Myofascial Tensegrity

Spokes on a ferris wheel are an example of tensegrity

Spokes on a ferris wheel are an example of tensegrity

My intrigue with myofascial work began in gross anatomy while studying Physical Therapy at UCSF.  A bay area PT was assisting our anatomy labs and his enthusiasm for the fascial connections of muscles was contagious.  I remember him pointing out the obterator externus on our cadaver and noting:  “Wow, cool, this is the muscle I think I was working on with a professional skier the other day.”  I was amazed.  How could he be so specific with his palpation?

A few years later I began to learn how by attending one of his classes.   Greg Johnson remains one of the more prominent and respected continuing education instructors for PTs still today.  I am indebted to him for my love of this marvelous system in our bodies.

Since that introduction, I have studied numerous techniques to work with the myofascial system, including the techniques of the Mechanical Link, Visceral Mobilization and CranioSacral which are described separately.

The purpose of any myofascial approach is to mobilize the fascia, directly or indirectly, which allows the connective tissue fibers to reorganize themselves in a more flexible, functional fashion. The fascia is the vast web of connective tissue that covers and connects muscles, organs, and skeletal structures in our bodies.  The tensegrity model has been being used to help one better understand how this connective tissue system supports us.

The concept of tensegrity relates to the balance between compression and tension elements in any system.  On his website: Dr. Stephen M. Levin, an orthopedic surgeon, describes in detail how this concept applies to the human body.  After visiting this website, you will have a better appreciation for how any technique that helps balance the fascia is bound to increase function and decrease pain.