Integral Anatomy Workshop: Day 1

Today I met the legendary Dr. Hedley, the Fuzz Speech Guy, and our cadaver “Tony” at an undisclosed location (out of respect to the donors).  Entire class consists of about 30 people.  My team includes two structural integrators (a Rolfer and a KMIer), a Pilates teacher, and a massage therapist.

I will spend 8 hours/day, 6 days a week, for three weeks to learn who I am with Tony.

What I leaned today:

  1. Skin color is not even epidermis deep.
  2. When you stand cadavers up, they look happier and you feel them more personal.
  3. Cadavers go where their hips go.
  4. An Invisible and inaudible bell works as well as a visible one
  5. Hands and feet are as personal as faces.
  6. Once I get used to, my brain re-calibrates for through-the-exam-gloves touch and I can feel detailed texture just like with direct contact.

Gil calls a cadaver human “form.”

Holding each form in the standing position revealed the story we didn’t see when they were lying on the table.  How the body occupies the space is an integral part of who they are.  Standing makes them look closer to the life.  One female form was surprisingly tall with dancer’s legs.  Standing, she looked younger and livelier.  Personality of the form takes shape through interaction with the gravity.  Narrative emerges from the relationship of the body with gravity in space.

Integral Anatomy Workshop is an intensive hands-on human dissection workshop for manual therapists/structural integrators/body workers/philosophers.  It’s quite different from medical school gross anatomy lab classes.

Dissection is an act of introspection. By unwrapping the layers of the donor’s gift, participants uncover hidden layers of themselves.  Gil Hedley, Ph.D.

The Gross Anatomy Lab is  super clean.

The Gross Anatomy Lab is super clean.

The lab is super clean.  The color scheme is:  whitish linoleum floor; white lab coats; black counter tops; black chairs; orange cabinets, and lots of stainless steel glare under fluorescent light.

We spent about 7 hours in this totally artificial sanitized space with continuous humming of some kind of machines in the background.

Day 1 is for observation.  No scalpel.  We spent long time with Tony, taking notes of surface marks, such as surgical scars.  Most of the students are one kind of manual therapists or another.  Our way to relate is distinctively different from med students.  We touch and feel to relate.

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