For the courtesy of the Institute of Classical Osteopathy.
Since ASOMI College of Sciences is concerned with health and osteopathy, on professional and scientific levels, this adaptation of a research paper by an experienced and well-known professional Osteopath, Mervyn Waldman is a highly recommended read.
This article is about the osteopathic approach to tensegrity and its main functions. This is the first and thus, the introductory part of the article click here for the second part.
About the author:
The current president of the Institute of Classical Osteopathy, Mervyn Waldman is an Israel-based Osteopath. After graduating from the British College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1974, he taught Principles & Practice of the Classical Osteopathy at the prestigious European School of Osteopathy from 1976-1990.
Tensegrity: The term refers to a system that stabilizes itself mechanically for how tensional and compressive forces are distributed and balanced within the structure.
In an attempt to clarify this often complex yet one of the crucial subjects in understanding body mechanics and function, some key thoughts expressed by leading authors on the subject of tensegrity are brought together, cited and listed in the bibliography of the third part of this article.
Some of the salient principles underlying tensegrity can help deepen an appreciation of Still and Littlejohn’s view of the body as an integrated mechanism and that treatment must remain such as to attempt to unify all its functioning components, from its exoskeleton and attachments to its immune and metabolic systems, to palliate or restore health.
In his clinic notes, Littlejohn repeatedly emphasized that no change in the body can come about without compensatory patterns affecting the rest of the physique and that the treatment of these patterns may be a priority before being able to approach the area of acute injury or pathology.
He was also quoted as saying that, ‘one should treat the neck in such a way as to affect the pelvis and vice versa.’ The principles underlying Tensegrity should help the clinician evaluate the underlying mechanisms that enable this to be brought about.
When during examination or treatment, a patient suddenly reports the onset of acute pain at the site of injury, despite the operator gently articulating a part remote and unconnected from the local pathology, the principles of tensegrity may go some be of help in explaining the phenomena and of the value in handling the whole body even when the illness or trauma is, seemingly, local in its expression.
Faced with a patient suffering acutely debilitating pain, it has long been the best classical osteopathic practice to not necessarily attempt to treat the local injury or pathology. Besides being often unbearably painful to the touch, even palliative treatment could set up further irritation to already up-regulated nociceptors.
Alternatively, treatment is frequently initially directed to affect the improvement of the overall weight-bearing postural mechanics on the injured part. In addition, an attempt is committed to encouraging local circulatory, lymphatic, immune, and anti-inflammatory responses, to further enable down-regulation of affected nociceptors, for pain relief and tissue healing.