Sunday, March 20, 2011

FELDENKRAIS®: ACTURE AND TENSEGRITY

As a Physical Therapist, I have long been interested in the study of posture. When I was in PT school, my learning tools were posters, cadavers, skeletal models, ..., all creations that were static. It wasn't until I entered a Feldenkrais training that I discovered how to address this study through my own skeleton while I was using movement. Dr. Feldenkrais helped me think of posture in a more action ready way. 
He coined the term "Acture", which combined the word ‘posture’ and ‘action’ together to help illuminate dynamic posture. This would make the static concepts around posture to be more action oriented. 
When foam rollers were first accessed by Dr. Feldenkrais, they were used for support, balance and to help facilitate new learning while using movement. We used them in ways that avoided stretching or over stimulation to help create ideal conditions for learning.
As some of you may know, I have been using the SMARTROLLER® to create access to these ideas that I discovered in studying the Feldenkrais Method®. I found that most people's body tissues were not prepared for the harsh pull that they were reproducing and when I came across the word tensegrity, it all made sense. “Tensegrity” is a term that Buckminster Fuller, (engineer and creator of the geodesic dome) also created with combining two words together, ‘tension’ and ‘integrity’. In Amy Edmondson's book, A FULLER EXPLANATION, she states "all systems consist of some combination of tension and compression forces." 
Thank you again Sara.
So what about the human musculoskeletal system? And what happens when we apply too much tension in the fascial system? What happens to the biological balance and the Feldenkrais ideas we support for motor learning? I would like to not make this a commercial for the Smartroller, but instead I would like to invite the dialogue of how props can be used in support of the tensegrity and  acture models when we are looking to improve posture. 

2 comments:

floatingbones said...

Nice collection of ideas! I particularly like how one can see the model is much more relaxed on your flatter roller than the circular ones.

The book you mention, "A Fuller Explanation", is freely available in its entirety on Google Books. If you go to http://bit.ly/AFEonGB , you'll get to the book. The discussion about tensegrity starts on page 271. Thanks to Professor Amy Edmondson and Jim Hausman for making this wonderful text available.

We have this idea you have to work so damn hard to advance our fitness. Feldenkrais ATM classes belie this notion: the breakthroughs are achieved by learning to use less effort. They fit perfectly with Buckminster Fuller's notion: by understanding the geometry of nature, we can do more with less.

Thanks, feldypt!

Phil Earnhardt said...

Woo hoo! Hats off to @feldypt for referencing Professor Amy Edmondson's wonderful book. By the author's request, the entire contents of "A Fuller Explanation" are freely readable on Google Books (books.google.com); feldypt's reference is on page 272.