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Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy trains

Tensegrity – is borrowed from an architect, engineer, scientist and

What is tensegrity?
dreamer whom Carlos Castaneda admired: R. Buckminster Fuller.

"The word 'tensegrity' is an

In the world of Carlos Castaneda this represents magical passes:
positions and movements of body and breath that were dreamt and invention: a contraction of 'tensional

stalked by men and women seers who lived in Mexico in ancient times, integrity.'

as taught to Carlos Castaneda, Florinda Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar

and Carol Tiggs by their teacher by don Juan Matus – a Yaqui Indian Tensegrity describes a structural-
from Yuma, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico, and the heir to a lineage of relationship principle in which
seers that originates in Mexico of ancient times. structural shape is guarenteed by
[ ] the finitely closed, comprehensively
continuous, tensional behaviors of
Youtube: Carlos Castaneda's Tensegrity Volume One the system and not by the
[ ] discontinuous and exclusively local
compressional member behaviors.

R. Buckminster Fuller – described tensegrity as a combination of

Tensegrity provides the ability to
tensional integrity, the forces at work in a structure that is formed by a
yield increasingly without ultimately
finite network of compression, or rigid elements interconnected through
breaking or coming asunder"
tensile, or elastic elements which give the structure its overall integrity.

– Richard Buckminster Fuller

Due to this elastic property of interconnections, when one element of
the tensegrity structure is shifted, this shift is spread throughout the
whole structure, and all the other elements shift as well, or adapt for a
new configuration, yielding to these shifts without breaking.

Playing with tensegrity

[ ]

“Franklyn-Miller's study actually

Anatomy Trains – Thomas W. Meyers sees “Tensegrity” in action in
gives very nice evidence for the
the fascia of our own body.
plantar fascia demo trick (of getting
the whole posterior back line
In Anatomy Trains “Tensegrity” is explained as … a model for
lengthened from a firm stretch of the
understanding the geometry of the body, on both a micro- and a
plantar fascia of the specific leg). His
macro-cosmic scale, that leads to many new insights in terms of body
study only demonstrates the
connectivity, the relation between stability and movement, and how we
can develop what might be called “Spatial Medicine”. transmission from proximal to distal;
yet this makes it also 'more than

Anatomy Trains Training allows you to unravel and resolve complex likely' that a fresh cadaver
patterns of posture and body use. To facilitate the client's progressive measurement with a plantar fascia
unfolding into innate balance, length, and a feeling of 'home' in the stretch (i.e. foot dorsiflexion) would
body. A wide vocabulary of touch and movement is used to create this also transmit in a proximal direction
opening with a minimum of discomfort and a maximum of with similar magnitude.
empowerment. [
explore/tensegrity ]
Youtube: Anatomy Trains, 2nd ed: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists
[ ]
[ ]

Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy Trains june 2010 – 1

Anatomy Trains | Myofacial Meridians
Myofascial Meridians – Anatomy Trains gives you another understanding of Meridians –
whole-body patterning in posture and function in terms of Myofacial Meridians. “An imaginary great [line]
Pathways of “stretch lines” in the connective tissue of the body. These Myofacial on [a surface] passing
Meridians are the main actors in the interplay of movement and stability as is
through the North and
recognized earlier as “Tensegrity”.
South poles. All points on
the same meridian have the
Myofacial Meridians are in described in terms of:
same longitude. “
Superficial Back Line (SBL)
Superficial Front Line (SFL)
Lateral Line (LL)
topic/meridian ]
Spiral Line (SL)
Arm lines
Understanding the
o Superficial Front Arm Line (SFAL)
'Superficial Back Line' (SBL)
o Superficial Back Arm Line (SBAL)
as a whole gives insights
o Deep Front Arm Line (DFAL)
into hamstring problems
o Deep Back Arm Line (DBAL
that you cannot get from
Deep Front Line (DFL)
considering the hamstrings
Functional Line (FL)

The Anatomy Trains website shows one an on-going inquiry into the
significance of form and shape. About how we make patterns, and the limits of The 'Spiral Line' (SL)

change and development with new 'in-form-ation'. shows how to resolve

rotational compensations in

Types of Connective Tissue a way that no analysis of

1) Loose Connective Tissue – In vertebrates, the most common type of any single muscle can give.
connective tissue is loose connective tissue. It holds organs in place and
attaches epithelial tissue to other underlying tissues. Loose connective tissue is named based on the
"weave" and type of its constituent fibers. There are three main types:
Collagenous Fibers – Collagenous fibers are made of collagen and consist of bundles of
fibrils that are coils of collagen molecules.
Elastic Fibers – Elastic fibers are made of elastin and are stretchable.
Reticular Fibers – Reticular fibers join connective tissues to other tissues.

2) Fibrous Connective Tissue – Found in tendons and ligaments and is composed of large amounts of
closely packed collagenous fibers.

3) Specialized Connective Tissues

Adipose – Loose connective tissue that stores fat.
Cartilage – Fibrous connective tissue that is composed of closely packed collagenous fibers in
a rubbery gelatinous substance called chondrin. The skeletons of sharks and human embryos are
composed of cartilage. Cartilage also provides flexible support for certain structures in adult
humans including the nose, trachea and ears.
Bone – Mineralized connective tissue that contains collagen and calcium phosphate, a
mineral crystal. Calcium phosphate gives bone its firmness.
Blood – Interestingly enough, blood is considered to be a type of connective tissue. Even
though it has a different function in comparison to other connective tissues it does have an
extracellular matrix. The matrix is the plasma and erythrocytes, leukocytes and platelets are
suspended in the plasma. (

Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy Trains june 2010 – 2

Acupuncture Meridians | TCM
Acupuncture Meridians – In the book “Anatomy trains” it is stated these Myofacial Meridians are NOT
related to the 12 traditional Acupuncture meridians. Where they have named these Meridians .. Lung,
Large intestine, Stomach, Spleen-Pancreas, Heart, Small intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Triple Warmer,
Circulation Sex, Liver and Gall bladder. These meridians – as noticed from a different system – are related
to their respectively related organ.

Extraordinary Meridians – In Acupuncture [Traditional Chinese Medicine – TCM] – however – you can
find the description of Extraordinary Meridians. These eight extraordinary meridians – pathways of energy
(Qi) –, run deep within our bodies, and supply the 12 regular meridians with Qi and blood, supporting our
DNA or genetic heritage. They have no direct connections to the organ systems and, with the exception of
the pairing of Du Mai [Governing Vessel – GV] and Ren Mai [Central Vessel – CV], share points with the
12 regular meridians. [ ]

As you study the Extraordinary Meridians you will find a REMARKABLE relationship of the flow and
location of the following meridians (Myofacial and Acupuncture)

Myofacial Acupuncture (Extraordinary Meridians)

Superficial Back Line (SBL)  Du Mai: Governing Vessel
Superficial Front Line (SFL)  Ren Mai: Conception Vessel
Lateral Line (LL) Wei’s: ?? Linking Vessels ??
Spiral Line (SL)  Dai Mai: Belt Meridian
Arm lines - Superficial Front Arm Line (SFAL) Wei’s: ?? Linking Vessels ??
- Superficial Back Arm Line (SBAL) Wei’s: ?? Linking Vessels ??
- Deep Front Arm Line (DFAL) Wei’s: ?? Linking Vessels ??
- Deep Back Arm Line (DBAL) Wei’s: ?? Linking Vessels ??
Deep Front Line (DFL)  Chong Mai: Penetrating Vessel
Functional Line (apposed toprevious postural Lines)

Working with acupuncture – Acupuncture meridians traditionally are believed to constitute channels
connecting the surface of the body to internal organs.

It is hypothesized that the network of acupuncture points and meridians can be viewed as a representation
of the network formed by interstitial connective tissue. This hypothesis is supported by ultrasound images
showing connective tissue cleavage planes at acupuncture points in normal human subjects.

To test this hypothesis, acupuncture points were mapped in serial gross anatomical sections through the
human arm. This research showed an 80% correspondence between the sites of acupuncture points and
the location of inter-muscular or intra-muscular connective tissue planes in postmortem tissue sections.

Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy Trains june 2010 – 3

Anatomy Trains Recipe | 12 sessions
Working with Anatomy Trains – You have noticed the MAIN keyword in
Anatomy Trains is “TENSEGRITY”. It is totally acceptable to give credit to the
idea “all parts of the body – organs, muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerve
vessels and lymph vessels – are held together in the Web we call
CONNECTIVE TISSUE. In his book “Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians
for Manual and Movement Therapists” Thomas W. Weyers describes the
embryological grow and place in the body as mesodermal. And does this with
further explanation of the how and what.

He goes so far that he cuts open cadavers to show the possibility to use a
scalpel in such a way you can really extract these lines of connected connective tissue. He also states “it
is in the way you use the scalpel to find the other connected connective tissue lines” . This of course can
be the handle of the opponent to cut this method to pieces.

Using the scalpel skillfully – that is how you cut – you can also see the most important thing in Anatomy
Trains: “the flexibility of moving from one Line to the other”. In other words “Influences of a distraction are
noticeable in all Lines of Anatomy Trains”.

The relaxing of Myofacial Meridians in Anatomy Trains takes place by

STRETCHING THE CONNECTIVE TISSUE as you can observe in the
videoclips on youtube.

Youtube: Anatomy Trains, 2nd ed: Myofascial Meridians for Manual

and Movement Therapists
[ ]

 DVD-set: Anatomy Trains: Facial Tensegrity - DVD

Anatomy Trains Recipe (12 sessions) – It is not strange Anatomy Trains Recipe covers the same
territory - the myofascia of the entire parietal body - as the Ida Rolf’s form of Structural Integration: Rolf
Classic Recipe (RCR) They are based on the same principles. Thomas W. Weyers is trained in Rolfing.

The Anatomy Trains is offered in a 12-session recipe, which is based around coherent myofascially-linked
complexes called "myofascial meridians". This approach has the advantage of basing the recipe on a
logical unfolding of myofascial continuities rather than a protocol based largely on "Ida said". Overall the
new protocol is easier to learn and retain, and makes the journey from postural/movement assessment to
treatment plan more accessible.

Another general point is that these myofascial meridians can be understood in three ways:
1) As a line
2) As a plane
3) As a volume

Ad 1) Line: A simple geometric line. The most economical line of pull, from one end of the line to the other,
attachment to attachment.
Ad 2) Plane: Each line - especially the cardinal (front, back, and side) lines - extends into the surrounding
investing fascia blended into the specific myofascia of the line. (See Figure 4B)
Ad 3) Volume: The three-dimensional actuality of the muscles and fascia named within the line.

Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy Trains june 2010 – 4

In other words, the Superficial Front Line (SFL) – the main territory for the first session – can be viewed as
1) a geometric pull from the top of the toes to the anterior hip, and from the pubic symphysis to the
skull, and/or
2) the muscles and associated fascia of the anterior compartment of the leg (tibialis anterior, long toe
extensors, tissue on the anterior surface of the tibia, and so on up the body), and/or
3) the superficial fascia (deep investing fascia - crural in the lower leg, fascia lata in the thigh, etc.)
extending around the outer aspect of the structures listed in the tables, blending away from the
line's myofascial specifics.

In practice, these three views of the line are combined, and the style and order for working with structures
and tissues within the line vary enormously from client to client. In the first session, for instance, one
person might require a strategy of working from the feet up, another might focus on the rib cage, with only
minimal work being done elsewhere. One client might call for really deep movement of tissue, while
another may need a sensitive introduction to their own interior space. The method lies in unfolding the
tissues as outlined below, the skill in the method involves deeply sensing and understanding the client and
their immediate, long-term, and even their unexpressed needs.

All bodywork is a conversation between two intelligent systems. Any recipe - ATR, RCR, or any other
methodological approach - must defer in the end to the specifics of the "conversation" between
practitioner and client. Put in its most simple form, following is a summary of the Anatomy Trains Recipe’s
12 sessions.

1 Open the Superficial Front Line (SFL).
Differentiate Superficial and Deep Front Arm Lines from axial body.

2 Open the Superficial Back Line (SBL).

Differentiate the Superficial Back and Deep Back Arm lines from axial body.
3 Open the Lateral Line (LL). Differentiate all four Arm Lines from below, and
open lateral aspects of the Deep Front Line (DFL) at either end of the rib cage.
4 Balance superficial myofasciae for tonal balance of both right and left Spiral Line (SL).
5 Open the lower portion of the Deep Front Line (DFL). Balance with Lateral Line (LL).
6 Open the trunk portion of the DFL.Revisit Front Arm Lines, especially Deep Front Arm Line.
7 Open the Deep Back Line (DBL). Relate to DFL. Attention to "inner bag" (peri-articular) issues of support
from calcaneus to ischial tuberosities to sacrum to the mid-dorsal hinge (around T6).
8 Open the neck and head portions of the DFL and DBL. Relate to Arm Lines.
Promote tonal balance, complete movement and integration

9 Promote tonal balance, complete movement and integration in the seven lines - that run through the
pelvis and legs - with an emphasis on stance and walking.
10 Promote tonal balance, complete movement and integration in the nine lines - that run through and
around the rib cage - with an emphasis on breathing.
11 Promote tonal balance, complete movement and balanced integration in the four lines of the arms and
shoulder girdle, with an emphasis on balanced shoulders.
12 Promote the balance of the deep muscles of the spine, and complete "fascial tensegrity" balance across
the entire body, with an emphasis on deep adaptability in the spine.

Obviously, the ATR is presented here only in skeletal form. In training, the details and the techniques are
filled in on many other levels. (Article Massage Therapy)

Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy Trains june 2010 – 5

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