A structure, such as the one shown below, is said to have “tensegrity”. This tower is made of bars that do not touch each other, but that are held together in tension via a network of cables.
The term “tensegrity” comes from combining the ideas of tension and integrity. In other words, the integrity of the structure is a result of the tension of the cables.
“Biotensegrity” is the idea that our bodies act in much the same way. Traditionally we have viewed systems of the body as being separate and distinct: there is a system of bones, on which is attached a system of muscles, over which is the skin. Perhaps a more accurate view of the human body is that all of these structures exist within a network of connective tissue called fascia.
This fascia surrounds every bone, every muscle, and every organ. Each body part, in fact is simply a pocket in the large fascial network. In this way, we can see that our bodies are similar to the structure above. The bones, muscles and organs are the bars, and the fascia is the system of cables.
We are held together in tension, therefore, and the integrity of our bodies depends on all of the parts working together. When one part of the system is injured, it affects the entire body; just as if you were to weaken one of the cables above, the entire structure would become unstable.
A foot injury can affect how the shoulder works. A head injury affects the entire spine. A tailbone injury can affect the inner ear. It is important to address the entire body, especially the system of “cables” that connects it all, the fascia.
When I see patients, I try to look at the whole system. Where is the tension? What else is being affected? How healthy is the fascia? No part is unimportant, because it is all part of the system in tension. When the whole system is flexible we have energy, strength and we feel like ourselves again.