You are on page 1of 5

Tensegrity | tensional integrity | Anatomy trains

Tensegrity is borrowed from an architect, engineer, scientist and dreamer whom Carlos Castaneda admired: R. Buckminster Fuller.

In the world of Carlos Castaneda this represents magical passes:

positions and movements of body and breath that were dreamt and stalked by men and women seers who lived in Mexico in ancient times, as taught to Carlos Castaneda, Florinda Donner-Grau, Taisha Abelar and Carol Tiggs by their teacher by don Juan Matus a Yaqui Indian from Yuma, Arizona, and Sonora, Mexico, and the heir to a lineage of seers that originates in Mexico of ancient times.

Youtube: Carlos Castaneda's Tensegrity Volume One

R. Buckminster Fuller described tensegrity as a combination of tensional integrity, the forces at work in a structure that is formed by a finite network of compression, or rigid elements interconnected through tensile, or elastic elements which give the structure its overall integrity.

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.

What is tensegrity?

"The word 'tensegrity' is an invention: a contraction of 'tensional integrity.'

Tensegrity describes a structural- relationship principle in which structural shape is guarenteed by the finitely closed, comprehensively continuous, tensional behaviors of the system and not by the discontinuous and exclusively local compressional member behaviors.

Tensegrity provides the ability to yield increasingly without ultimately breaking or coming asunder"

Richard Buckminster Fuller (

Anatomy Trains Thomas W. Meyers sees Tensegrityin action in the fascia of our own body.

In Anatomy Trains Tensegrityis explained as … a model for understanding the geometry of the body, on both a micro- and a macro-cosmic scale, that leads to many new insights in terms of body connectivity, the relation between stability and movement, and how we can develop what might be called “Spatial Medicine”.

Anatomy Trains Training allows you to unravel and resolve complex patterns of posture and body use. To facilitate the client's progressive unfolding into innate balance, length, and a feeling of 'home' in the body. A wide vocabulary of touch and movement is used to create this opening with a minimum of discomfort and a maximum of empowerment.

“Franklyn-Miller's study actually gives very nice evidence for the plantar fascia demo trick (of getting the whole posterior back line lengthened from a firm stretch of the plantar fascia of the specific leg). His study only demonstrates the transmission from proximal to distal; yet this makes it also 'more than likely' that a fresh cadaver measurement with a plantar fascia stretch (i.e. foot dorsiflexion) would also transmit in a proximal direction with similar magnitude. [

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

Anatomy Trains | Myofacial Meridians

Myofascial Meridians Anatomy Trains gives you another understanding of whole-body patterning in posture and function in terms of Myofacial Meridians. Pathways of “stretch lines” in the connective tissue of the body. These Myofacial Meridians are the main actors in the interplay of movement and stability as is recognized earlier as “Tensegrity”.


An imaginary great [line] on [a surface] passing through the North and South poles. All points on the same meridian have the same longitude.

Understanding the 'Superficial Back Line' (SBL) as a whole gives insights into hamstring problems that you cannot get from considering the hamstrings alone.

The 'Spiral Line' (SL) shows how to resolve rotational compensations in a way that no analysis of any single muscle can give.

Myofacial Meridians are in described in terms of:

Superficial Back Line(SBL)


Superficial Front Line(SFL)


Lateral Line(LL)


Spiral Line(SL)


Arm linesFront Line (SFL) Lateral Line (LL) Spiral Line (SL) o Superficial Front Arm Line (SFAL) o


Superficial Front Arm Line



Superficial Back Arm Line



Deep Front Arm Line



Deep Back Arm Line


Deep Front Line(DFL)


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 change and development with new 'in-form-ation'.

Types of Connective Tissue


Loose Connective Tissue In vertebrates, the most common type of

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 Fiberstype of its constituent fibers. There are three main types: – Collagenous fibers are made of

Collagenous fibers are made of collagen and consist of bundles of

fibrils that are coils of collagen molecules.

Elastic Fibersof bundles of fibrils that are coils of collagen molecules. Reticular Fibers – Elastic fibers are

Reticular Fibersfibrils that are coils of collagen molecules. Elastic Fibers – Elastic fibers are made of elastin

Elastic fibers are made of elastin and are stretchable.

Reticular fibers join connective tissues to other tissues.



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

Specialized Connective Tissues

Loose connective tissue that stores fat. Loose connective tissue that stores fat.

Fibrous connective tissue that is composed of closely packed collagenous fibers in 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.

Bonein adult humans including the nose, trachea and ears. – Mineralized connective tissue that contains collagen

Mineralized connective tissue that contains collagen and calcium phosphate, a

mineral crystal. Calcium phosphate gives bone its firmness.

Bloodmineral crystal. Calcium phosphate gives bone its firmness. – Interestingly enough, blood is considered to be

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. (

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

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)


Acupuncture (Extraordinary Meridians)

Superficial Back Line


Du Mai:

Governing Vessel

Superficial Front Line


Ren Mai:

Conception Vessel

Lateral Line




?? Linking Vessels ??

Spiral Line


Dai Mai:

Belt Meridian

Arm lines


Superficial Front Arm Line



?? Linking Vessels ??



Superficial Back Arm Line



?? Linking Vessels ??



Deep Front Arm Line



?? Linking Vessels ??



Deep Back Arm Line



?? Linking Vessels ??

Deep Front Line


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. (Article THE ANATOMICAL RECORD)

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 TherapistsThomas W. Weyers describes the embryological grow and place in the body as mesodermal. And does this with further explanation of the how and what.

And does this with further explanation of the how and what. He goes so far that

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

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)


A simple geometric line. The most economical line of pull, from one end of the line to the other, attachment to attachment.

Ad 2)


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)


The three-dimensional actuality of the muscles and fascia named within the line.

In other words, the Superficial Front Line (SFL) the main territory for the first session can be viewed as


a geometric pull from the top of the toes to the anterior hip, and from the pubic symphysis to the


skull, and/or 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 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.






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



Open the Superficial Back Line (SBL). Differentiate the Superficial Back and Deep Back Arm lines from axial body.


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.




Balance superficial myofasciae for tonal balance of both right and left Spiral Line (SL).




Open the lower portion of the Deep Front Line (DFL). Balance with Lateral Line (LL).


Open the trunk portion of the DFL.Revisit Front Arm Lines, especially Deep Front Arm Line.


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).


Open the neck and head portions of the DFL and DBL. Relate to Arm Lines.



Promote tonal balance, complete movement and integration


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.



Promote tonal balance, complete movement and integration in the nine lines - that run through and around the rib cage - with an emphasis on breathing.


Promote tonal balance, complete movement and balanced integration in the four lines of the arms and shoulder girdle, with an emphasis on balanced shoulders.


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)