Seven Approaches to Studying the Human Body

When studying the human body, there are seven organizational approaches. Each approach studies the body in a different yet unique way and is used in the health care field. The approaches consist of; body planes and directions, body cavities, quadrants and regions, anatomy and physiology, microscopic and macroscopic, body systems and medical specialties. There are three body planes which use different directions: coronal, sagittal, and transverse planes. Coronal plane slices the body from head to toe giving a front and back view.

There are two directions that are related with it; anterior posterior, moving from the outside of the body through the anterior part then the posterior section, and posterior anterior, which is its reverse. Sagittal plane cuts the body right down the middle giving a right and left view. Moving medially is to go inwards or towards the middle of the body from the outside and to go laterally is as if moving out or from the midline towards the outside of the body. Lastly, transverse plane divides the body giving a top and bottom sections. The top half is superior and the lower half is inferior.

Moving cephalad is moving superiorly, and cuadad is moving inferiorly. Radiologists would use this approach when looking at x-rays or MRI scans to distinguish how the image was taken. There are five sections of hallow space, known as cavities, in the human body, all of which carry-over each other. Starting from the head is the cranial cavity that protects the brain, then the spinal cavity that travels down the middle of the back, then in the chest is the thoracic cavity where the lungs, heart and esophagus are, next is the abdominal cavity which is around the abdominal muscles and last is the pelvic cavity where the hip bones lay.

An ultrasound technician would use this approach when projecting images from inside the body cavity onto the screen. The approach to use quadrants and regions is to divide up the abdominopelvic area into four parts, which are quadrants, and then into nine parts out of that which give you regions. (“Scribd. com”, 2010) This method can be used as a reference to where the organs are located in which area. For instance, in the left lower quadrant is the lower part of the kidney, part of the colon, and the left ovary for women. This type of diagram would help ith position the organs. In the health field, physicians refer to this during an internal exam. According to “Degreedirectory. org” (1999), anatomy studies the structure of organs and cells. Since cells are a microscopic size the best way to study, using this approach is with a microscope, which is, a tool used to examine cells. Physiology is the study of the function of organ and cells. Organs are of a macroscopic size that means it can be seen with the naked eye. These approaches can be used in many ways in health care.

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An orthopedic would study muscles and tendons or an immunologist would study blood cells using a microscope. The human body is made up of several different types of systems. This means that each system is made up of a few organs, which synchronize with one another and work as a unit. Organs are unable to perform without the help of the other organs in their unit. All of the organs support one another to perform their functions. The gastrointestinal system breaks down the foods we eat into protein, vitamins, fats and carbohydrates, which is used for energy, growth and repair.

The organs in the respiratory system are the nose, trachea and lungs. These organs help bring air into the body and eliminate the carbon dioxide. There is a system that acts as a defense called the lymphatic system and runs through the whole body. This system’s main function is to make white blood cells that act as disease fighting antibodies. The integumentary system consists of the skin, hair, nails, glands, and nerves. This system’s main function is to act like a barrier to guard the body from the outside world. The skeletal system protects the organs.

It is made up of bones, ligaments, joints and tendons. It gives support and structure to the body and a place for muscle attachment and movement. In other words, it holds the body up. Without the skeletal system the human body would be unable to walk or stand up. The muscular system works with the skeletal system to control the movement of the human body. There are two types of muscles; ones that are voluntary such as moving an arm or leg and ones that are involuntary and act on their own such as the beating of a heat or stomach.

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