Anatomy For Touch

AnatomySCAPES writes the regular Anatomy for Touch column in ABMP’s Massage & Bodywork Magazine. Each article features our original artwork and imagery from our own work in the dissection lab. 

This is not your typical anatomy column. As touch therapists writing for touch therapists, we explore what anatomy looks like, what it feels like under our hands and how each structure trelates to the tissues around them. Most importantly, we always discuss how it relates to TOUCH.

Check out our most recent column and past issues below! Massage & Bodywork Magazine can be read for free online. Print subscriptions are available to ABMP members. 

Peritoneum: Your Core, Inside Out

Our organs slip and slide over each other all the time. A thin membrane serves as the lubricating, protective barrier that makes it possible. Introducing the peritoneum.

👉Read in the July/August 2024 issue of M&B


👉Online Courses

Thinking in Tissues

The word tissue comes up frequently in our work as massage therapists. Deep tissue massage. Soft tissue injury. Scar tissue. But what is a tissue, exactly? In this issue we explore how "thinking in tissues" gives us a more refined way to discuss anatomy.

👉Read in the May/June 2024 issue of M&B


👉Online Courses

Retinacula: Finding our Footing

The retinacula are traditionally thought of as strappy reinforcements around our tendons and ankles. Fascia research is finding out they do more than strap in our tendons. 

👉Read in the March/April 2024 issue of M&B


👉Online Courses

Skin: The First Millimeters of Every Massage

Skin is the first thing we touch in every massage, even if our intentions and pressure run deeper. Easy to ignore, it's actually the largest organ in the human body and accounts for a full 15% of our body weight. Take your understanding deeper with this must know anatomy!

👉Read in the January/February 2024 issue of M&B


👉Online Course on Skin

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Anatomy of Scar Tissue

Humans repair wounds by forming scars. If all goes as planned, that scar fades a bit over time and starts to blend imperfectly into the surrounding skin. That’s the view from the outside at least. But have you ever wondered what scarring looks like beneath the skin? Come explore with us!

👉Read in the November/December 2023 issue of M&B


👉Online Scar Tissue Course

Rectus Sheath

When it comes to our abs, the 6-pack gets all the attention. But what’s really holding it all together up front, is the sturdy, fibrous, deep fascia: the RECTUS SHEATH! Come explore the DEEP FASCIA of the abdominal wall!

👉Read online in the September/October 2023 issue of M&B


👉Online Course on the Rectus Sheath

Trapezius: Untrapping the Traps

The trapezius is no stranger to bodyworkers and movement teachers. Infamous for its role in chronic neck and shoulder pain, this superficial upper back muscle is a regular target in our treatment rooms and classes. There's a whole lot more to the trapezius anatomy story than we studied in anatomy class!

👉Read in the July/August 2023 issue of M&B Magazine


👉Online Course on the Trapezius

Plantar Foot — from Surface to Deep

The soles of our feet are the main point of contact with the earth for each and every step. That’s some major mechanical stress. Our feet meet the challenge with specialized tissues that are tough, resilient, and surprisingly sensitive. Come take a tour of the interconnected tissues of the plantar foot from surface to deep!

👉Read in the May/June 2023 issue of M&B


👉Online Plantar Foot Course

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Fascia Lata: Home of the IT Band

Anatomical drawings and dissection images often depict the IT Band as a two-dimensional "strap" on the lateral thigh, leaving us with an incomplete picture that doesn't exactly match what we feel beneath our hands. Broadening our understanding to include a three-dimensional view of the deep fascia of the entire thigh, the fascia lata, can help us refine our touch and inspire different possibilities of how to approach it in our sessions.

👉Read in the March/April 2023 M&B


👉Learn more about Deep Fascia in our fascia-focused online courses.

Skin Ligaments

Let's take a look together just beneath the skin! We pulled out the microscope🔬to give you a close-up look at...the SKIN LIGAMENTS. While certainly not our usual anatomy 🤩 superstar, these connective tissue structures create an important fascial bridge from the skin to the deeper layers.

👉Read in the January/February 2023 issue of M&B


👉Online Course on Skin Ligaments