“I’m out next week,” I tell my final client of the day. “I’ll be in Phoenix until Sunday.”
“Phoenix!” She says excitedly. “Be nice to get away from this cold. Just going out for vacation, or…?”
“It’s a dissection lab, actually. My second one.” There is a pause, and her face changes as she registers what I’m telling her.
“What is it you’re doing now?”
I have found, over the course of the last year, that talking about my experience with cadaver labs with the people I treat produces a spectrum of reactions. Some folks are excited, some are confused, others are outright repelled. I’ve even had my ethics called into question. There is one common thread though, even amongst those who are sure they could never participate in such an activity: curiosity.
Everyone wants to know what it’s like, although that takes different forms, too. Is it gross? Does it smell? Are they whole? Do you do all the cutting yourself? Was it weird? Was it sad? What do they do with them afterwards? What’s it like being around death all day?
In an effort to demystify the experience for my athletes, clients, fellow body workers, sports medicine, and soft tissue specialists, coaches, trainers, and anyone interested in anatomy and human impermanence, I will be cataloging the entirety of my latest venture at the Laboratories of Anatomical Enlightenment in Tempe, AZ. I will report facts, instructions, findings, suggestions, impressions, hypotheses, feelings, and opinions as honestly and completely as I can while respecting the privacy of all involved, living and dead.
Please contact me here to ask questions, inquire after the status of my projects in more specificity, or share your thoughts. My hope is that this will be a mutually edifying seven days.