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3 Week Whole Body Dissection for The Atlas of Integral Anatomy

Dissection is an act of introspection. By unwrapping the layers of the donor's gift, participants uncover hidden layers of themselves.

3 Week Whole Body Dissection for The Atlas of Integral Anatomy

Overview: The purpose of this three week long event is to facilitate the production of The Atlas of Integral Anatomy and ancillary educational resources. To do so I will need to gather images, data, and video footage from the dissection of a larger number of cadavers in order to assure the presentation of the great variability of the whole human form. My goal is to lead the dissection of a total of 12 cadavers per event, and to repeat the event 3 times in 2014. Then I will compile and edit the usable data and images from those 36 cadavers towards the publication of The Atlas of Integral Anatomy, video resources, and other materials.

Objectives: In my past courses I give brief demonstrations with regard to a particular layer and let folks explore their interests in that framework rather freely. For these three week long events, the dissection tasks will be much more systematic. We are going to be preparing dissections which will be used to document the normal continuities and relationships, as well as the normal variation of the human form. The process of doing so will be profoundly educational, as the participants will be learning the anatomy in a very specific way as we go.

Format: You are not required to have prior dissection experience as a prerequisite for this class. Many people can be taught to do excellent dissection with proper guidance based on their existing skill set, and a good dose of courage and patience. I will be demonstrating all of the dissections assigned to the participants live on camera in the lab in order to both systematically teach the anatomy as well as show how to dissect the whole body layer by layer, step by step. So I will do the dissection, and all the participants will watch and learn, and then you will do the same dissection at your table with your team. This process will repeat twice daily, and each session will be followed by a photography session, one during the mid-day break, and the other at the end of the day. Some folks will be asked to volunteer to assist in those sessions, while others will go to lunch or, after the second dissection session, head home. My demonstration work will be filmed as it happens and simultaneously put on screen to enhance everyone's visual access to what I am doing, and function as both a dissection lesson and an anatomy lesson.

Participant roles: For each cadaver table I will enroll 4-5 participants. Participants will have the responsibilities of both "dissector" and "recorder." Each role is absolutely essential to the success of this project, and will draw from the pool of applicants different talents. Recording involves note taking, measurements, and keeping alert observing and tracking variations being exposed. Dissection involves not only tissue differentiation but also table prep, environmental maintenance, and care of the form. We will create an environment of teamwork, enthusiasm, and excitement for learning with an intent to bring what we discover to the world.

Frame: The environmental frame for creating usable images is completely different than it is for the 6-Day Workshops I have run for the past 19 years. It is much more rigorous. All eyes and hands will be required to continually monitor the frame so that we create a large set of usable imagery to draw upon to produce the educational resources I am planning. Every participant will be involved and responsible for the full time maintenance of the production site, creating an ongoing environment fit to share through the media of text, images and video.

Weekly/Daily Schedule:

First two Saturdays: 10am--3pm, will enlist the support of volunteers and teams on an as needed, as willing, as available basis to accomplish additional photographic work, as well as enhance and refine dissection projects already begun.

The third Saturday: 10am--1pm, will be a half-day breakdown/closeout day with ceremony to celebrate the conclusion of a job well done, with everyone expected to participate.

Event Dates:

Terms and conditions: This project requires a very serious commitment on the part of everyone involved. I anticipate personally investing great sums financially, not to mention major post production costs and several years of my life, to make these events happen and bring the subsequent text and resources to fruition. "Nothing ventured, nothing gained" as they say! From you therefore I am asking for a non-refundable $2,500 deposit (consider it an investment/contribution to transforming the way the world sees the human body) to secure your spot at the event if accepted, and the remaining $2,500 balance (total $5,000 per participant) due two full months prior to the start date of the event. (Remember I'll be in San Francisco immediately before Newark, so it all has to be wrapped up business-wise long before I head out there.) All deposit checks should be held until notification of acceptance of your application and an offer of enrollment is made.

To Apply: If all of this sounds as much like high adventure to you as it does to me, Contact me via email for an application, and submit your application as well as a resume as soon as possible so that we can get this project underway! Don't be shy to apply, I need to draw upon a large pool of talent with a variety of skill sets, if you feel a strong urge, that is strongly in your favor as well as mine. Thank you for your interest~

At present I am no longer enrolling anyone for the Six Day Dissection Workshops described below, as my long form courses are superceding those shorter events for the time being. Nonetheless, the following video is still a useful preparation for the long form course, even though I recorded it as a preparation for the enrollment call into the 6-Day course. So please watch the following video as part of your application process for the long form course, it will answer many of your questions in advance! The information in the video here is different and additional to the information printed below, which pertains to the Six Day Workshops. (note: if you are not seeing the video, you may need to download the Firefox web browser for free, then come to this page from Firefox, sorry for the inconvenience!)

Six-Day Intensive Hands-On Human Dissection Workshoptm

Dissection is an act of introspection. By unwrapping the layers of the donor's gift, participants uncover hidden layers of themselves.

Costs & Terms
CE Info
Comments from Participants
Workshop Handbook Excerpts

Please note that in the UK course details, terms and conditions are not the same as described here, so please consult the hosts of that course for specifics when you apply to them for enrollment.

Overview: I have been creating these workshops since 1994, and they have been intensely appreciated and transformational experiences for all involved. My approach is to work with group participants as whole persons coming to a deeper awareness of themselves and the wonder that is the human body through their encounter with each other and the donor’s gift. The workshop is fun, and also challenging. These workshops are excellent opportunities for anyone who has studied anatomy in their professional training, and who uses that knowledge in a hands-on practice, to deepen anatomical knowledge, palpation skills, and love of life. Top of page

Format: The workshops meet from 9am to 5pm, Monday through Saturday, except in Newark, where it meets from 8am to 5pm. Expect the first hour of each day to be committed to group discussion and reflection. Under the instructor's guidance, participant teams of 8 per cadaver accomplish specific dissection goals each day, layer by layer, to reveal the whole form. I prefer to work with 7 or 8 participants at a table whenever possible, as my particular goals and dissection methods are best facilitated and accomplished with this many hands at work on each team. We are studying integral anatomy, as opposed to regional anatomy, and participants will appreciate the difference. Top of page

Prerequisites: These workshops are fun but also intensive undertakings on many levels, requiring personal maturity, professional decorum, good health and physical stamina: consent of instructor is required, based on a twenty minute phone conversation. New participants are also expected to watch the Integral Anatomy Series prior to attending the course. For UK listings resumes are required as well. The workshops are designed for professionals who have completed their training and engaged in the practice of their trade. A ready working knowledge of the language of anatomy and the map of the human body is the foundation upon which this course is built. Together, we will explore the territory. Persons with disabilities may inquire as to how their study can best be facilitated. Somanautics Workshops, Inc., does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Top of page

Costs and Terms: (Please note that UK courses have costs and terms specific to that venue and the local hosts must be consulted for those details when you contact them to enroll.) For courses in the United States, tuition is $2,000. A $500 non-refundable deposit secures a spot on a first come, first qualified, first served basis. Returning student tuition is $1,850. Tuition balance is due in-full one month prior to the first day of the workshop. If balance is not received in a timely manner, deposit and space are subject to forfeiture to persons on class wait-lists. Balance refunds prorated after due date, $150/day (eg., if you cancel or don't show up, 6x150=$900). No refunds are offered once workshop begins. Deposits may not be transferred to another person. A person may transfer their own deposit, in its entirety, once, from one class to another, subject to space availability, (within a twelve month plus one week period) as long as the request is made at least four weeks prior to the class for which the deposit was originally made. Receipt of deposit is taken to represent agreement to these terms. UK costs and terms differ, check with local host! Top of page

CE Info: Rolf Institute elective CE credit with an administrative fee to them. Somanautics Workshops, Inc. is an NCBTMB Approved Provider for continuing education. (Provider #152827-00) Somanautics Workshops, Inc. is also an approved NCCAOM Provider (#ACHB 122-001). The course is approved for credit under the FL Massage Therapy Board (Course#20-55639). Certificates of Attendance are issued based on attendance hours. The complete workshop represents 42 contact hours. Please inquire regarding specific CE needs. Top of page

Enrollment: Before sending any deposit, you must please watch the enrollment video posted above, and then call 1-201-358-0882 to contact Gil to schedule an enrollment call, or, to enroll in the UK offerings and get specific details regarding those courses, please contact the local host. Top of page

Comments from participants:

"I am ending the day in heartfelt appreciation for your skilled and sensitive coordination of the Boston Somanautics workshop.  My experiences there rivaled no less than my two childbirths in neural excitement! Such a meaningful event could not happen without an unbelievable amount of personal commitment and planning on your part. So, Thank You for setting a tone of playful, informed leadership...and mostly, for letting us in so "close" to your own heart...we will probably always resonate with your contagious enthusiasm. I have been oozing around in these transition days in a slower rhythm, still a little raw from the daily expansion of my comfort zone. My private bodywork classes are exponentially awesome, as a result. And, I really like not having to know the answers, after all. Thank you for a life-altering week, Gil...You blew me away. Affectionately, Robin Dodson

"Hi Gil, I took your class in Newark in May. I just wanted to let you know that I think of and use what I saw/experienced in class every day in my practice. I feel like my palpation skills are better, and I feel so much clearer about the different tissues that I am working with through out the day. These are good "flashbacks" to have and I wanted to thank you for the wonderful experience and let you know that it has truly changed how I work and think about the body!" Jennifer Gerber, Massage Therapist

"Gil was tremendous. I can't even think of anything he (personally) could have done to better the class. His intellect, wisdom, spiritual sense, discipline, sense of humor and skills were more than I expected." G.L., Muscular Therapist/Spinning Instructor,Gloucester, MA Top of page

"You allow us to use our creativity while learning facts. It's probably the most balanced style of learning I've ever experienced. I would love to come back next year, after I dive into my book list (which has now tripled). This class has given me the courage to pursue an M.S. in Midwifery." J.F., LMT, NJ

"I feel as if this workshop was truly life changing. Close friends have even said I look different. Besides being much more confident about anatomy, I am more confident in my work. And then there's the spiritual side of it all. I approach each body I work on with much more wonder and awe, love and respect. Add on top of that a new self love and respect. I love my amazing body in a way I haven't since I was a child, before I started comparing it to society's idea of ideal. That has been a wonderful gift. Thank you for the experience of a lifetime, oh, and my x-ray eyes! I am definitely promoting you in my area and hope you return to Chicago. Again thank you so much." C.W., Massage Therapist, Springfield, IL Top of page

"Profoundly altered my understanding of fascial planes, visceral structures, and spinal structures." Raymond Bishop Ph.D., Rolfer, Woodstock, GA

"This experience was far different than the 1st, just as I'm sure the next will be from this. I feel so blessed by receiving that post card two years ago." K.M., LMT, CO

I really appreciated Gil's sense of humor and humbleness. I felt as it we were all on this Great Exploration together, instead of having designated "teachers" who supposedly have all the answers." C.M.T., USA Top of page

"I'm much more aware of needing to look for viscera where they are and not where they are supposed to be--I can visualize much better what I am working on." James Schwartz, Rolfer/ Visceral Manipulator, Novato, CA

"He encourages dissection as an art form. While encouraging each of us to communicate our states of mind, he was free about sharing the depths of his own experience. Because of Gil's way of presentation, I was able to let down my guard and be open to how I work inside myself. With every layer I excised, I also self dissected. The cadavers were not impassive pieces of data, awaiting entry into my information system--they made me into their own image, and vice versa. I saw them inside myself. I now carry their images inside me now, in the most intimate profound ways imaginable for me and for the others who shared their stories." D.P.-K., LMT, WA Top of page

"Thank you again for the most profound and incredible experience of my life-really! "Coming back" and integrating it all has been interesting and challenging to say the least. I believe what was most impactful to me was to "see" each "body's" "signature" even in its death state. Whew! I really felt like I was at a smorgasboard wanting to try everything in sight that was offered. I look forward to the next class when I can spend more time and give myself more permission to stay longer in certain areas." T.M., Healer, CA

"Thank you so very much for another incredible opportunity to explore myself deeper (and to release some more layers). I am still very much in the process of the class and I'm still enjoying it." N.K., Licensed Massage Therapist, NYC, NY

"I love your brilliant exuberance Gil--and your open minded creative approach provided the most exciting way to study anatomy for me. Thank you!" J.B., Muscular Therapist, Bearsville, NY

"Thank you. It was truly a divine experience! :-) "J.S., LMT, MA.

"I am still enthralled by the resounding effects of class. I may be addicted to the thrill. I have spent half my time massaging and half telling people about class. Almost everyone wants to know something, even people who are not quite sure how to take the whole idea. My friend tried to explain to someone else what I was doing, and called it "(W)Holistic Dissection." Thought I'd pass that on..." L.M.T., Missoula, MT Top of page