About Vreni Gurd
I formerly worked as a corrective exercise specialist for 25 years, trained through the CHEK Institute in California. It became evident to me that it is not possible to strengthen a weak muscle adequately if the opposing muscle restricts range-of-motion too much. One cannot strengthen the range one does not have.
Once exposed to osteopathy, I realized that limits in range-of-motion are frequently due to tissues other than muscle - organs, nerves, veins, and arteries. My CHEK training had already informed me that muscles were slaves to almost every other system in the body, because being able to breathe, detoxify the body, and deliver nutrition and remove waste via the circulatory system, are more important to survival than being able to move. As such, if there were a problem with the blood supply to the kidney, the muscles would hold the body such as to improve that circulation as much as possible. No amount of stretching would lengthen a restricted muscle if its reason for being restricted is to improve circulation.
Wanting to be capable of assisting my patients further, I enrolled in the Canadian School of Osteopathy, a five year program with a thesis, in order to learn how to release all types of tissue, including the organs, blood vessels and nerves.
My thesis was on the topic of Tensegrity, which informed my current treatment methodology greatly. Instead of viewing the body as a compression structure, I now see the body as ideally being stabilized only through tension.
This paradigm-shift alters everything. The arrangement of the muscles and fascial attachments, if within a tensegral balance, removes compression from the joints. If the body were a compression structure, the pelvis would have to be much larger to handle the weight of the torso, head and arms.
I see my role as improving whole-body tensegrity through restoring the capability for movement between adjacent tissues. I can work very locally to address such issues as tennis elbow, or a knee problem, however frequently the root causes of these issues are further away.
Any slack regained, will alter the tensegrity or tensions within the body-web, improving the function of the whole. As the patient does activities of daily living in the days following a treatment, the tensegrity body-web slowly adjusts itself to its new normal. Discomfort may return to a similar location due to other layers there that need to be dissociated, or it may appear elsewhere. Eventually, with consistent mobility work and treatment, enough slack in the tensegrity web will be restored to be able to live comfortably.
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