I have worked with many elite athletes over the years and have always found the experience challenging and enlightening. I say challenging because of the level of excellence they demand. It is not good enough simply to get a top-level athlete out of pain. The demands they place on their bodies require that every part work at its optimal level. Joints, muscles, ligaments and bone are required to perform at or near the limit of their tolerances, and are continually being subjected to tremendous forces of strain and impact.
I have found that, in order to meet these challenges and provide for the needs of these patients, it is essential to address the fundamental causes of structural imbalance. Disturbances of muscle tone and fascial tension asymmetries are time bombs waiting to explode in the form of muscle and ligament tears and serious joint injury. These events can destroy an athlete’s career and, in my opinion, they are highly preventable.
Health at the Molecular Level
Dr. Stephen Levin, an orthopedic surgeon, noticed some unusual reactions in certain muscles and ligaments he was repairing, while performing surgery, which he could not explain. Not long after this he happened to visit the Smithsonian Institute. He noticed a large skeleton of a dinosaur and wondered how the massive structure could possibly support itself against the force of gravity. Coincidentally, just across the hall, there stood a remarkable sculpture by Kenneth Snelson. The sculpture consisted of rigid struts suspended in space by tensioning cables. Snelson was a student of Buckminster Fuller. When the famed architect and engineer saw the way these structures supported themselves in space, he conceived of the term tensegrity—meaning held together by tension and compression—which he then went on to incorporate in his now famous structures, such as the geodesic dome.
It struck Levin that the tensegrity form could explain not only how the dinosaur held itself up, it could also account for his observations during surgery. From these realizations he developed the concept that the tension icosohedron (the basic element of the tensegrity structure) was the basic structure of all organic life.
In the January 1998 issue of Scientific American, a feature article entitled The Architecture of Life appeared, outlining the research of Dr. Donald Ingber, the Harvard cell biologist. His studies and other research using powerful electron microscopes and other computer-based techniques have been able to confirm that tensegrity is the structural basis of all life on the planet. It has now been proven that the underlying structure of all life on the planet is actually a continuous, tension and compression arrangement of molecules and protein strands, very similar to the sculptures conceived by Kenneth Snelson in the 1940’s.
The Molecular Framework of the Body
The concept of tensegrity implies that the bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, organs, the nervous system—every cell, right down to the level our DNA—the blueprint of life itself—are interconnected with every other cell as one continuous fabric. I have referred to this microscopic framework as the Tensegrity Matrix. This stable and flexible structure links everything together into a unified whole.
Abnormal tension on this fabric or matrix may arise due to injuries, such as falls, and/or motor vehicle accidents, and the presence of scar tissue, and may become trapped within the molecules of a particular area of the body.
Matrix Repatterning (MR) is based on this new understanding of the molecular structure of the body. It is able to detect, with a high level of precision, and permanently release the deep underlying restrictions associated with injuries, scar tissue or other forms of stored tension in the body. The primary restrictions may be painless themselves, but represent the primary sources of tension leading to strain patterns in many other areas of the body. The strained tissues, which arise due to the primary restriction, are often the location of symptoms, such as pain, swelling and abnormal movement and function. The Matrix Repatterning practitioner is trained to locate and correct these patterns at their source, gently and permanently.
Case Study 1: An Athlete Finds a Second Lease on Life
I was contacted by a chiropractor working in a large sports medicine facility. He contacted me to assess a frustrating case. Despite repeated treatment, using state-of-the-art methods, the patient was not progressing. In my examination, I found that the patient’s thigh muscles and hip muscles were seriously imbalanced. Indeed, the other members of his treatment team had discovered the same problems and had valiantly tried to stretch and goad these muscles into some semblance of symmetry. Unfortunately, they had been unsuccessful.
I found that the primary restrictions were actually within the bones of the patient’s hip and femur, and proceeded to release these tension patterns. With one treatment, I was able to restore balance to the muscles of his hips and thighs.
The decathlete, Mack Cunningham, had progressed significantly and, with a few more treatments, was able to fully re-enter his training program. He is now preparing for the 2004 Olympics.
Case Study 2: They’re at the Post!
The young veterinarian had heard of me through a patient. Dr. David Jamieson had taken many other seminars to help him treat his favorite animals—thoroughbred racehorses. As the seminar proceeded, I kept pondering how in the world he would be able to adapt my technique to these rather large animals.
Shortly after the seminar, I received a call from Dr. Jamieson, requesting I meet him at the racetrack. He led me to one of the barns and introduced me to Doris Day, a beautiful bay. He explained that, two months before, she had been rounding a turn and had been forced by another horse into the rail. Something snagged—perhaps part of her saddle—and she was flipped onto her rear end with a powerful jolt. The rider fell off, and both animal and human had to be helped off the track.
The horse had never been the same since. She was obviously in a lot of pain and could not tolerate anyone mounting her. Dr. Jamieson mentioned that she was now very “girthy”, a term used to describe a horse whose trunk has expanded beyond its normal dimensions. The horse appeared to be very skittish, with a wild, fearful look in her eyes. Dr. Jamieson was quick to point out that she was normally a very calm, manageable animal.
We found a process of testing and treatment that work very well for these animals. We were able to quickly detect the primary areas of restriction, which proved to be centered in the large organs of the trunk, as expected. Treatment quickly released these areas and Doris Day was immediately restored to her normal sexy figure. Within a few days, she was able to begin training once again and she was returned to her productive racing schedule within several more weeks.
Treating other horses proved to be equally successful and Dr. Jameison, under my guidance, has been able to resolve many other injuries. Many of the horses treated using Matrix Repatterning have astounded both the trainers and the jockeys. They have found these animals are now much more balanced and consistent in their performance. One of our goals for the future is to develop a training program for veterinarians and other practitioners to be able to treat animals more effectively.
Thoroughbred racehorses are like other elite athletes, in that they are pushing the limits of their physical structures on an ongoing basis. The lessons learned by treating these magnificent creatures have helped me develop even better approaches for human athletes and have also served to confirm for me the power and value of Matrix Repatterning and tensegrity matrix as viable and consistent frameworks for understanding the structural basis of health and life. TAC