The Tensegrity Principle Applied to Our Vertebrate Legacy
Traditional Physiology training is based on the twin pillars of Biology and Mechanics. A more modern model which is at least as powerful, if not more so is Tensegrity. Tensegrity is the study of tensional and compressional attributes in a structure, and bridges these two minimally compatible models for understanding living systems. Tensegrity relates to the model presented in this website as a foundational concept that assists with clarifying observations of function and dysregulation. As you move up through the evolutionary layers, it plays a more important role, with it contributing significantly to our understanding of human bipedal stance and gait. Once you learn to see Tensegrity at play in human structure, it is possible to use that lens to help with your evaluation of what evolutionary layer and to what degree dysregulation is observed.
A good place to start building an understanding of the Tensegrity Principle is by watching some videos of it in action:
Tensegrity and the Gravity Field. Recall video of how people move in Zero Gravity. How the foot interacts with the Earth through the force of gravity and the Tensegral dynamics of the body is a primary influence on movement dynamics.
In primitive Vertebrates the principles of Biotensegrity are challenging to apply. However, once Vertebrates crawled onto land, and more significantly when they began loading their body weight through their legs the principle of Biotensegrity gains relevance. Understanding the bipedal gait of the Primates in our lineage Homo is greatly enhanced by a foundational understanding of the principles of Tensegrity as applied to Biological systems, Biotensegrity.
Tensegrity is the study of how compressional and tension always forces interact in a structure. It greatly enhances the traditional explanations of posture and gait from Neurophysiology, which at best seem incomplete and of limited clinical therapeutic utility. There is a fuller explanation of Tensegrity here:
It is suggested the Tensegrity be taken on as an area of study for therapists dealing with clients physical issues, as well as other issues, as the more advanced the understanding of this principle, the more holistic therapeutic interventions will be.