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Overview of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology


The study of the structure of the body.


The study of the functions of the body.


The microscopic study of the structure of cells.


The study of Tissue.

Developmental anatomy

The study of Structures from egg to adult form.


The study of structures from the time of fertilization though the eighth week of gestation.

Gross anatomy

Refers to structures that can be studied without the aid of an microscope.

Pathological anatomy

The study of changes in the structures caused by disease.

Regional anatomy

The study of a specific region of the body.

Radiographic anatomy

The study of the body though x-rays.

Surface anatomy

The study of the body though observation and palpation.

Systemic anatomy

The study of specific body systems.


Study of nerves.

Cell physiology

The study of cell function.

Exercise physiology

The study of the acute responses and long-term adaptations of the body to physical activity or exercise.


The basic unit of life.


Groups of similar cell combined.


A collection of tissues having a specific function.

Organ system

Organs acting together to perform specific functions.


A living thing made up of individual organ systems.

Abdominal cavity

Holds the digestive organs and the liver and spleen.

Abdominopelvic cavity

Describes both the Abdominal cavity below the diaphragm and the pelvic cavity.

Pelvic cavity

Holds the urinary bladder, the rectum, and the internal reproductive organs.

Thoracic cavity

Protected by the rib cage and contains the vital organs, such as the heart and lungs.

Pericardial cavity

A specific cavity within the thoracic cavity that protects the heart.

Ventral cavity

Describes the combined thoracic and abdominopelvic cavities.

Cranial cavity

Holds the brain, and the spinal cavity.

Spinal cavity

Holds the spinal cord.

Dorsal cavity

The interconnected cranial cavity and spinal cavity.

The 11 body systems of the human organism are?

Integumentary system, skeletal system, muscular system, nervous system, cardiovascular system, lymphatic system, respiratory system, digestive system, endocrine system,urinary system, and reproductive system.

Additional body systems of the human organism are?

Sensory system which is contained within several other systems and craniosacral system which is often referred to as a separate system, but it is actually part of the nervous system.

Integumentary system-Components are?

skin and associated structures such as hair, nails sweat glands and oil

Integumentary system-Functions are?

protects the body; helps regulate body temperature, waste elimination. production of vitamin D; detects sensations such as hot, cold, pain, etc.

Integumentary system-Effects of massage are?

Increases skin temperature, improves skin condition, stimulates oil glands, and improves pathological conditions.

Skeletal system-Components are?

Bones, joints and associated cartilage.

Skeletal system-Functions are?

Supports and protects the body; aids movements, houses cells that give rise to blood cells, stores minerals and fats.

Skeletal system-Effects of massage on connective tissue are?

Reduces keloid formation, reduces excessive scar formation, decreases adhesion formation, releases foscial restrictions, increases mineral retention in bone, promotes fracture healing, improves connective tissue healing, and reduces surface dimpling of cellulite.

Muscular system-Components are?

Skeletal muscle tissue, usually attached to bones.

Muscular system-functions are?

Produces body movements, stabilizes posture, produces body heat.

Muscular system-Effects of massage on the muscles are?

Relieves muscle tension, relaxes the muscles, reduces muscle soreness and fatigue, reduces trigger point formation, manually separates muscle fibers, increases range of motion, improves performance (balance and posture), lengthens muscles, increases flexibility, tones weak muscles, reduces creatine kinase activity in the blood, and decreases electromyography (EMG) readings.

Nervous system-Components are?

Brain, spinal cord, and nerves.

Nervous system-Functions are?

regulates body activities though nerve impulses by detecting changes in the body's internal and/or external environment and reacting by causing muscle contractions or glandular secretions.

Nervous system-Effects of massage are?

Reduces stress, promotes relaxation, decreases beta wave activity, increases delta wave activity, increases alpha waves, increases dopamine levels, increases serotonin levels, reduces cortisol levels, reduces norepinephrine levels, reduces epinephrine levels, reduces feelings of depression, decreases pain, reduces analgesic use, activates sensory receptors, and the hippocampal region of the brain develops faster and more elaborately.

Cardiovascular system-Components are?

Blood, heart, and blood vessels.

Cardiovascular system-Functions are?

Carries oxygen and nutrients to cells and carbon dioxide and other wastes away from from the cells; helps regulate acidity, temperature, and water content in bodily fluids; blood components aid immunity and repair of damaged blood vessels.

Cardiovascular system-Effects of massage are?

Dilates blood vessels, improves blood circulation, decreases blood pressure, creates hyperemia, stimulates release of acetylcholine and histamine, replenishes nutritive materials, promotes removal of waste products, reduces ischemia, reduces heart and pulse rates, increases stroke volume, increases red blood cell count, increases oxygen saturation in blood, increases white blood cell count, enhances the adhesion of migrating white blood cells, and increases platelet count.

Lymphatic system-Components are?

Lymphatic fluid and vessels; also structures that contain lymphocytes (white blood cells), such as spleen, lymph nodes, thymus gland, and tonsils.

Lymphatic system-Functions are?

protects against disease-causing organisms; returns proteins and other substances to the blood and cares lipids from GI tract to the blood.

Lymphatic system-Effects of massage are?

Promotes lymph circulation, reduces edema, decreases the circumference of an area effected with edema, decreases weight in patients with edema, increases lymphocyte count, and increases the number of function (or cytotoxicity) of natural killer cells, CD4 cells, and CD4/CD8 ratio.

Respiratory system-Components are?

Lungs and airways going into and out of the lungs.

Respiratory system-Functions are?

Transfers oxygen from inhaled air to the blood and carbon dioxide from the blood to exhaled air; helps regulates pH of the body fluids; allows vocal cords to produce sound through air flowing out of lungs.

Respiratory system-Effects of massage are?

Reduces respiration rate, strengthens respiratory muscles, decreases the sensation of dyspnea, decreases asthma attacks, reduces laryngeal tension, increases fluid discharge from the lungs, improves pulmonary functions.

Digestive system-Components are?

GI tract, starting at mouth and includes esophagus, stomach, intestines, and ends at anus; also includes organs that aid digestion, such as salivary glands, liver, pancreas, and gallbladder.

Digestive system-Functions are?

Absorption of nutrients by physical and chemical breakdown of food and elimination of waste.

Digestive system-Effects of massage are?

Promotes evacuation of the colon, relieves constipation, relieves colic and intestinal gas, and stimulates digestion.

Endocrine system-Components are?

Cells and glands that produce hormones: pancreas, thyroid, pituitary, adrenal, and pineal glands.

Endocrine system-Functions are?

Regulates body activities though release of hormones.

Endocrine system-Effects of massage are?

Increases dopamine levels, increases serotonin levels, reduces cortisol level, reduces norepinephrine level, reduces epinephrine level, and reduces feelings of depression.

Urinary system-Components are?

Kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, and urethra.

Urinary system-Functions are?

Produces, stores, and eliminates waste products though urine; regulates blood volume, composition, and mineral balance; aids in red blood cell production.

Urinary system-Effects of massage are?

Increases urine output, and promotes the excretion of nitrogen, inorganic phosphorus, and sodium chloride in urine.

Reproductive system-Components are?

Gonads (testes or ovaries) and associated organs; in females, uterine tubes, uterus, and vagina; in males, epididymis, ductus deferens, prostate gland, and penis.

Reproductive system-Functions are?

Produces gametes in gonads for reproduction; regulates reproduction and other processes though releases of hormones.

Reproductive system-Effects of massage are?


Frontal plane

Also known as the coronal plane it divides the body into anterior and posterior positions.

Sagittal plane

Divides the body into left and right section.

Midsagittal plane

Divides the body into equal left and right sections.

Transverse plane

Divides the body into upper and lower sections and is also called the horizontal plane.

Anatomical position

Standing erect, facing forward, arms at side, palms facing forward.

Anterior or ventral

Toward the front; in front of

Caudal or inferior

Toward the tail; lower

Cephalad or cranial or superior

Toward the head; upper


Far from the surface


Away from a point of reference; farthest from the trunk

Dorsal or posterior

Toward the back; in back of


Away from the midline of the body.


Toward the midline of the body.


Toward or nearest the trunk or point of reference


Near the surface.


The study of disease.

Anatomical pathology

The study of tissues removed from a dead or living person to diagnose disease or cause of death.

Clinical pathology

A number of subdisciplines that are often referred to as laboratory medicine: chemistry, histology, microbiology, and other specialties.


The study of how disease and trauma alter the normal functioning of the body.


Characterized by sudden onset


An organism that lives in an oxygen environment.


Able to walk.


An organism that lives in an oxygen-free environment.


The irregular structural characteristics of a cell that identify it as a malignant cancer cell.


An abnormal occurrence, especially in reference to birth defects.


A chemical substance derivable from a mold or bacterium that kills microorganisms and cures infection.


A protein produced by the body as part of its defense against foreign bacteria or blood cells.


The prevention of sepsis by excluding or destroying microorganisms.


A substance that kills or prohibits the growth of microorganisms.


Free of germs.


A wasting away or decrease in size of a cell, tissue, organ, or part of the body caused by lack of nourishment, inactivity, or loss of nerve supply.


A situation in which the body produces an immune response against its own organs or tissues, causing severe inflammation and chronic conditions.


Microorganisms capable of reproduction; some strains cause infection and some are beneficial.


Referring to a tumor, or abnormal growth, that is not cancerous and does not invade nearby tissues or spread to other parts of the body.


Slow developing, recurring.


Characterized by diminishing capabilities.


An impairment of health that interferes with the body's ability to function normally.


The prevention of sepsis by excluding or destroying microorganisms.


Characterizing a disease that exists in location or group of people all the time.


The study of the cause and origin of disease.


A marked increase in symptoms or severity of disease.


A mold, yeast, or mushroom; some fungi are beneficial; some, such as ringworm, and athlete's foot, are not.


Genetically passed from parent to child.


An increase in the number of cells in an organ or tissue.


Of unknown origin.


The invasion and growth of microorganisms that may cause cellular injury in tissue.


A protective response from the body in response to infection or injury Characterized by swelling, heat, redness, and pain.


Affecting only one part.


Cancerous; growth with a tendency to invade and destroy nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.


Diseased or sick.


Any departure, subjective or objective, from a state of physiological or psychological well-being.


An abnormal growth of tissue that may be benign or malignant.


An epidemic that effects an expanded demographic area.


The origin and development of disease.


The evidence of disease as perceived by the doctor.


To destroy bacteria and other microorganisms.


The subjective evidence of disease as perceived by the patient.


A group of signs or symptoms characteristic of a particular disease or abnormal condition.


Affecting the whole body.


A physical injury or wound caused by an external force of violence , which may cause death or permanent disability. trauma is also used to describe severe emotional or psychological shock or distress.


The ability of an organism to cause disease.


An intracellular parasite that causes disease.

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