Current research into the workings of the body support a major shift from a mechanistic model to a relativistic model based on a principle called tensegrity (tension + integrity). The tensegrity model states that everything that affects one part of the system will have an effect on the whole system, at all times, no matter what. The application of this principle to the body is called biotensegrity.
Biotensegrity looks at our bodies as a seamless whole held together by a layered web called fascia or the fascial network, made of collagen and elastin fibers. Fascia organizes and holds every cell, every organ, every muscle and every bone. The skeletal system itself—which we have long thought was our primary system of strength—is organized, balanced, and suspended within the fascial web.
The therapeutic implications of biotensegrity are remarkable. It posits that our bodies are shaped based on how we use them. At their best, our bodies are strong and resilient and balanced, able to take the occasional hit and rebound easily as long as we’re moving in a balanced way. However when we hold chronic tension because of habitual patterns of posture, if we move repeatedly in the same way without counterbalancing movement, or if we are immobilized from injury, the fascia that holds us together will, over time, reform itself to match and hold those patterns. This is true whether it’s from too much sitting, sports, playing a musical instrument (that includes both postural and repetitive movement stress) or furrowing one’s brow habitually.
Short term limitation of movement creates long term fascial adaptation. If we can’t or don’t move in any particular way, the fascial system responds by tightening to keep us upright and functional. But this makes us less flexible and more prone to injury.
Remember that if any one spatial relationship with the system changes, all spatial relationships change as the system adapts. This is always true. So when you sprain your ankle and can’t move your foot around, it effects not only the foot and ankle, but the entire system from toes to the top of your head.
Unhealthy fascial patterns have to be reprogrammed. Stretching isn’t enough for a lasting reboot.
Research supports the premise of Vibrational Fascia Release Technique (VFRT), that when applied to rigidified fascial patterns, mechanical pressure combined with vibration will create change.. VFRT creates this optimal mechanical application by applying a weighted tuning fork to the unhealthy fascia, using tried and true methods for palpation, appropriate pressure and sustained vibration. Clients report nearly instantaneous relief from even long held mobility and pain.
If you’d like to see what VFRT can do for you, check out your nearest VFRT therapist. We all love helping people to look better, move better, and feel better.