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Rolfing Ashland

Posture & Tensegrity

 

Your posture is determined by body alignment. Body alignment is often compared to a stack of blocks which line up one on top of the other with the skeleton sustaining their weight. Yet the integrity of your alignment really depends on the balance of the various fascial tissues (tendons, ligaments, etc.) that hold the bones, muscles and organs in relationship to each other. Your body relies on the tensional force of your softer tissues to keep you erect just, like the pliable materials that Buckminster Fuller used (strings, cords and sheets) for the geodesic dome. This is a structure sustained by tension rather than compression. If you take away all your connective tissue, your muscles and bones would collapse to the ground.

                      

The main feature of tensegrity structures is that they distribute strain across the entire structure. For example, if you pull on one corner of your sweater the rest of the sweater distorts and moves toward the place you apply the pull. If you put chopsticks interlaced in the weave of your sweater, as you pull on your sweater, the chopsticks will move too.

                          

The integrity of the structure of your body is also based on the tension between the hard parts (chopsticks, or skeleton) and the soft stretchy parts (sweater, or fascia). When one moves, both move, and the whole structure moves as one. This is why symptoms such as pain can appear far from the site of the original injury.

            

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