John Sharkey BSc MSc, BACA BASES is a recognised author and authority on the topic of myofascial trigger points and the treatment of chronic pain. John holds master's degrees in clinical anatomy (BACA), exercise physiology (BASES) and is the programme leader of the masters degree in Neuromuscular Therapy accredited by the University of Chester.
John is a member of the Olympic Councils Medical and Science Team and runs a successful chronic pain clinic. An International presenter and keynote speaker John has proven to be a popular figure at conferences, workshops and masterclasses worldwide. He is a member of the editorial team Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies (JBMT) and the BioTensegrity Interest Group (B.I.G) under the guidance of his mentor Dr Stephen Levin.
If biotensegrity or the 'biology of tensegrity' is everything that some of our thought-leaders in anatomy believe, it has the potential to change the way we deliver many physical and massage therapies. Biotensegrity has been defined as the new "science of body architecture" and includes the latest research into the fascia. Biotensegrity, or tensegrity in biology, is described as the tensional network of the human form. Biotensegrity is an emerging field that raises new questions and insights into how this fascial connective tissue matrix is tensioned and how crucial that is to human structure.
The objective of this article along with our Co-Kinetic module on biotensegrity is to help you as a therapist understand how to integrate biotensegrity principles into physical activity programmes and massage therapies. If we can achieve this, all signs point towards a recipe for fewer injuries, better rehabilitation, improved natural function in motion, greater happiness and by virtue of all the above, greater success as a therapist. I am sure that most of us will agree that when we, or our clients, move injury-free everyone is at their happiest. Pain and injury bring misery.
This article discusses whether tensegrity or more specifically biotensegrity, which is explained as "tensegrity in biology" is changing our understanding of anatomy. The article is part of a special series published to coincide with the Biotensegrity Pre-Conference day which preceded the British Fascia Symposium 2016. It is part of a module of articles which can be found at the following link: Biotensegrity: concepts and practical applications for the manual therapist. Other articles in this series include: ‘Biotensegrity Part 1: Introduction to biotensegrity’; ‘Biotensegrity Part 2: Considering the role of fascia in the science of body architecture’; ‘Biotensegrity Part 3: Levers and pendulums’; ‘Dissecting the anatomy experience: a valuable learning tool’; ‘Function, form and fascia: What lies beneath?’; and ‘A new anatomy for the 21st century’.
This article discusses the role of dry needling in the effective treatment of myofascial trigger points specifically and chronic pain states generally. The article details when dry needling is suitable but, more importantly, when it is contraindicated. A special emphasis is placed on the safety of the patient and the interests of the sportEX reader. The author highlights the need for tutors of dry needling to have an excellent knowledge of anatomy giving examples of why this is vitally important.
This article explains the importance, for therapists, of experiencing human dissection as a teaching and professional development aid. With the empathy of a clinical anatomist and a doctor, who are also manual therapists, these experienced professionals understand and appreciate what therapists need to know. Touching a body is the key to most, if not all, movement and physical therapies; cadaver dissection helps in understanding the architecture beneath the skin which provides a much greater depth and breadth of knowledge or human anatomy for the practitioner.
As the number of chronic pain patients in the UK increases, especially patients suffering with fibromyalgia and chronic myofascial pain, a need exists to promote a better understanding of what these conditions are and how best to treat them. This article is for the therapist and the patient and for those with previously unexplained symptoms associated with fibromyalgia, myofascial trigger points and chronic myofascial pain. It will help to bring some clarity to the topic of fibromyalgia. Every member of the medical team involved in the treatment of chronic pain needs to be familiar with myofascial trigger points.
This article aims to stimulate discussion concerning the continuity of the human form and a new vision of human anatomy. Current biomechanical explanations are challenged including the law of levers, inter abdominal pressure while new anatomical descriptions are put forward such as the MyoTensegrity-one muscle hypothesis. Understanding and appreciating the wholeness and connectiveness of the human body can change the way a therapist provides therapeutic interventions thus avoiding the urge to treat the symptoms as opposed to the real source of the insult. Providing a new vision of fascia as a body wide ocean with rivers, brooks, streams, lakes, pools and dry banks (Bones) offers soft tissue therapists a powerful vocabulary for explaining continuity and myofascial force transmission. This short article will be supported by additional articles expanding the concepts put forward and developing the models promoted by John Sharkey a clinical anatomist, exercise physiologist and founder of European Neuromuscular Therapy.
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