Can tensegrity, or more specifically biotensegrity (defined as ‘tensegrity in living structures’), explain the interconnectedness of body structure? More importantly, will an understanding of biotensegrity change the way in which you work as a massage therapist? At this moment in our evolutionary history, it seems very likely it can and will, which is why the concept of tensegrity and biotensegrity has become an international hot topic and has provoked much discussion among a wide range of scientists and therapists. Simply defined biotensegrity provides a scientific (and plausible) explanation for something that we as therapists instinctively already know, that every structure in the body is in some way interconnected in a way in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. This article (along with its associated links to a series of animations) documents a fascinating insight into the ongoing debate between two leaders in their fields of research into the organisation of body structure and gives the reader the opportunity to understand the relevant concepts and compare the different points of view. It looks very much like this is the next step in our journey of discovery of functional anatomy.
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Colin Armstrong DO is a British trained osteopath. He spent the first five years of his career in Zimbabwe and has been based in France for the past 30 years. Areas of special interest include pediatric osteopathy and osteopathic care during pregnancy. He is founder member of the French Academy of Osteopaths.
Dr Jean-Claude Guimberteau MD, SOFCPRE is co-founder and scientific director of the L'Institut Aquitain de la Main, and past-president 2011–2012 of the French Society for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (SOFCPRE).
Dr Guimberteau trained in hand and plastic surgery at the University of Bordeaux, and has worked in microsurgery and transplantation. He has developed our knowledge of the structure and function of tendon physiology, as well as pioneering techniques for secondary flexor tendon repair. His innovative use of video-endoscopy to investigate the structure of the fascia in vivo has resulted in what is essentially a new concept of living tissue and a new ontology for human body architecture.
Through the company endovivo.com he has published many videos on living matter: Strolling under the skin, 2005; Skin excursion, 2008; Muscle Attitude, 2009; Interior Architectures, 2011; Skin, Scars and Stiffness, 2012; and Destination Tendon, 2012.
Dr Guimberteau is also a member of the French Hand Society (GEM), and of the French Academy of Surgery. He has been a member of the (French) Health Service High Authority 2007–2010.
Website: Dr Jean-Claude Guimberteau
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