the Pacific Symposium

I have not posted in a while and plan on starting up again. Below is a bit of a summary of what I have been doing and some thoughts on future posts.

On Saturday, October 29th, Matt Callison and I presented at the Pacific Symposium. We presented on the work we have been developing on the sinew channels (some of which has been featured on this blog). This presentation covered background on sinew channel study from the Lingshu to the present, and discussed what we are using to further expand this concept. This includes modern functional anatomy, fascial research, ongoing cadaver studies, and clinical observation, among other things.

We then explored a few channels (Urinary Bladder sinew channel, Liver sinew channel, Gallbladder sinew channel, Small Intestine sinew channel) and looked at some clinical examples. We performed a few demonstrations on volunteers from the audience for Iliac Crest Syndrome (we referred to this as Yaoyan syndrome, as the pain presents at the extrapoint Yaoyan) and on Levator Scapula Syndrome. In both examples, we looked at the common muscle imbalances and, through the lens of the sinew channels the channel imbalances associated with these pain syndromes individually. These pain syndromes tend to be associated with an elevated ilium (with Yaoyan syndrome) and a elevator scapula (for levator scapula syndrome). 

Finally we discussed how these two syndromes are commonly seen together, and specifically how assessment and treatment of the quadratus lumborum (part of the Liver sinew channel, Fig. 1.) and the levator scapula (part of the Small Intestine sinew channel) represents a midday-midnight channel relationship (Fig. 2).

Recently (12/1-12/4), I retook a visceral manipulation course through the Barral Institute. I have been interested and influenced by this work for a long time and plan on studying it in earnest this coming year. While this blog focuses on the development of a more anatomically precise model for the sinew channels, I believe that visceral manipulation gives much insight into how the internals relate to the myofascia (how the primary channels nourish and influence the sinew channels). This will be discussed further in a future post. For now, I will share an image of the liver and its relationship to the diaphragm and the quadratus lumborum. Jean-Pierre Barral, the developer of visceral manipulation, feels that excessive energy in the liver disperses into the quadratus lumborum and psoas muscles (Fig. 3). Again, more discussion on this is to come.

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