Body Worlds Blog


The Back In Action Physio team recently took a work trip up to Auckland to the Body World Exhibition which has been seen globally by 45 million visitors. I had seen this before both in London and New York but could not wait to go again. This exhibition uses bodies from people who have donated them to science, stating that they wanted their bodies to be useful to others even after their death. I was fascinated with seeing these human bodies again and noticing all the intricacies of the muscle attachments, orientation of all the joints and I was excited to be reminding myself how big and small different parts of us are. This time there was a bigger focus on the importance on taking responsibility to look after our own health and help to limit the host of illnesses and medical conditions we were able to see at the exhibition.

We are often reminding patients how important the function of their gluteus maximus muscle is, especially after back or hamstring issues. Here is a great visual of how much bigger the glute muscles are in comparison to the hamstrings, an ideal way to reinforce our message.





This is a visual of the whole neural system which I found amazing to see all laid out without the skeleton or bones holding it together. See how many different branches come off the central spinal cord and how long the ones in the legs are.







I was also taken with the parts of our body that are less related to the type of physiotherapy that we do but we have learnt a lot about during our training. This included the lungs. Here you can see a cup of tar showing how much tar sits in someone’s lungs who smokes 20 cigarettes a day. You can see the first picture is all black, completely taken over by the tar and the second picture is a normal set of lungs. It’s little wonder smokers find it hard to breathe.



Here is another visual of our intestines, the first all looped out and the second how they are all squished perfectly in our abdominal cavity under our lungs.







My overwhelming feeling coming away this time was how perfectly we fit together and function, each tiny wee part of us from the smallest inner ear bone so we can hear, to the massive amount of skin that covers our whole body, from the large glute muscles, the reproductive system, and the complexity of our brain.

When we walked out the last door we were reminded that we are in this world one time and we have a choice on how we live our lives. We were asked to think about what that might look like for each of us and some people wrote this out on a wall, what they would like to be remembered for. We were given a token to put into a category of something we would make a commitment to try and improve, some of which were: more exercise, give up smoking, more sleep, less sugar. Interestingly the category that most people put their token in was to get more sleep. We all know our lives are busier than ever, we are given more opportunities and things to fit into our day than the generation before us, but this comes at a cost. It seems by the statistics they kept that for most of us this is at the expense of restorative sleep.

It really made me think a lot during and after the exhibition which is I guess is what they hoped we would do. I has made me more grateful for the life and the health I have, and I appreciate all the moments I have with my awesome family and crazy friends. I am trying not to sweat the small stuff ….….and am making a real effort to fulfill MY commitment to get some more sleep too!!!