My initial thoughts on anatomy training and entering the cadaver lab are found in my post from Wednesday. Today, we enter the lab.
The day was set up brilliantly. The morning had a lecture on upper body. Then we went into the lab and explored the upper body. It was FREEZING in there, but the formaldehyde smell didn’t bother me at all. Each of the eight bodies had a grad student in charge so you could ask questions. They would help you locate the muscles and nerves that look NOTHING like the anatomy books. The grad students had already prepped the bodies for us so there was no cutting.
We were told the age of the person and how they passed. I was shocked at my curiosity. I did listen and learn. And I did touch. Let me tell you, after memorizing the four rotator cuff muscles from a book, you think you’ve got it and then you go look for them…It was probably the first time I began to understand that we are truly all one, intertwined, connected mix of muscles, tissues, nerves, everything is all together. There’s not a perfectly perfect supraspinatus just sitting there waiting to be examined. We were in the lab for about an hour and a half, going from body to body. I said a silent blessing to each and every body and felt an immense amount of gratitude for them.
The afternoon was lower body lecture, then lab. No rotator cuff here. Now, what blew my mind, was the sciatic nerve. No wonder it’s such a pain in the ***. It’s HUGE.
Also fascinating, the glutes. In all of my trainings, I’ve learned in general, we have lost our ability to activate our buttock muscles because we sit all day long. Every day. Seeing the size of these muscles and knowing they are meant to be strong and utilized for healthy locomotion was really cool. Again, they were just layers of muscles that were not distinguishable to me. And the uterus. A baby grows in there??? It’s so TINY.
The cadaver lab experience was one I will not forget. It inspired me to continue on my journey of learning about my own body and the bodies I teach. I hope to attend a much more in depth cadaver lab one day. It’s official, I’ve become a body nerd and a bit of a science geek. Maybe you’ll join me?