Tensegrity


First expressed by Buckminster Fuller in the early 1960’s, Tensegrity could be described as continuous tension supported by local compression. An example of tensegrity is a geodesic dome. Comparatively small amounts of materials are needed to support a large structure.

Tensegrity can be described as the architecture that guides the design of organic structures. In “The Architecture of Life”, Donald Ingbers refers to structures that continually stabilize themselves mechanically by continually balancing varying and continuous tensions with local compressions. The stability of a structure, in this case the human body, relies on a harmonious balance between rigid struts(bones), which are able to withstand tension and compression and flexible structures that cannot bear increasing compression or tension(tissue, fluid) without deforming.

As a result, when there is an increase in tension in one member or strut, it will result in increased tension throughout the entire system. This increased in global tension must be supported by localized compression throughout key locations.

In experiments, Ingber found that mechanical forces have a supportive role in tissue development, disease, intracellular chemistry and gene expression.

Since all connective tissue is interconnected we can look at the whole fascial system as tensegrity architecture. All the fibers and supports rely on each other for harmonious balance. Any increase in tension or compression is translated throughout the whole system which in turn increases localized compression in specific areas.

The result is a system which is supported but in an unbalanced way. The ease with which the system “holds” itself is gone and the struggle ensues to keep from collapsing. The body will activate and “hold” this state until the tension is released. When force or tension is released, localized compression forces will also release or normalize to match.

*Due to the interrelationships between all structures, fluids and fields of the body any one part of the whole system may trigger the translation of excess forces globally and increase local compression in multiple areas.

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