The Muscle Chains

The French osteopath, Leopold Busquet, produced an entire book series on the topic of muscle chains .25~30 The first four volumes describe the muscle chains of the trunk and extremities. The fifth volume deals with the cranial connections of the torso muscle chains. The last book of the series describes the visceral connections of the abdominal organs via the suspension system (mesenteries, ligaments, omenta) and the peritoneum to the trunk.

In addition, Leopold Busquet wrote two further books about cranial osteopathy24'29a. We should note that some of his statements contradict what Sutherland and the other Anglo-American cranial experts say. For example, he describes the palpatory signs of cranial torsion and sidebending rotation contrary to Sutherland (in 102).

Of interest are the connections that Busquet draws between organ dysfunctions (and pathologies) and posture. The author describes two groups of organ dysfunctions and their respective effects on the locomotor system:

• Expansive organic disturbances (e.g., liver stasis) that force the muscles to make the necessary space for the organ (Fig. 2.9)

• Retractive or painful processes in which the muscles are recruited to provide better support for the organ or to slacken the sore tissue and thereby lower pain (antalgic posture in abdominal inflammation) (Fig. 2.10)

Leopold Busquet Muscle Chains
Fig. 2.9a. b "Opening tendency" during expansive processes in the abdomen.

Fig. 2.10a, b "Closing tendency" (curling in) during support-seeking processes and spasms in the abdomen.

Visceral disturbances can cause postural malpositions like scoliosis, kypholordosis, flat and high arched foot, as well as the starting point for muscle, tendon, or joint injuries.

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