Sustainable Body combines the alignment of the skeleton at its foundation and semi-foundation joints, the alignment of the fascial web from the Deep Front and Back Lines (the Inner Core), and activates and integrates these dynamic systems through movement. When you do this, your body becomes a suspension system, not a compression system. Why? Because we are all brilliantly designed to suspend our bodies through tensegrity.
Tensegrity is a design principle used by nature everywhere. It was discovered by Kenneth Snelson who called it “floating compression”. He showed this basic architectural concept to the visionary and genius Buckminster Fuller (1895-1983) who coined it “tensegrity”. Fuller’s invention of the geodesic dome is an example of several solid struts that do not touch each other, but float in a web of tension. The struts resist compression and push out while the tensile bands resist expansion and pull in. The balance between the two creates a stable and dynamic structure. When two sets of forces—the compression force and the tension force—are balanced, this creates suspension.
The benefits to Tensegrity or “integrity through tension” is that the structure is always distributing strain evenly throughout the whole structure. So if a tensegrity structure gets hit, the whole structure takes the strain, not just the part that got hit. Also, if you compress a Tensegrity structure in one dimension, the whole structure will compress in all three dimensions. The opposite is true, as well. If you expand a Tensegrity structure in one direction, the whole thing will expand.
In applying this principle to the human body, we consider the body from a whole myofascial-skeletal system. We start with one seamless fascial web organizing and connecting everything. Within that web, we find concentrated areas of muscle fibers embedded and woven throughout and organized around a skeletal system that is being balanced and organized by the tension within the web.
So we can look at it like this: the fascial system is always trying to distribute strain evenly throughout the body. If we are misaligned and stuck, our fascial tissues don’t distribute strain as effectively and certain areas and/or joints and muscles take the strain. The tighter we hold ourselves, the more we compress, creating chronic pain. With Sustainable Body, you learn to realign the vertical skeleton and the fascial core, release the strain on the whole fascial web, and learn new patterns of movement to create sustainability. This helps the body handle its strains globally and you feel more expansive.
- Bones are spacers, the tension forces that push out against the soft tissue. (Zero Balancing)
- Fascia is the compression force pushing in. (Fascial Web)
- Tone of the tensile fascia determines a balanced body and the suspension of joints. (Inner Core)
- Strain in one part of the body affects everything else. (Misalignment in one joint affects the whole body)
- Tension in one part of the body is distributed throughout the body.
- Weakest link is where the symptom is, not necessarily the cause of the pain. (Back pain may come from misalignment in the feet, shoulder pain from misalignment in the hip)
- In order to alleviate pain, the whole system or whole body must be freed to evoke suspension. (Functional Movement)
We can reclaim this suspension system by aligning our vertical skeleton, activating the myofascial Inner Core and training a healthy, resilient fascial system.