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MR Dynamic Chiro

formerly Tensegrity Therapy® article for 3/12/2001 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic by Dr. Warren Hammer

Everyone in the soft tissue world would be ecstatic to be able to find within the body the location of a primary restriction that might be the underlying cause of dysfunction either locally or distally in the body. Matrix Repatterning® developed by Dr. George Roth, DC, ND is a logical way of determining many of these underlying factors.

Knowledge is a continuous journey they say, and one of the latest stops on this journey is the subject of Tensegrity. Biological systems have always been modeled like the post-and-beam construction of a skyscraper where a building must be rigid enough to withstand a heavy wind or any weight that cantilevers off its vertical structure. In comparing our bodies to rigid structures, standard post and beam Newtonian biomechanics has been used. This system of describing how our body functions have been adequate only to a point.

According to a strict interpretation of Newtonian biomechanics the human spine would buckle with less than the weight of the head on top of it, vertebral bodies would crush under the leverage of a fly rod held in the hand and with each heartbeat arteries would lengthen enough to crowd the brain out of the skull 1. Tensegrity structures transmits loads through tension and compression only. A Giraffe with its long neck can bring its neck back up after drinking water only by the use of the tension and compression within its tissues. According to present day biomechanics it would require a large T1 spinous from which a [cable] would attach to its occiput.

Tensegrity refers to a system that stabilizes itself mechanically because of the way in which tensional and compressive forces are distributed and balanced within the structure.

Scientists around the world have been studying the tensegrity model. There are many references too numerous to mention for this article. A good beginning would be to read the article in Scientific American2 by Ingber who describes tensegrity: “A universal set of building rules seems to guide the design of organic structures-from simple carbon compounds to complex cells and tissues”. Mechanical stresses on cells are known to regulate tissue growth and development and to alter cell form and function within our tensegrity system.3

Dr. Roth uses a method of palpation that allows us to feel a softening within the body that occurs when a lesion under abnormal tension is lightly compressed. Compression of a lesioned area “dampens” the tension within the total system (body) causing any palpated neutral area to soften. A basic tensegrity principle is that “A local force can change the shape of an entire tensegrity structure”.2 A local force is used to evaluate and then treat the body.

We have all experienced how patient’s areas of pain have disappeared after treating some location not directly related to the painful site. Matrix Repatterning tells us how to look for these sites and restore function. The symptom location of patients as has been quoted by many authorities is often not the location of the cause. Chiropractic has always stressed treating the cause. Present day knowledge tells us that the cause can be “anywhere”.

Matrix Repatterning is a breakthrough approach in finding and treating the “anywhere”.

For more information check in with Dr. Roth’s Web site: www.matrixrepatterning.com


1. Levin SM. A different approach to the mechanics of the human pelvis: tensegrity. In:Vleeming A, Mooney V, et al. Movement Stabiity & Low Back Pain. New York, Churchill Livingstone.

2. Ingber DE. The architecture of life. Scientific American, Jan 1998. - Page 4.

3. Stamenovic D, Fredberg JJ, Wang N et al. A microstructural approach to cytoskeletal mechanics based on tensegrity. J of Theoretical Biology, 181 (2), 1996.

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