Andrew Biel is a licensed massage practitioner and the author of Trail Guide to the Body: A hands-on guide to locating muscles, bones and more, which is used by thousands of massage therapy, physical therapy and athletic training programs. He’s served on the faculties of Boulder College of Massage Therapy and Seattle Massage School and has taught Cadaver Studies for Bodyworkers at Bastyr Naturopathic University.
In this episode we discuss his new book, Trail Guide to Movement, the fact that Western society is in the midst of a movement/proprioception crisis, muscle function, ideal resting tone for muscle tissue, why there’s no such thing as perfect posture, and new word…balmoture!
There’s also a limited time discount of 20% off of Trail Guide to Movement for Y&B listeners below!
- Why Andrew writes non-traditional textbooks that strive to be entertaining, curious, fun and relatable
- About the excellent illustrations in the book – how he and Robin Dorn (the illustrator) teamed up back in 1995 in Seattle
- Who the book is for – what kinds of teachers, professionals and students
- When his fascination for movement began
- Mobility in the 21st century in the Western world today our lives require less and less movement. Why this is a huge problem!
- We have a proprioception problem too (lack of movement and lack of proprioception go hand in hand)
- The book takes you on a journey building the body from the cells up to the nervous system – why the book starts with the fascia
- How preparing and roasting a chicken gives a great demonstration of fascia at work
- What bonus actions of muscles are
- Why muscles that are short or long are considered weak
- The 64,000 dollar question about resting muscle tone – What’s the ideal tonal quality of muscle tissue in relaxed/passive situations- is there an ideal tonal blueprint?
- The best ways to evaluate resting tone
- Why there’s no such thing as perfect posture
- His opinion on ideal neutral standing positions of the feet
- What BALMOTURE is and why we should ditch the word posture
- Changes coming to the next editions of Trail Guide to the Body and Trail Guide to Movement
Some of Andrew’s favorite anatomy books he mentions in the podcast:
[The body teasers are a play on brain teasers. The goal is to play, experiment, get us thinking about how we move and ultimately to improve how we move.]
- Explore your balmoture – which is your combination of balance, motion and posture. Notice how often you find yourself in somewhat reclined or horizontal positions and stop doing it so much. Start to incorporate more simple movements in your life, like walking, rolling around on the floor or getting up and down from the floor a few times. Something simple you can do right there.
- Explore the concept of resting tone of muscles in your body. Go to a massage therapist and ask them to tell you what the resting tone of your tissues is like – hard as a rock? or excessively supple and lax? Ask what you can do to get more balanced muscle tone.
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