Body therapy is the application of physical touch and gentle movement to reduce pain and dysfunction. It focuses on the fascia and the fascial system within the body.
Above all, it’s safe to say I received a lot of training in various fascial release techniques during my prior career as a massage therapist. Letting go of the label doesn’t mean a reduced skill set.
I continue adding a broader scope of holistic healing tools to my “tool bag”. Generally speaking, my approach to body therapy continues to move towards more gentle, effective techniques.
To sum up, the following points outline my current approach to body therapy:
- Tensegrity – the whole is affected by changes of any of the parts.
- Move Away from Pain – move into position of ease.
- Exaggerate the Pattern – take the body into the patterns that are present.
- Structure Governs Function – joint plane orientation will only allow motion in certain directions.
- Going With and Not Against – healing happens by invitation not coercion.
Concept of Tensegrity
In short, tensegrity as a term, comes from structural engineering. It simply describes how forces are distributed through a suspension bridge while under load.
“In a dynamic system of movement, the part moves the whole and the whole moves the part in an unbroken circle.”
So if a bridge is unequally loaded the whole structure responds to balance the load. The human body is also a dynamically adapting structure.
In fact, the body is continually responding and balancing load through the skeletal and fascial systems. For a fascinating, in depth understanding read the following Scientific American article – The Architecture of Life.
Considering the body as a series of cylinders helps in simplifying the concept of tensegrity.
Cylinder walls are made up of certain tissues. Internal contents vary from region to region. The limbs consist of a series of attached cylinders. The joints between each act as mini-diaphragms. Both the walls and contents of the body cylinder need to be treated to reduce and eliminate pain.
For example, lets look at the abdominal cylinder. The area between the respiratory diaphragm and the pelvic floor. In short, here is the list of what would be assessed and treated in that cylinder
- Joint Mobility – sacroiliac, L5 on sacrum, lumbar spine, lower thoracic spine and ribs.
- Fascial Structures – pelvic floor, respiratory diaphragm, low back and abdominal wall structures.
- Organ Motion – depends on many factors (eg. abdominal surgery).