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The Flow

Day 1 - Human Dissection in Phoenix

So today I've done my first day at the Laboratory of Anatomical Enlightenment together with a great group and Todd Garcia!

It went very well - I thought it would be difficult with dead people, but it was actually fine. The first cut was a bit so so, but I got into dissection mode pretty fast and curiosity completely took over. The worst thing was cleaning up around the body before we froze it for the night! Small slabs of fat everywhere.

When we came in to the lab to start, we had five different cadavers, all quite different from each other. What was worst was that they were all quite discolored. These cadavers haven't been treated / embalmed in any way, but they had gone in the freezer and possibly trauma from before their passing. They were all old. Thanks to anyone who choose to donate their bodies to this type of courses by the way!

I had this idea before that it might be frightening or scary cutting into a dead person, but it was like when the spirit is gone, it isn't really human anymore. It is tissue, like any other.

Today's job was to get the skin off the front of the body, and we made it just in time. I started off on the shoulder, got to do the whole arm and hand, a bit on the torso, the tummy, neck and head. I did a bit on the lower body as well, but mostly helping to get fat off.

Fat is pretty amazing. It's SO yellow! And it's got an interesting texture. Speaking of texture, fascia is amazing. You can see it over and in between the muscles, and it is like a network, like I would imagine between cells in the brain. When you pull tissue apart the fascia between is stretchy like hair (if you've ever had the chance to pull a long hair and see how long before it snaps), and when you cut it with a scalpel it makes a noise like it is really strong tissue that "snaps". All very fascinating.

And muscles. Muscles are beautiful! It has been fantastic to feel the muscles from over the skin, and then being able to feel the muscle (and move the body) with no skin! Everything inside is so stuck together, that I think I completely lost faith in isolation. Local movement/activation sure, but to only activate one muscle at a time? The network around it makes it impossible. But isolated pump is surely one thing anyway :)

I am so grateful that I got the opportunity to go on this wildly fascinating course! And there's still another four days to go. I especially look forward to nerves around the hip, the spine, shoulder blades, diaphragm and the brain.

Back with more tomorrow!