Tensegrity and its application and manual therapy




Tensegrity as a scientific study has its roots and architecture in the late 1940s, but its principles have been progressively incorporated in numerous fields of research and practise. With the advent of the ground-breaking, evidence-based work of Donal Ingber over the last three decades on cellular tensegrity, it has entered the field of Biological Sciences and medicine revolutionising the way of perceiving the structure and functioning of the body at every hierarchical level from nano level to the whole body level and possibly beyond.

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From a therapist’s perspective it offers explanations for numerous beneficial changes that occur both locally and distally resulting from a wide ranging and apparently diverse array of treatment approaches, from myofascial work through to energetic and vitalistic models of practice. Certainly, if you have any interest in fascia or fascial approaches, tensegrity is an essential concept to embrace to enhance your understanding and their practical application
In this three day seminar you will explore the fundamental principles of tensegrity and its relevance in manual therapeutic approaches that you may currently utilise. You will also be given the opportunity to explore, both conceptually and practically, approaches that may be new to you, that are widely applied in osteopathic practice.

Indicative Content


  • The architectural roots of tensegrity (Buckminster Fuller and Snelson)
    Changing perspective from a Newtonian compressional model to a non-Newtonian tensional field model.
    Benefits of tensegrity structures; why they can be light, cheap and strong, and perhaps most importantly self stabilsing.
    Self assembly, fractal reiteration and continuum.
    Tensegrity on a cellular level and mechanotransduction (evidenced based / Ingber)
    Fascia and the collagenous, all-embracing inner network (Guimberteau)
    Biotensegrity, its possible aid to the understanding of the interplay of the body at a systems level.
    Communication within a collagenous network.
    Tensegrity within osteopathic approaches.


This will explore a range of techniques that would largely considered to be part of the cranial osteopathic approaches. Though the name implies that they are applied on the cranium, in actuality this is a misnomer and they can be applied anywhere within the body. Though their names may be unknown to you they are all based on the fractal/ hierarchical self-assembly concepts discussed within the theoretical element. We will explore their application on an intraosseous, interarticlar, viscerofascial and craial membranous level on different regions of the body. For example:

  • Fascial palpation
  • Localising oneself in tissue levels
  • Intra osseous techniques
  • Release of intraosseous dysfunction through fascial unwinding of long bones
  • Interarticular unwinding
  • of single articulations (Balanced ligamentous technique (BLT)/ unwinding
    over several articulations (lower extremity unwinding)
  • A/P release (eg mediastinum/central tendon)
  • Soft locking HVLA


This seminar will assist therapists in their understanding of therapeutic benefits from a biomechanical perspective and offer an interesting into how some of the more vitalistic approaches may have an effect from a partially evidenced based perspective.

The theoretical component is of benefit to any therapist, and I believe should be part of every therapist’s training.

Practically It will offer a range of techniques that will be able to be applied directly on completion of the course and act as an introduction to osteopathy in the cranial field.


The attendees must have a good level of palpatory skills and be practicing as a therapist in the manual field. Some experience with cranial osteopathic approaches would be of benefit but not essential

Jon completed his osteopathic training at the ESO (1989) and an MSc in Osteopathy (2004) Jon is a qualified lecturer with a PGCHE and an MA in education research and is a senior fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA), He has been working in osteopathic education since 1989 and has taught throughout Europe on a regular basis at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels since then. Having worked at the European school of Osteopathy for 25 years he has been working purely freelance for the last five years. Recently he is the cofounder of the Institute for Postgraduate Osteopathy (IPOE). He is the co-author of Osteopathy: Models for Diagnosis, Treatment and Practice. Currently he divides his time equally between osteopathic practice and lecturing.