Anatomy is a sacred genesis. We ought not consider the organs of the body as the lifeless forms of a mechanical mass, but as the living, active instruments of the soul.” – Pehr Henrik Ling

When people first start massage school they are thrilled to give and receive massages, but sometimes students are not so overjoyed about learning anatomy and physiology. The effort it takes to learn this new “language” is tough, I remember! So many words drawn, often from Latin, are initially hard to get and stick in the brain!

As a student, I resisted learning the exact details of the origins, insertions, and actions of the muscles until I finally had a teacher who said basically, “Let’s stop this b.s.’ing around– I’m giving you a quiz every class.” At that point resistance was futile! I gave up all hope that procrastination would work as a strategy! I broke through my anatomy barrier. And really that opened a whole new way of understanding myself and others.

Because it was not just in my brain that I needed to place this knowledge. As it settled in, the understanding found its way into my experience of my body, my feelings, sensations, my heart.

Now I totally understand Pehr Henrik Ling and others who really grasp how learning anatomy and physiology is not a burdensome obligation, but basically a divine opportunity. It is an invitation to enlighten ourselves about this gift we have for movement and for learning itself!

These bodies we have in their detailed form and function are miraculous! Often I now look at clients and other people and, as a therapist, I think they really don’t know what miracles they are! I consider it my job to re-awaken my clients to the miracles that they are.

To learn how Mother Nature, God, Genetics, whatever you want to call the force that creates and shapes us – this is an incredible opportunity.

To understand how our own body works is a self-knowledge from which we all benefit incredibly.

To understand how clients’ bodies operate is equally fascinating. Even though they have the same muscles and bones and brains – each person is almost like a world unto themselves – especially we see that when we begin working on individuals in class, then in our student clinic, and then in our professional practices.

You don’t need to have a deep knowledge of the inner workings of your car to get a drivers’ license – but to navigate your way through the hundreds of routes of being taken by muscle and bone, this is needed to truly help people (and conveniently also to get your massage license!).

This body is our home. Every day we arise with this body alive. Every living heart beating we join. How could we not want to understand this incredible gift we receive with every breath, every thought, every emotion, and every motion. Each of us are the living active instruments of the soul.

-David Lauterstein

Your admissions counselor can give you more information about learning anatomy in our massage program when you tour our school.