Tensegrity is an architectural term describing structures which spread the mechanical tensions throughout the whole structure not more at some areas more than others.
In the image below are 3 examples: a full masted ship, a dome tent and a suspension bridge in Canberra. In each case all the tension/ mechanical forces are spread throughout the whole. The ship spreads the force of the wind via the sales and the ropes to the whole ship, the guy ropes, the tent poles and he fabric of the dome tent do the same. With the suspension bridge, the cables also spread the load (mechanical forces) across the whole structure equally.
The human body when working as it should (without having had accidents, falls, bad posture etc. etc. ) is designed to works as an efficient tensegrity system - thus minimising any tension in any specific place. Disturbances to the body tensegrity system prevents these tensional forces being spread throughout the system and we develop aches, pains and degenerative conditions in localised areas.
This exercise developed by Tim Marris will help you to restore your tensegrity efficiency within your body, your neck or your back.
- Stand with feet hip width apart arms at your sides
- Imagine every cell of your body is spreading / sharing its tension with all neighbouring cells. Imagine a 3x3 cube of 9 cells (like a Rubik Cube) and the central cell spreading all its tension to those all around it.
- Then each of those cells then spread the tensions away to all their neighbours, and so on.
- Anywhere where your body feels tension of stiffness, imagine those cells spreading their tension away in all 3 dimensions.
- Keep doing this for 5 - 8 minutes.
- Now notice how your body feels.
- Gently move your body – your neck and spine.
- Gently walk around the room (or outside).
- Notice how you walk in a lighter manner. You may feel as if walking on air (depending on your previous level of tension). Notice how it is much more effortless and more like a gliding motion.