blog detail

21st Century Understanding of Anatomy

By Paul Thornley


This is the most exciting time within our field and of course there is a lot of unknowns and misinformation around presently.


Let’s  get  an insight into why we’re encouraged to move away from the traditional Biomechanical approach and increasingly move to the more modern 21st Century  understanding of anatomy , which is reflected in the Living Tensegrity & Fascia models.

It’s through these new concepts we’ll be able to apply better strategies to our training & pre/rehabilitation methods whether that be for general populations or athletic performance.


Your feet are your first point of contact with your environment and transport you around during your life , your Cervical and Head position are a living record of that life of motion and represent your overall consequences & ramifications of the unknown strategy you chose. 


My point of view is that we are currently standing with one foot in the past to appease the traditional allopathic audience which includes the Medical Healthcare and Health & Fitness Empires, with the other foot in the naturopathic world, this is exactly why the world and our industry is confused , unbalanced & divided.

It needs unifying for the benefit of all !


Biomechanics is a man made formula created to constrain and conform our approaches to all things related to movement... from training , living , to surgical procedures & rehabilitation protocols.


As useful as this Academic view has been over the last 500 years it doesn’t really explain how our physiology really functions & as such not only do we require an upgrade in our expression of Anatomy but also a new an more relevant vocabulary and language to support , describe and convey this newer and more appropriate understanding of human beings.


Biotensegrity is based on the laws of Nature, from biological geometry & the invisible forces that coexist within our unified systems of the human physiology.


There are only two models available , Biomechanics ,which has served us and enabled us to learn so very much about ourselves and helped us map our structure , the other is Biotensegrity concept, it’s 21st Century successor , a fresher and more realistic understanding of Anatomy that explains how our physiology truly functions.


We’ve had centuries utilising the old model and yes the research and evidence is new , around 50-100 years old ! From Osteopath Andrew Still to Dr Stephen Levin , We live now , so with the evidence mounting and technology revealing more of the unknowns it’s the perfect time to modernise our approach to learning and movement. 


This is a summary of the evolution of the historical past up-to the current research. All movement professionals such have a comprehensive knowledge of and be able to explain to peers and clients alike the foundations , techniques and practical applications of each element within each module, and justify there decision with confidence & competency.



Biomechanical Model Characteristics


  1. 400+ Year old Medical Academic Point of View.
  2. 2 Dimensional Musculoskeletal System
  3. Based on Hard Matter Physics
  4. Based on Non Living Structures
  5. Mechanical References to Forces & Levers
  6. Linear Focused Protocols of Movement
  7. Predetermined Ranges of Movement
  8. Individually Separated Components


Jaap Van Der Wal “ The anatomy mind made us a machine body ! A walking Dead !”


If this current approach to exercise and teaching is still valid , why are so many people getting injured or moving with such restrictions and inhibition.

Our bodies have the capacity to last 100 years give or take a decade , why are they broken so easily and so often ?


Not knowing the Consequences of their Movement Choices!

Over Training & Poor Technique

Core Training

Stretching an Anti Stretching Biological Structure




Biotensegrity Model Characteristics


  1. Understanding of Modern Research from Embryonic Beginnings
  2. Based on Understanding Soft Tissue Matter Evolution
  3. Architectural Tensegral Forces of Compression & Tension
  4. We are Round , Spirals & Tubular Movements Occur
  5. Creation of a Global Continuum - There are No Origin or Insertions
  6. Everything is Connected to Everything - No Layers Exist.
  7. All Joints are Floating Where Virtual Space Exists - No Levers.
  8. Super Stability & Dynamic Tensioning are a Prerequisite for Movement
  9. We are Biomotionally Influenced Via our Sensory Systems


The World of anatomy & physiology is going through a paradigm shift , so it’s vitally important to ensure that our knowledge in this area is current and up to date. 


The Missing Link was the Understanding of Embryology , Fascia & Their Role in Our development into our Human Form.

Fascia is the Medium that brings Biotensegrity to life and explains why we’ve been blinded by the biomechanics of the past.


This Foundational Information is the anatomy knowledge that creates a clear understanding of the wholeness we are rather than the pieces and parts we currently teach.

This new knowledge & explanation is to help transform the current Anatomy knowledge each trainer & instructor has and help them share with confidence this upgrade in intention that truly does express and uncover the beauty of our actual physiology.


This must all be supported with a more disciplined vocabulary and cuing strategy that reflects this approach , reviewing our terminology is critical to establishing a global communication style that is clear and reflects the transition from mechanical referencing to human biological actions.



Dubai Development Company. All Rights Reserved. REPS UAE