Netter’s Moving AnatoME by Stephanie Marango, MD, RYT, and Carrie McCulloch, MD, RYT, is an innovative new functional musculoskeletal anatomy text. Through the integration of Pilates and yoga exercises, it invites students to not only learn about anatomy didactically but also experientially through their own bodies. This method, as the authors have learned through their research in the integration of anatomy and movement, not only improves comprehension but also enhances student self-care and well-being. As the book’s introduction explains:
“We entered medical school as movers; Carrie was a Pilates instructor, and Stephanie a yoga teacher. With our backgrounds in movement, we were excited to learn musculoskeletal anatomy whether in Gross Anatomy lab, our atlases, or study groups. While these educational resources were vast, we soon realized that something was missing—learning anatomy in relationship to our own bodies. Simultaneously, we were craving more movement for our bodies, as we had increasingly less time for exercise and more strain from studying. And so, the idea of using yoga and Pilates to study the body was born. We have subsequently spent years merging the fields of movement and medicine in our personal and professional lives, and offer this resulting book as a comprehensive learning tool.
We have found that students appreciate the approach of Moving AnatoME because it addresses three objectives at once: anatomy comprehension, physical awareness, and relaxation/wellbeing. Both yoga and Pilates rely upon knowledge of functional anatomy and a mind-body connection; thus, incorporating them into anatomy learning not only deepens a student’s comprehension of the human body but also awareness of her human body. As such, the knowledge that the long head of the biceps femoris extends both the hip and knee is not just a fact to memorize, but also a physical reality to experience, and a guide for stretching and releasing tension in the posterior thigh.
Another reason this approach is effective is because Moving AnatoME incorporates students’ different learning paradigms and preferences. It presents a multi-modal teaching tool that integrates written material with lecture, demonstration, and movement. It thereby encompasses all learners whether visual, auditory, written or kinesthetic by nature.
Moreover, Moving AnatoME addresses the health aspect of health education, at a time when physician and nursing burnout rates are higher than ever. Part of burnout begins with habits set in motion as a student. While the rigors of school encourage mastery of material, they also normalize unhealthy habits such as poor sleep hygiene, imbalanced nutrition, and lack of exercise and leisure time. As habits turn into lifestyles, these unhealthy habits can become a permanent way of functioning for many healthcare providers.
To stop these patterns, we urge students to uphold themselves to the same standards by which they will assess the lifestyles of their patients. Your health—as well as the health of your fellow students and teachers—is important. Because it’s your health. And, beyond, that your health has a ripple effect on your friends, family and patients, as well. Many studies show that physicians who personally know how to eat and exercise well are better able to professionally parlay that information to others. Students should therefore be encouraged to apply their ever-increasing knowledge about anatomy, health, and nutrition to themselves as part of their studies.
Regardless of your position as student, teacher, doctor, patient—or otherwise—at the end of the day your health is ultimately your responsibility. And so it’s best to set healthy habits now because new patterns become harder to adopt—and old patterns harder to change—over time. This book provides one way to set a healthy habit in motion with movement, in the context of your current studies. We, the authors, have been where you are and understand that convenience is key not only during your studies but for pattern change, in general. So join the movement now (pun intended), and help healthcare by taking care of the caretaker.”
From the Introduction, by authors Stephanie Marango, MD, RYT and Carrie McCulloch, MD, RYT.
Dr. Marango is an integrative medicine physician, educator, and author based in New York. Dr. McCulloch is the co-founder and medical director of Kinected, an integrative Pilates center in New York City specializing in injury prevention and rehabilitation. Follow them on Instagram: @movinganatome, and online at stephaniemarangomd.com & kinectedcenter.com.