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Anatomy Trains, 3rd Edition

Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists


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ePub eBook $69.95
(With Adobe DRM, readable with Adobe Digital Editions for PCs and Macs, and on most mobile devices except Kindle)
PDF eBook $69.95
(With Adobe DRM, readable with Adobe Digital Editions for PCs and Macs, and on most mobile devices except Kindle)

The new edition of this hugely successful book continues to present a unique understanding of the role of fascia in healthy movement and postural distortion which is of vital importance to bodyworkers and movement therapists worldwide. Fully updated throughout and now with accompanying website (, Anatomy Trains: Myofascial  Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists will be ideal for all those professionals who have an interest in human movement: massage therapists, structural integration practitioners, craniosacral therapists,  yoga teachers, osteopaths, manual therapists, physiotherapists, athletic trainers, personal trainers, dance and movement teachers, chiropractors and  acupuncturists.

Table of Contents

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New to This Edition

    • Text updated in relation to the most up-to-date research originally published at the International Fascia Research Congress, Vancouver, 2012
    • Includes the latest evidence for the scientific basis of common clinical findings, including  preliminary evidence from human fascial dissections
    • Explores the role of fascia as our largest sensory organ
    • Contains updates arising out of continual teaching and practice - for example, the role of the fascia and its interconnectivity in the generation of pain and/or force transmission  
    • New chapter discusses the role of Anatomy Trains theory in the analysis of gait 
    • Video clips on an associated website ( present examples of the concepts explored in the book 
    • Podcasts on the website explore the therapeutic techniques involved
    • Website addresses and references fully updated throughout

Key Features

    • Provides a revolutionary approach to the study of human anatomy which has been shown to improve the outcomes of physical therapies traditionally used to manage pain and other musculoskeletal disorders 
    • Describes a theory which is applicable to all common types of movement, posture analysis and physical treatment modalities
    • Layout designed to allow the reader to gather the concept quickly or gain a more detailed understanding of any given area according to need
    • Design icons direct readers to their own specialist areas of interest, e.g. manual therapy, movement therapy, visual assessment, kinaesthetic education or supplementary video material
    • Appendices discuss the relevance of the Anatomy Trains concept to the work of Dr Louis Schultz (Meridians of Latitude), Ada Rolf (Structural Integration) and the practice of Oriental Medicine 
    • Accompanying website ( presents multi-media exploration of the concepts described in the book - film clips from Kinesis DVDs, computer graphic representations of the Anatomy Trains, supplementary dissection photographs and video clips, webinars, and some extra client photos for visual assessment practice

Published Reviews

    As we seek solutions to the frequently complex biomechanical puzzles posed by those who consult us, Tom Myers' insight into the fascial networks of the body can often point to practical therapeutic options. The Anatomy Trains metaphor is a revelation; a way of seeing the body's interconnectedness more clearly, offering new physiological and anatomical perspectives, and therefore different clinical choices. Quite simply the content of this book is revolutionary. 

    Leon Chaitow ND DO, Honorary Fellow, University of Westminster, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 

    Any body of work that demonstrates the interconnectedness of the body and fosters appreciation of the whole over the sum of available parts is a must in today’s health and fitness market. Anatomy Trains champions a wider scope of the body and its movement systems.

    Gray Cook MSPT, OSPT, CSCS, Developer of the Functional Movement Screen

    Tom Myers' masterful second edition of Anatomy Trains incorporates the most recent scientific concepts into a framework for understanding and practicing deep tissue work. Readers will gain insight into both basic and clinical research issues, how the science could influence clinical practice, and vice versa. Completely redone illustrations show anatomy from the cellular to the whole body level, describing both structure and function. Clinicians, researchers and educators alike will find this an invaluable text, which leads to new insights on each reading.

    Thomas Findley MD PhD, Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Editor-in Chief, International Journal of Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork: Research, Education and Practice

    Using Tom Myers' Anatomy Trains concepts and techniques in my chiropractic practice has improved my ability to see the source of my patient's problem and more efficiently target the soft tissue structures involved. As a result, injuries resolve more quickly, chronic problems respond well, and my adjustments are more effective because they are supported by the soft tissue. I highly recommend Anatomy Trains as a valuable asset for chiropractors and other practitioners using manipulation in their practices.

    Dr Andrea Coates Vinson, D.C.

    Anatomy Trains has become required reading for the advanced Structural Integration and Myofascial Therapy programs of the CORE Institute. Myers has discovered the critical interconnections of the myofascial web and communicates his vision in a language that honors both the art and science of somatic therapies.

    George P. Kousaleos, LMT, Founder & President, CORE Institute

    For everyone interested in integrative medicine and functional anatomy, this artistic book is recommended. It even makes studying functional anatomy enjoyable.
    Dr Andry Vleeming, Professor of Clinical Anatomy, co-editor of Movement, Stability and Lumbopelvic Pain

    The beauty of Tom Myers' work is that it is useful for a wide range of bodyworkers, from movement or energy therapists to manipulative manual specialists, and does more than simply demonstrating rote techniques, Anatomy Trains provides a deep understanding of strain patterns in the body to enable creative and effective solutions for the issues we encounter in a bodywork practice.

    Art Riggs, Certified Advanced Rolfer

    Our field is fortunate to have the talent and skill of Tom Myers and his ability to articulate his findings. His study, discoveries and syntheses are clearly defined and easily applicable for anyone who works with the body. His documentation of the body's structure and function containing spiral pathways inspire people to rethink the idea of 'straight line' movement.

    Judith Aston, M.F.A. Somatic Pioneer teaching bodywork, movement, and fitness for over 40 years.

    Anatomy Trains will help physicians, therapists and bodyworkers of all backgrounds break away from the prevalent traditional, mechanistic view of how the body works and is to be treated and will then push you headfirst into a logical, systems oriented view that has helped expand my diagnostic and treatment paradigms as well as my personal practice enormously.

    Chris Frederick, Physical Therapist, Certified Flexibility Specialist, Professional Structural Integrator, Director Stretch to Win Institute.

    Training optimal movement patterns requires an understanding of how the body regions connect and work in synergy. Anatomy Trains is an essential guide for understanding key myofascial lines which, when in tensegrity, facilitate optimal movement and postural patterns. Keep the train rolling, Tom. All aboard everyone!

    Diane Lee BSR MCPA FCAMT, physiotherapist and author of The Pelvic Girdle

    Perfection improved? Guess so…The Anatomy Trains’ ZenMaster once again demonstrates how excellence evolves with greater mastery as we journey the road less traveled. An anatomical playwright, Tom’s newest offering captures our curiosity with incomparable biomechanical prose and delights our visual senses via breathtaking graphic designs. Kudos, Captain Myers…

    Erik Dalton, Ph.D. Author of Myoskeletal Alignment Techniques®

    Anatomy Trains revolutionizes the teaching and learning of Pilates.

    Elizabeth Larkam, Director, Pilates & Beyond, San Francisco

    In Russia, this book turns a new page in rehabilitation, osteopathy, orthopaedics, sport medicine and sports. It opens a new horizon in understanding the basics of movement patterns and posture and gives a unique chance to gain awareness of formation of scoliosis and movement stereotypes. Anatomy Trains will allow you to make quality changes in your medical and sports practices to achieve amazing results very rapidly. I am recommending this book to friends and colleagues and keep using the concepts of Anatomy Trains in my everyday practice with great success.

    Dmitriy Merkulov, D.O.

    There is no doubt that this beautiful and inspiring book will contribute many important insights to the scientific understanding of musculoskeletal function. 

    Helene M. Langevin MD, Research Associate Professor, Departments of Neurology, Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Vermont

    Tom's Anatomy Trains book and in depth practical studies represent/reveal an invaluable and vivid insight/understanding into how the body has pre-organized its movement functions via the flexible fabric (cut on the bias) from within. The story and strategies of the body’s movement and the related posture is visually introduced with a wealth of "functional" information. This body of work profoundly contributes to the foundation of my teachings. It is the manual/handbook for any serious teacher or student of movement. 

    Marie-Jose Blom Lawrence, Master Teacher of Pilates, Director Long Beach Dance Conditioning, Creator of Smart Spine Back Support System

    Anatomy Trains is a resource that gives inspiration for anyone who works with the human organism, for practitioners of various manual fields, for movement teachers and for educators in a larger sense. This book is written in a way, that it leads directly into practical application.

    Peter Schwind, Ph.D. Author of Fascial and Membrane Technique

    An excellent teaching/study aid for all bodyworkers. An unusually interesting guide to living anatomy - an excellent way to visualize the anatomy of movement. Highly recommended!

    Rosemary Feitis DO. Author of The Endless Web

    As a movement professional it is essential to study the brilliance of anatomist Tom Myers in Anatomy Trains. When you actually see the connectedness and order of the body you begin to understand how one action can move through and effect so many others areas. Bravo! 

    Yamuna Zake, founder of BodyRolling®

    Thomas Myers is one of the pre-eminent practitioners and teachers of connective tissue matters. Originally trained as a Rolfer, Tom has taken his research to a completely new level, presenting current material about connective tissue that continues to pour out of clinical studies at an ever-increasing pace. Anatomy Trains is the magnum compendium of his experience, thinking and teaching. Here you will find a wealth of information about the nature of fascia, its treatment, and its relationships to many other somatic systems. This book is a must-own, must-read for any serious practitioner of bodywork. Anatomy Trains will deepen your knowledge and practical applications regardless of what your training background has been.Deane Juhan, is a long time teacher of Trager and the author of Job's Body: A Handbook for Bodywork and Touched by the Goddess: The Physical, Psychological and Spiritual Powers of Bodywork

    "I approached this book with familiarity due to its reputation and prevalence in modern literature and courses, yet it is a book I have not read until now, it's 3rd edition.

    "Anatomy trains" describes the whole-body myofascial meridians that run at varying lengths and depths through the body. the metaphor relates to railway tracks, stopping at stations (bony landmarks) and occasionally becoming "de-railed" with individual variances. The metaphors don't stop with this books title. The preface is very arty and in places, cheesy. The reader can easily get lost in the analogies given as it deviates away from traditional scientific books. If it's reputation didn't precede it, I may well have stopped here.

    The book is designed for quick reference, chapters are colour coded for a quick thumb flick through and within the chapters the text is broken up using keys for different disciplines, with individual icons indicating areas of interest for manual therapists & movement therapists, icons highlighting info that is available on the accompanying website and material that can be accessed by purchasing an additional DVD.

    Sticking with the metaphorical theme of the book, it seems appropriate to describe it metaphorically. The book approaches anatomy in a superficial way to other anatomy books, by that I mean if traditional anatomy books are the foundation of our education, isolating individual muscular attachments and actions, then this book is the next layer of annotate paper laid on top. It approaches postural compensation and movements as a whole body approach and describes how muscles may interact with each other via these "meridians" of myofascial.

    Myers considers the fascia and the relationship it has between muscles where historically anatomists have trimmed away at it like ivy covering an old building. Instead of discarding it, he considers it's role in kinesiology and biotensegrity (brilliantly explained and depicted in chapter 1). Myers encourages the reader to forget about the matter-of-fact attachments of muscles as we know them, explaining that fascia is continuous in multiple planes, that our understanding of a muscle starting and stopping is actually just human intervention to confidently aid education. Using examples of movements patterns, with illustrations and cadaveric images, it is hard to deny the proposed relationship between multiple muscles, which are not to be confused with the traditional muscles groups that we know. It seems counter intuitive, but to think in the terms intended by the book, forget about muscle groups like the quadriceps, instead consider the muscles individually in order to consider them as part of a larger myofascial chain.

    The "rules" to following Anatomy Trains are outlined in chapter 2 and just like a train journey, the rules take you from a zone of understanding and acceptance to an area of confusion - there are perhaps too many diagrams trying to explain the "rules" and the text regularly jumps from a metaphor to scientific explanations. It is almost as if they are unsure of who the target audience is and as such the writing style attempts to appease both the lay person and the clinician.

    In fact, the book is much easier to follow if you skip chapter 2. The individual chapters for each meridian contain much more succinct diagrams and cadaveric images to describe postural function at each joint and as a whole system. Each chapter describes the role of the meridian in postural control, cleverly isolating each involved joint before expanding to the biotensegrity model for that line. Each chapter is then completed with discussion points and references.

    The book culminates with chapters 10 & 11 unifying the individual meridians and describing their application in therapy and structural analysis. In these concluding chapters, Myers describes a world that is impoverished of movement education, where clinicians are blinded by evidence based practice and there is a stark need for unified terms, both inter and intra professionally.

    "Anatomy Trains" is certainly not devoid of personality. It is this personality combined with a non-scientific writing style, yet supported clearly with scientific references, that makes or breaks the book as a reader. If approached with an open mind then there is a clear working theory that flows throughout the text and even now in its 3rd edition, the book appears novel and rogue. Look beyond the salesmanship and self promotion of "anatomy trains" and there is a clinical relevance to this book that could change the thinking of most physiotherapists and encourage a more "whole body" approach to therapy."

    Sam Blanchard, Head of Academy Physiotherapy, Brighton & Hove Albion Football club.

Author Information

    By Thomas W. Myers

Customer Reviews

Anatomy Trains, 3rd Edition
  • Paperback
  • Reference
  • 332 Pages
  • Trim Size: 10 7/8 X 8 5/8 in
  • Imprint: Churchill Livingstone
  • ISBN: 978-0-7020-4654-4
  • Copyright: 2014