COURSE DESCRIPTIONS: HUMAN SCIENCES
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY I: FUNCTIONAL ANATOMY
This course covers the musculoskeletal anatomy of the head, neck, upper limb, trunk and lower limb. This course is taught in conjunction with Anatomy & Physiology II in order to build on topics in introductory anatomy and histology, and complements courses in Neuroanatomy, Visceral anatomy and Kinesiology. Functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal system includes biomechanics of connective tissue; in particular bone, cartilage and tendon.
The course is delivered in lecture format complemented by lab classes involving study of cadaver videos and surface anatomy along with texts, visual aids and experiential exercises. By course end students will acquire an understanding of the functional anatomy of the musculoskeletal system of the human body as a whole, the functional principles underlying joint movements and an introductory understanding of biomechanical aspects of walking. By course end students will understand the complexities of the human body and may even ponder the mystery of its creation.
ANATOMY & PHYSIOLOGY II
Informed by leaders in the new paradigm of Science and
Integrative Medicine such as Doctors Dean Ornish, Jon Kabat-Zinn, Bruce Lipton, Rachel Naomi Remen, Larry Dossey, and Candace Pert, this course, along with complementary Namasté science courses, provides the study of medical terminology, the holistic relationships of the structures and their functions involving the chemical and cellular levels of the human body. Not only does this course study the basic foundations of physiology, it is also a course that encourages students to think beyond the current paradigm of science and medicine, to think outside of the box. Doctors, such as Stephen Bezruchka, have stated, time and time again, that medical and science education has been reduced to the study of disease and illness. This reduction leads to dire consequences caused by misinformed leaders in healthcare. What is more, there has not been, until recently, any focus on the cause of disease, nor, more importantly, the cause of wellness and wholeness. What causes health and wellness? There is staggering evidence that it is not our behavior on an individual basis that greatly influences our health. Epidemiology studies on the structure of our social and economic systems are showing that where there is a large gap between the rich and the poor, there is more disease. It is quite the opposite in societies where there is a smaller gap.
We are living in a time where we are bombarded by the busyness of technology. We are alienated from nature and each other. As we become demoralized and alienated we loose hope. Throughout the curriculum at Namasté School of Massage we ask questions such as, "Is this because of personal choice?" or "Is this because of the structure of social systems?" and "What can I do?" At Namasté we have been studying the current trends in healthcare. There are exciting new movements happening in medicine in order to bring "soul" back into the mainstream in order to humanize medicine again. Beyond medicine are the same movements in education, law, and government there is hope.
Although at Namasté School of Massage we study the physiology and function of disease, we, again, also study and encourage students to think outside of the dim and overwhelming walls of physiological and disease processes. We attempt to provoke our students to become engaged in their social system, to continue with their education beyond what they receive at Namasté. At the conclusion of this course, students will understand the normal anatomical and physiological relationships among all of the major systems in the human body with in-depth explorations into, but not limited to, embryology and cell biology, the development, structure and function of bones (osteology), the blood and the cardiovascular system, the lymphatic, respiratory, integumentary, digestive, endocrine, urinary, and reproductive systems of the human body. However, more importantly, through exploring the social and economic influences on health, students will learn how to step beyond the individual into the relational.
In this course, students learn the essentials of the structure, function, and communication of the central nervous system (brain & spinal cord) and the anatomy of the peripheral nervous system (autonomic & somatic). Additionally, the course emphasizes the balance of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Students will learn the means by which the nervous system regulates the body in health and the pathologies and treatment modalities specific to nervous system conditions. Hands-on palpation and demonstrations will enable students to gain an extensive understanding regarding the anatomy of the peripheral nervous system and how to locate and identify areas of nerve entrapment and compression creating referred pain, dysfunction, and disease.
Equally important, students also learn about the exciting new research being conducted on the relationship of brain processes and experiences such as happiness. According to leaders in the field, animals and humans are essentially wired, for not only emotions such as anger, but are wired for bliss, pleasure and joy. Students will be exploring, in depth, how modalities or practices such as meditation, massage and prayer affect our experience of ourselves and our environment. Students will also explore questions such as, "What influence does spirituality, positive thinking, or anger have on our state of health?" The combination between science and the theoretical gives students a concrete understanding of the whole.
Kinesiology is the study of human movement and movement therapy and is the foundation for understanding range-of-motion and rehabilitative techniques. This course is an in-depth exploration of the origins, insertions, actions of muscles, and most importantly nerve innervations. Students will learn the dynamics of how muscles, joints, fascia, and nerves communicate to create movement and balance within the human body. Students will learn how to use kinesiology as a tool to perform postural analysis, and will learn how corrections in posture can prevent musculoskeletal pain and injuries. Each muscle group and its relationship to all other muscle groups will be broken down with experiential Hatha Yoga theory. The experiential integration of Hatha Yoga is crucial to this course.
Students will also learn how injuries and pain create postural dysfunctions and improper holding which leads to disease. Students will learn to physically locate, palpate, and demonstrate the action of the major muscle groups. Students will also learn about the structure, function, diseases, and disorders of the muscular system—such as common dysfunctions associated with the knee, hip, sacroiliac, and the joints of the spine—along with gaining knowledge on how diseases and disorders relate to other body systems through a strong focus on the nervous system. This course is designed to enable students to permanently retain the knowledge and skills of what they have learned about the anatomy of the human body.
PATHOLOGY I & II
Pathology is the study of human disease conditions. In this course students will gain a basic understanding of the scope of practice, goals of treatment, and various treatment modalities for certain neuro-musculoskeletal and organic diseases, with emphasis on indications and contraindications for treatment of these symptoms. Disease conditions related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems will be covered in addition to the major systems of the body with special emphasis on pathologies of the integumentary, circulatory, lymph and immune, respiratory, digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems, along with miscellaneous conditions such as alcoholism, cancer and edema. Basic concepts such as cellular adaptation, the inflammatory response, types of pain, client assessment, therapeutic evaluation, tissue repair and healing, hot & cold therapies, immunological diseases, and genetic and developmental diseases will be addressed.
Although this course is reductionistic in nature, it is necessary and important in order to understand scope of practice for the safety of the client. In order to bring balance to this course, throughout the topics of pathology, students are reminded of the foundational Namasté philosophy of wholeness. Students are encouraged to continually ask, "Who is the Person with the disease?" "How does this disease affect the persons life, i.e., work, relationships, inner wellbeing?" "Is there anything this person would love to do that the disease is preventing them from enjoying?" By course end, not only will students have a concrete understanding of disease, indications and contraindications, but will, more importantly, understand the critical relationship of disease to each client"s personal experience.
Note * Although each science course is described in separate pieces, all of the Namasté science courses are taught in an interdisciplinary format.