Anatomy Trains | Tom Myers | Talks at Google

[MUSIC PLAYING] TOM MYERS: Hi And thank you very much Very glad to be here at Google And the subject, really, today is three different subjects, and the first is movement You see nine people– I think there are seven or nine people being given the same choreography in what you’re looking at on the screen now And yet they execute that choreography all differently So I have been just fascinated with human movement for my entire life, partially, because I’m such a bad mover You know we all teach what we need to learn And the way the brain runs movement has fascinated me since I was very young And I submit that we don’t know very much about that, number one And number two, the model that we’ve been using for that is getting badly outdated rather quickly The idea that a muscle attaches to a tendon that goes across a joint that is limited by the bone shape and the ligaments and, therefore, movement comes about on a leverage principle on Newton’s laws Einstein came 100 years ago We’re just now bringing a relativistic point of view to body therapy And I really wanted to do this today, particularly at Google, because you guys are really forward thinking into the future And no matter– I talked about your digital obsession And it’s not just yours It’s an entire generation’s It’s all of humanity I’m 70 years old or almost And if you take my phone away from me, I begin to jones for it after half an hour And I live my life on email like everybody else But this happened so fast, so fast to everybody Concerned And it’s an irreducible fact that we have a body I came in on an airplane from the West Coast yesterday And I was looking at how much of the airplane is taken up with the fact that we are biological beings If we could only hold our water for 10 or 12 hours, which doesn’t seem too much to ask of a biological system, we wouldn’t have had to have bathrooms on the plane If we could only hold our breath for a few hours– that doesn’t seem like too much to ask of physiology– but it is So we have to have airplane that we carry with us up to 33,000 feet And here you are, working at Google, and you irreducibly have a body For the first time in history, we’re looking at a world that we create around ourselves that doesn’t require us to move Now how does that sentence finish? That doesn’t require us to move enough to stay healthy, enough to stay in a really ideal state– we don’t know, because we’ve never had a time in history that’s like this, never, ever And as you guys move into the future, and we move into driverless cars, and we move into more and more things that our phones do for us, with us, then we have to think about, hmm, how do we educate kids to move? So I’m going to spend about 15 minutes on that And I’m going to spend about 15 minutes on fascia as a system because the new way of thinking about movement is dependent on understanding this new system And then I’m going to spend the last 15 minutes thinking about what I particularly did with that, which is called the “Anatomy Trains” of putting the muscles together like strings of sausages So we’re going to go one, two, three on those things You’re not the only one who are digitally obsessed Even us old people are digitally obsessed So I promote through the “Anatomy Trains” an idea of structural integration, which is deep bodywork Those of you coming to the workshop afterwards, we’ll be looking at how do we interact with our hands into the tissues of the body, and how do they, in fact, change? But I am not an apologist for only structural integration I am a great friend of yoga and palates and weightlifting and training and body work of all kinds because they all have value, and we need them all in the world But we have to think intelligently about what is KQ? We’re pretty good at IQ With the help of a lot of women this week and Daniel Goleman, we’re beginning to learn about EQ, emotional intelligence We haven’t begun to map KQ, the intelligence of the body And I’m pointing to the center of gravity of the body, what’s known as that Dan Tian or Hara in martial arts It is the center of your fibrous body, the center of your moving body We don’t know that the even of kinesthesia and movement

And we’re going to need to find out this century, in particular Because this century, in particular, we’re going to find out how to change behavior Hm Medicine is really good at changing chemistry Psychiatry was supposed to be really good at changing behavior You can have your own opinions about how they’re doing with that particular task But we work with movement And therefore, we are very close to changing behavior So the massage therapists, the trainers, the body workers, the movement teachers, the physical education teachers of this world right now are going to have to figure out, what is KQ? And how do we have, at least, a minimum program of KQ for our kids? Look at what has happened to us Are humans natural? And I can go on for half an hour just on that subject, but I’m going to I’m going to suggest that there are five things that have really taken us away from nature And one of them was standing up That happened way back in paleo times, not 200,000 years ago, 200,000 generations ago So our DNA has had 200,000 generations to get used to standing up, which takes us away from our noses So out noses become less important Our eyes move around to the front of our head because we were arboreal apes We stood up, and that distinguished us from natural animals Again, natural is a really hard concept We could play with that concept for quite a while But just go with me with this One of the things that we did when we stood up was put all our soft sensitive bits right up in the front of the body No other animal is so stupid as to put the groin, the genitals, the belly, and the breath and the throat right up front and go into the world with those things first Umph This is the most postural problem that you will see across the world is that we shorten the front of our body And I’ve been enough all over the world to say this with some confidence We shorten the body along the front to protect our soft underbelly And so you see these kinds of patterns Or you’re working at your desk out of these kinds of patterns And your breath is not supporting your body, your ribcage is not supporting your shoulders, therefore, your neck hurts, duh-da, duh-da, duh-da It goes into the production You cannot get away from the fact that you have a body, and you’re working with it Anyway, we stand up on our feet, unlike any other animal, 16, 18 hours a day Only 30,000 generations ago, we tamed fire We don’t know any other animal that tamed fire That really took us away from the rest of the animals, divided us from the rest of the animals in a serious way I’ve got about an hour on each of these, but I don’t know who do that But you understand that, once we controlled fire, which is way back– paleo people are talking about going back 20,000 years or 30,000 years 600,000 years ago, we start finding ashes regularly in the archaeology of human habitation And agriculture, which we depend on for the food that is out there at the food stand outside this hall, we depend on agriculture, which only came in 12,000 years ago or 600 generations ago Your DNA has gotten 600 generations to get used to farm work and cultivated food But then we went another step, and we moved away from the natural environment, our regular contact with the natural environment, which really is only over the last 20 generations or so, we started making things– that chairs that you’re sitting on So now we live in an environment that is an industrial environment We make so many things And everything that you’ve learned about the body comes out of an industrial era So if I say, what’s the heart like? What are you going to say right away? It’s a pun Lungs are a bellows, the brain is a computer, the brain turns out to be whatever is the most complicated thing going on at the time– we call it the brain When I was young, it was a telephone system When my grandfather was young, it was the telegraph system When Descartes was here, the newest thing was those little pneumatic machines like you have at the bank that sucks your cheque over to the teller So he thought– you put your finger near a fire, and a little message went up a pneumatic thing like that Because that was the most complicated machine of the time So now it’s a dual processor, I don’t know what laser, quantum– you guys would know more about this than I do But whatever it is, we’re going to say, oh, the brain is like that because the brain is the most complicated thing that we know of other than the whole human universe No system– because I’m not going to talk about the brain

very much No system has been more mechanized than your musculoskeletal system It is a machine We think of it as a machine Your training regimen is to do things to your machine But in the last two generations, we have done the last step Well, I don’t know if it’s the last in history, but the latest for us, is stepping into a global brain, stepping into something else So the body has to become something else I’m too old, and it’s not quite far enough into this revolution to say what the body will become or what kind of physical education that we need But it’s probably not preparation for agricultural work Only 3% of the population is on the farms anymore And it’s not even preparation for industrial work, which, as you may have noticed is going south NAFTA or no NAFTA, just going south in the world because robots can do anything repetitive better than humans So the one thing– because I’m [INAUDIBLE] this thing to get it down to 15 minutes, which is we need to teach our kids to do original movement Repetitive movement is no longer what we need Because we don’t need people on the lines with scythes going cross cutting the field We don’t need people on an assembly line turning nuts We need people to do original stuff So that means our physical training has to change, not so much jumping jacks and pushups and stuff anymore So we look at spatial medicine, and we see that this is the model of what I was talking about A muscle goes across a joint, and that’s how it works on the body I would suggest instead that we have to look at what our kids are going to need in terms of movement hygiene Movement is food Movement is medicine What do we need in terms of movement? You’re sitting there in your chair Civilization has made chairs something that we use very much So get off the back of your chair And if you’re listening to this, you can do the same thing Get off the back of your chair and onto the sits bones at the bottom of your pelvis And if you rock your pelvis forward and back a little bit, you’ll feel that you’re going towards your tailbone and then towards your pubic bone on these sits bones And that, in somewhere in that arc, your low back feels the most comfy That, if you really go onto your pubic bone, your low back will feel arched and tight And that, if you really go back onto your tailbone, your chest will fall, and your breathing will suffer Is that fair? And where is the middle? That’s fine We can spend an hour on this too But my question for you is, did anybody coming into Google or coming into your school life teach you how to use a chair? No You just fell into the use of a chair We have to actually now teach kids to use a chair because they’re going to use a chair for so much of their life on airplanes, in cars, and at work How many of you are now saying, how long is he going to have us like this, right? Because certain muscles need to get stronger Certain muscles maybe need to relax a little bit for this to be an easy place for you But if you let your hands float up to your keyboard or to whatever you interface with– just let your hands float up to you’re comfortable position of interface Hold those hands there imagining that you’re on a keyboard or whatever, and drop back into the behind your sits bones and feel what happens to your shoulders Your shoulders lose support You are now using the muscles of your shoulders and arms and neck in a different way in order to get the hands out there to interface with your keyboard And we could spend a long time, but I’m not going to on the distance between your screen and your eye which fixes a whole bunch of stuff in your neck But that’s a little more obscure So part one is, never before in history have we needed this, but now we need movement They went to Ethiopia and took a tribe– I’ve forgotten the name of the tribe– on the Omo River and put Fitbits on them They mostly take 15,000 steps a day I don’t know if you’ve got a Fitbit on I hate them, personally, but can’t you feel inside your body? Do you need a machine to tell you what your body is doing? Argh But these guys we’re doing, and women we’re doing, 15,000 steps a day on average And really, it’s hard to get up to 12,000 steps a day in a working environment So they were much more active than we were So what’s the minimum amount of activity necessary for health, mental health as well as physical health, for your brain to work? Your body doesn’t stop here This is a hydrodynamic system

It needs water to get to it Exercise from below helps you above [LATIN] So you really ought to understand if we take the fact that we need to educate our children in how they move, then you could have a look here at a dissection of the fascial system This is a dissection of an untreated cadaver by Andres Pilat in Spain And that’s why you get the flamenco dancer every once in a while But he’s showing you what it really looks like under the skin And we have had an altered picture of what it’s like under the skin by looking in the books Whatever anatomy you learned in the books, that’s great But there’s a whole system of stuff And it really is stuff around the muscles like the skeleton of an orange And it’s that part that we’re going to be looking at here Now, if you were all therapists, I would be starting to talk to you about how you would affect the very deepest level, the endomysium that you can see looking like a honeycomb there That honeycomb is around each muscle cell And then you see around the bunches of muscle cells, in the middle picture, you can see the perimysium, which is the lubricating fascia inside the muscle And then on the outside, the kind of ribbon candy that you see down in the lower right is the epimysium, which is the Saran wrap, the plastic wrap that goes around all the muscles, which will go into the tendon of that vastus lateralis when it gets down to the bottom So we could parse out this thing But the fascial system is a great big unitary net that goes all over your body It doesn’t just hold your muscles There’s fascia around the bones, there’s fascia around and in the cartilage, there’s fascia around your organs Let’s have a look at it as a system Here, coming from the end of the 19th century, is a French surgeon’s version of seeing the fascial plains in between the muscles by cutting the muscles back and leaving the fascial plane So this was an early way of looking at it, taking the muscles out of the inner leg of the inner thigh and looking at the fascial sheets that are left You just don’t have an anatomy that really shows this We’re just beginning to get them now A few people are beginning to publish them But if I take a piece of the thigh, which you see here, going down the middle of the thigh, you see the femur in the middle The skin and the fat have been taken off the outside So you’re seeing the fascia profundus, which is the fascia lata, which is a thin sheet that goes around all the muscles and squeezes in on them What you haven’t seen in 500 years of anatomy, what you haven’t seen is, what happens if we take the muscle out of that and just leave the fascia? Now you see the fascia as a system You see the fiber of the body as a wholly separate system that we have never seen In 500 years of anatomy, we do not have a picture of this system This is the best I can do, and it’s only a piece of the thigh There is work under way now in the plastination lab in Germany to make some representations of the system But it is a really fairly much a Cinderella of the body systems in that it has been fairly much ignored, and we’re working with it, of course Whatever you do with the body, with your own body, you’re working with the fascial system Whatever you do with other bodies, you’re working with the fascial system But could we do it better if we did it consciously? So there’s layers of fascia Pick up your skin Anywhere on your body, just pick up your skin You just picked up the first layer of fascia That’s this thin line that the indicator line is pointing to next to the fat layer That’s the superficial or adipose layer, which is what allows your skin to move around on top of the rest of your body Then you have the unitard that really holds you in the shape that you’re in underneath the skin And then Saran wrap around, a plastic wrap around each of the muscles, intramuscular septa, like the divisions between the orange, between superficial muscles and deep muscles, and then the periosteum around the bone there Each of those layers are different layers But if we went back to this, we would see it as a single system It’s useful to put it in layers, but that is a human distinction Almost anything, like the iliotibial tract, or your ankle ligaments, or your diaphragm– these are names that we have put on something which is unitary So what you want in those fascial layers

is that they slide and glide easily on each other And that’s what allows you full range of movement and easy coordination of your movement for whatever motion you’re going to do The trouble is, when it becomes dry or overused– so it dries out; it loses its fluidity Or it gets overused, which makes inflammation, which means it loses its fluidity, or inflammation from other reasons, like you’re eating something that you shouldn’t be Any of those things can make this fascia stick together So do you see the adhesions here from the skin to the muscle? And you don’t see those fascial adhesions here Or they’re are so small that they’re not going to interfere with the movement at all But we really do see these adhesions when we do dissections so that you can see them But you wouldn’t see them in an anatomy book, because that’s the stuff that’s taken away so that you can see the muscles in the anatomy book So you’re not seeing the thing that’s actually restricting movement We do run dissections on untreated cadavers where we are looking for those kinds of things and trying to document that so that people can see it But those of you who learned your anatomy from books, which is where I learned my anatomy first, you get, not a false picture, but a massaged picture of what’s going on inside the body Come see for yourself is the meaning of the word autopsy And so if you look at the fascial system, the things that you could take away from it– I would say it’s alive, but I put that separately because that’s an opinion It is made by cells Your fascial system– and we’re going to go into that in a minute– is made by cells But the things that I would like you to take away, whether it’s alive or dead, is it’s unitary from top to toe You can cut it with a surgeon’s scalpel It starts at day 15 of your embryological life Looking like the gel that’s around frog eggs– have you ever seen frog eggs in a pond? Or is that too far removed from Cambridge? Come on, go out to Walden Pond, find the frog eggs, and you’ll see the gel And that’s what starts your facial system is a gel around the cells in the very early embryo And it stays unitary So you can talk about all these different things, of this ligament and that tendon, but they’re not separate They’re part of a unitary system from top to toe So it can get cut with a scalpel It can get torn in injury It will fray with age That’s what’s making the lines around my eyes But it is unitary from top to toe and birth to death And it transmits and accommodates the forces, not in a way of just the tendons going from bone to bone, but a whole system of a cobweb, a three-dimensional cobweb, pulling in on a bone system that’s pushing out We’ll also talk– we’ll talk a little more later, but we’ll talk about how it responds and transmit But if you have this idea that the skeletal system is pushing out and the myofascial system, meaning the muscle and the fascia together, the white stuff and the red stuff, are pulling in, that yin and yang, the pulling in of the soft tissue and the pushing out of the bones, is the balance which ends up being our posture, our movement, our posture in action, the recognizable pattern of movement that we have throughout our life So you can change that by training, or you can change that by changing the fascial stuff itself And finally, the last two bits is that most of your body sensing– you say, I’m going to stretch my muscles with some yoga Your feeling your fascia six times more than your muscles You have six times more endings in your fascia than you do in your muscles on average So you’re really feeling this system as you stretch it, and it’s telling you what’s going on And finally, all injuries– if you’re working especially with a chronic injury– has a fascial component to it So it’s worthwhile learning about this Now, because it’s Google, I really want to do this I want to present you with a design problem All life on the planet started as single-celled life And they did lots of things like grew bristles which were sensitive They managed to move through the environment They did all kinds of interesting things as single cells, as cyanotic bacteria, E. coli, the whole thing from prokaryotic to eukaryotic cells But then the eukaryotic cells started getting together and making organisms Now, when you make a whole bunch of cells together in an organism, each cell has to still live, has to get food delivered and have its garbage taken away, et

cetera So you develop systems And when you have 70 trillion cells– that’s about the best estimate that we have right now If you included the cell inside between your mouth and your anus, would probably be more like 100 trillion, but in any case, this is just a guesstimate because we don’t really know how many cells there are But how are you going to keep them in the proper relationship? You can’t wake up tomorrow and have your heart down in your left hip, right? It has to stay in place So how did we get all these cells to stay in place? Well, when you think about the problem a little bit, you’re either going to have to glue them together, or you’re going to have to weave them together And the answer for evolution or Darwin or your mom or god or whoever you think does these things, the answer was both Your cells, which are very delicate little fatty droplets of proteinous activity wandering around in your body, have to be both woven and glued into the system to either stay where they are or be allowed to move in the way that is appropriate to them So the extracellular matrix, the stuff that’s around the cells in the picture that you see there, is a combination of woven fabric– which, if you know anything about fascia at all, that’s probably what you know– is they discovered these collagen– the cells discovered making collagen fibers among others And those collagen fibers are to us what cellulose is to plants It’s what holds us together But we’re also glued together with mucopolysaccharides, other words, mucus So I caught a cold on the plane yesterday coming back I’m sorry that I have a cold here today But it just makes a point that my body is getting rid of some of the stuff that it uses to glue me together You have mucus all over your body You couldn’t live without it Most cells are coated in it It is the interface between the woven fabric and the cells that we go through And the condition of that gel, the condition of the gel between the fabric, between the cells is really, really crucial to how you process water, how you process your food, how you can move The fabric is great, but the gels are really fun to listen to So your fascial system is your meta-membrane It is the thing that keeps– you think it’s your skin But the fashion is really what is the interface between you and the outside world The skin is the direct interface with the dry world outside, but the fascia is what keeps you in your shape Quickly, we have really four different kinds of cells that develop out of the ovum One of them is really good at conduction, but boy are they delicate Cut them, and they just don’t repair very well Take away oxygen for a few minutes, and your nervous system is really impaired for the rest of your life They’re very delicate cells, but boy did they conduct well Muscle cells specialized in contraction, connective tissue cells make the materials that make for support How do they make those materials? They exude out– oh, I have to put the fourth one in The epithelial ones are the ones that do linings They line your lungs They line all your capillaries They line your gut Anywhere you need a lining, you use epithelial cells But connective tissue cells make all these different kinds of things to hold the cells together When there was only a few cells, great, you just make junctions between the cells like this, ways of holding the cells together But as you get more and more cells, you need something to connect them And it is the connective tissue that makes, out of these three elements– just fibers and the glue that you see, the brushy-looking molecules are the glue And it looks like this in vivo This is the only film of living fascia that we have made by a French surgeon, Jean-Claude Guimberteau He put a micro camera into his patients while he was doing tendon transfer operations and got all of these and many more Look up “Strolling under the skin” if you want to see more of this kind of thing where you can see how the fibers are in life So we had been doing dissection of dead connective tissue and gotten one impression of it But when you look at it living, you see what an adaptable, three-dimensional spider web of connections is really going on in your body And it’s changing moment to moment as the muscles move and the forces change Fascia has properties that are really important in training I’m going to leave that here except for one, which

is the second one– elasticity Let’s just have a look at it as we also see this on stage I’d like you to notice just how much effort I am using to keep the carabiner going up and down I could do this all day If I was doing this, how long would it take me? So what we’ve discovered is that the fascia is viscous, like you see on the screen, but also elastic, as you see here So it has viscoelastic properties And this elasticity means it can store and give back, store and give back, store and give back energy And that’s what the runners who are using the forefoot running are storing and giving back, storing, giving back so they’re not hitting the wall so soon because they’re not using up the stores of sugar in their body by doing concentric contractions If you look at my hand, I’m doing an almost isometric contraction to keep this thing going I have to do a little contraction to keep it going If I just stop contracting whatsoever, it would stop going But with just a little bit of a contraction, I can keep myself moving along if you understand The kind of therapy that massage people might use, certainly, the kind that I teach depends on a third property of the fascia, which is called plasticity You’ve heard of neuroplasticity But this is fascial plasticity So if you watch, as I stretch the fascia, which I’m doing in the microscope here, beyond its elastic capacity, it still can go back to where it was But when I let go, it’s not going to go back to where it is It has taken on a new length It is this kind of ability to, not only stretch, but lengthen, to ease out to restore the glide that is the basis of hatha yoga, which is the basis of the kind of work that I do And there are a number of practices who are going to reach into these kinds of properties of the fascia And if you start to look, I’d draw your attention to this structure We start to see the relationship between the fascia and the bones as being one where the bones are floating inside a balanced set of fascial pulls So these sticks are not touching each other And the response of the system is a response of the whole system And when you injure a system and one part becomes fixed, then the rest of it doesn’t respond properly around that And the pain may end up over here, even though the injury is over here So understanding our body in a different way from– there is a skeletal framework Muscles are hanging off skeletal framework I will use supraspinatus for the first 15 degrees of abduction, then I will use the deltoid, until I get to 89 degrees of abduction, then I will use the trapeze for the remaining degrees That is a robotic idea which has gotten us a lot of knowledge over the last several hundred years But that model is running out of its usefulness This model is, I think, going to be more useful as we move forward to understand how the athlete, the performer, the person who’s getting old, the person who has neurological problems or post-injury problems, that we can restore this kind of dynamic balance where everything is giving a little bit Tiger Woods, when he was doing his swing– if you watch my feet now, never mind my golf swing because I don’t play golf– I’m going up on the outside of my right foot and the inside of my left foot In other words, I’m supinating on my right, pronating on my left, I expect to be right on my feet at the moment that I connect with the ball on the tripods of my feet And then I expect to do the opposite to come onto the inside of this foot and the outside of my left foot during the follow through If you watch him in the early days, he did all of those things except in the follow through His left foot stayed on the ground What does that do? That means that rotational energy is going to be thrust up to the next joint So where did he end up having his first set of problems? Not in his back, but in his left knee But the problems in the left knee where the lack of movement in the left foot So if you start thinking about the fascia in a dynamic way this way and thinking about the fascial system in this kind

of dynamic way, then your treatment plans and operations change, especially for what you’re going to do from chronic injury We tend to focus on the part that’s hurt We tend to focus on the structure that failed, not looking at the context in which that failure takes place So especially for chronic injury, this becomes very important How did the body– I’m still on my design question How did the body get through this design thing? What you’re seeing here is the engine You’ve got millions of these cells crawling around your body They’re called fibroblasts That means they’re making the fiber And if you look– the fiber is green, and the cell is orange If you look at this film from Friedel, you see that the orange cell is leaving a trail of green behind it as it moves through the green field, right? It’s on a three-dimensional spider web It’s literally got little hooks on it, and it’s crawling its way through that spider web and leaving a trail of slime behind it So hate to tell you this, but you’ve got millions of little slugs running around your body leaving trails of slime And then what happens to those trails of slime? Well, if you’re a couch potato, they remain trails of slime and become part of the sloopy bit which is stopping you from having circulation happening around your body If you are moving, then that slime forms into all the things that the slime can form into to make your body work– bone, cartilage, tendon, ligament– whatever it needs to be according to the needs that you put on it Over the arch of my school, when I finally have one, will be a golden thing that says the body responds to demand So whatever demand you put on the body, you’re going to get that body A palates body– I can recognize people who’ve done it– puts a palates demand, creates a palates body I know palates is getting different now and all that Same with yoga– there’s so many different kinds of yoga But you can recognize what runnering does to a body because it’s a running demand You can recognize what Olympic lifting does to a body because it’s an Olympic lifting demand And different bodies are suited to different bits And when you load these cells up– that’s the same cell in the center of the picture there And you can see in this, if you take the time to examine it that, if you don’t do enough to stimulate the cell, you’re going to get fibrosis and lacks of flexibility and a lack of strength If you overdo it, you’re going to get another kind of fibrosis and edema around the cell And if you just do enough– that’s the gray one in the middle– then you’ll maintain the status quo But trainers are looking for that green idea of building the fascia Now fascia builds slower than muscle You can’t get the fascial system to build up as fast as a muscle That’s why lots of people get injuries when they come into you and say, I got to get in shape for my– whoa I’ve got to get in shape for my thing this summer Please get me in shape And so you build up the muscles if you’re a trainer, and they have a fascial injury because the muscles build faster than the fascia does The consequence of this is, we start to look at how the muscles are strung together in the body to create these things that I call anatomy trains or myofascial meridians to understand the way in which the body pattern works as a tensegrity so that we can understand how these things are communicated from one place to the other, how the problem in the arch becomes a problem in the knee becomes a problem in the back So we’ve been looking at these kinds of things and coming up with the different ways in which the body connects from one side to the other I am just going to call a halt to this now and leave time for people who want to ask questions AUDIENCE: Do you have a discussion about how much diet is related to this in terms of keeping the fascia healthy? You touched on it a little bit about what we’re putting in our body in terms of having inflammation and not have inflammation So is there something you could say to that question? TOM MYERS: Absolutely, although I am not a dietitian I personally am on a seafood diet– if I see food I eat it However, but the idea here is, you need the 22 amino acids to produce the various types of collagen and other proteins, fiber, nectin, et cetera hyaluronan that you have in your body So adequate supplies of protein, which can get a little dicey with a vegan, a really restricted diet Otherwise, the main thing that I can say is that we put maybe too many irritants in there in terms of hot food and coffee Some people, that will really affect how their body works

But the main thing is sugar I said that the gluey stuff was mucopolysaccharides The more sugar you eat, the stickier that stuff gets The stickier it gets, the less it lets the nutrients through to the muscles, the liver, the whatever it is around So oversugaring our kids, oversugaring ourselves is probably the dietary thing that we do the most Then, beyond that, it’s individual things that people are allergic to or semiallergic to that just make it harder for them physiologically AUDIENCE: Yeah I think we’re just discovering how bad sugar is actually for us TOM MYERS: Yeah AUDIENCE: Yeah, OK, thank you TOM MYERS: You’re welcome AUDIENCE: Hi, Tom I had a question about the plastination Do you know what the state is that that is in? Are they getting close to having something that can presented? TOM MYERS: Yes They have some things that have been presented They’re going to be presented at the 5th Fascial Research Congress, which is taking place in Berlin in a couple of months And they have done things such as that, like the thigh that I had where we went down through the layers They’ve gone down through the layers in the wrist from the bone, and then you see the next one, the next one, the next one out to the skin That’s one that they have looked at They took a section of the lower leg and took out all the muscle, again, looking like some of the things They’re trying to recreate some of the images that we already have But because fascia is the context for everything else, it’s really hard to take everything else out and leave the fascia intact So what you would like– I would like to go back to the Vesalius’s lab and steal all his knives Because when we went to examine the human body, we examined it with the same thing that hunters did with animals We cut it up with a blade And our anatomy that you’ve seen in your books is anatomy of a blade But if I could get back to the Vesalius’s workshop, take my time machine and go back to 1540, I would take away all these knives and leave him with a vat of furniture stripper or some other kind of solvent And he would come in the morning and say, (WITH ITALIAN ACCENT) oh, somebody took all of my scalpels So I will instead put the body in the solvent and see what happens And he would have taken out the extracellular matrix which is the thing that every cell lives in It would be a three-dimensional network that wouldn’t just cover your muscles It would show you the shape of your brain, of your liver, of everything has to be in this network So it draws together, not only all the parts of the body, in a very real way, the fascia draws together all the branches of medicine And I think we’re going to be discovering a lot more about it in the next 40 years It’s not that fascia is more important than anything else It’s just we haven’t paid much attention to it So we need to pay some attention to it now just to catch it up to the other places Yeah Did I get to your question at all? AUDIENCE: I found it interesting that you were stating that many of the injuries occur from people trying to get fit and building the muscle before the fascia has a chance to catch up to it So I’m curious if there are activities or things that help to promote fascia or to help the development of the fascia in the muscle come more in alignment, or if it’s just slowing down training TOM MYERS: Slowing down training is– most of the people who come into training have that real goal-directed rather than process-directed mentality And it’s the job of the trainer to slow them down a little bit You think of the people who have been working on training for 2,000 or 3,000 years Yoga generally goes– I know there’s all kinds of yogas now, but yoga generally went very slowly so as not to– I don’t have a piece of plastic up here But if you can imagine me with a plastic bag, if I do it slowly, the bag will stretch If I do it quickly, the bag will tear So moving slowly is definitely a boon to not having overuse injuries So if yoga is slow, the things like Tai Chi move very slowly, and that is going to have less injury The other thing that I would love to see for kids, because all the movement that we do with kids is so directed towards a goal, and I love– I studied with a woman named Emilie Conrad who did biomorphing motion, like, animal-imitation motion just to have flows and waves go through your body And I would love to see kids get that kind of training instead of how many pushups can you do? Or can you go up the peg board? Can you climb the rope? Those kinds of things, those are great I’m not putting them down But for kids simply to explore their movement for the joy of movement and to emphasize what they can do rather than what they can’t do, I

think would be a really nice thing for the next generation of kids that we’re bringing up Kids are going to become very precious resources, guys, in your world We used to have seven kids in hopes that four kids would live to take care of us when we were old I kid you not It is now a tragedy if a child dies If you had a child die in your family, I am really sorry for you There is nothing worse that I can think of Because we invest so much in each child– and now my daughter, who works for Google, and lots and lots of people who are probably not going to have children– and that means that the children who are here, the Indigo children or whatever you want to call them, those kids are going to be very, very important Because they’re going to take care of us when we’re old That’s you, when you’re old I’m already out of here But in order to do that, those have to be super kids So we’d better raise them really strong and healthy because they’re going to have to take care of lots of people when they’re old I know it’s not going to work that way, but you know what I mean Kids are precious How they get taught into movement is an important thing Thanks [APPLAUSE]