Looking beyond “a bone out of place” in search of improvement has been a remarkable journey. The universe always provides the answers if you are willing to ask the questions. Today, we currently can measure a 3D postural break down from skull to pelvis and access the very pathways that lock the spinal misalignment in place.

Spinal misalignments can be understood as processes over time. Trauma first misaligns the structures, and thenthe body reacts to correct it. The first is the breakdown off vertical, and the second is the reactive mechanism to re-balance. This rebalance (although not orthogonal) does reduce stress load, and minimize energy expense. Multiple injuries at multiple levels further complicate the rebalance process. Out of pattern misalignments are multiple injury and multiple attempts for dynamic re-balance – a repetitive process. Regardless of the misalignment’s depth, the re-balance mechanism is:

  1. Always attempting to minimize stress
  2. Always balancing from Inferior to Superior

The body seeks homeostasis. This modulation mechanism’s goal is to restore a more stable posture via the neuro-myofascial interconnection. It demonstrates the 20th chiropractic principle.

  1. The Mission of Innate Intelligence. The mission of the body’s innate intelligence is to maintain the material of the body of a living thing in active organization.

The myofascial envelope spans from head to toe but it is the pelvic to skull connection that is primarily activated to functionally rebalance the array. The legs act as stabilizers. The myofascial envelope comprises the entire soft tissue system that, when isolated, can maneuver the body in multiple directions at multiple levels. It is amazing. These tension lines or resistant pathways (Gregory) are used for motion and posture and there are specific tension lines than attach along the skull, jaw, and clavicle. It is these tension lines that are palpable and releasable through chiropractic specific adjustments that restore true orthogonal balance. And it is the releasing of  “all these lines” that restores the most stable and optimal posture with respect to gravity.

This started with the Tensegrity Model that connected the pelvis to the skull and has made it measurable, reversible and correctible now as a single unit. We have moved from reductionism to a process of oneness. And we are now understanding the mechanism that the body uses to modulate itself to correct the dis-ease of subluxation – we now call this the ‘Postural String Theory’.

Misalignments start from trauma. The tissues of the body then must communicate and coordinate to restore some sort of steady state. The proprioception system is the sensor system to coordinatethis. It’s concentration at sacrum and C1 coordinate the re-balancing of the neuro-myofascial interconnection. The myofascial net or envelope responds to rebalance. It activates to twist and turn the upper body, neck, and skull as a responsefrom spinal misalignment.Working in concert, this helps minimize the effects of misalignment, subluxation, and the compressive effects of gravitational compression. So for example, if the body misaligns into the left anterior frontal plane, the response will turn its self back towards orthogonal which is right posterior. This all occurs from below upward.

The Tensegral Model is also the foundational postural paradigm that connects structure to function. It initiated the evaluation of the misaligned spine from “a bone out place” to viewing a 3D organized postural break down. The biomechanics, ligament orientation, and the myofascial envelope are pointers for the Tensegral position and its orthogonal relationship. It has linked together a new three-dimensional paradigm for an optimal process of correction as it has given us a connection to cause, reaction, and correction.

The previous “bone out of place” was initiated by BJ and the sectional concept was initiated by Wernsing, Gregory, and Grostic at the upper cervical level – but stopped at C7/T1. This measured a few displaced bones without seeing the relationship to the whole spine or understanding the reactive process of homeostasis.

Today, this paradigm from skull to pelvis continues to mature into the Postural String Theory that visualizes a system that misaligns and measures key anatomical points as a platform towards reversing the break down towards orthogonal.

The Postural String Theoryexplains the tension lines that are activated from skull to pelvis to maintain better balance in a misaligned state.  We see that in patient posture. The Postural String Theory has connected the breakdown (structural) and the rebalance (functional).

The mechanism to rebalance is causative. Trauma can happen anywhere and at many levels of our spine. This creates a misalignment. The body goes off vertical, reacts to modulate re-balance, and presents with every chiropractic indicator. Leg checks, bones out of place, and heat devices are only indications (like symptoms) that there is trouble. They never indicate the cause, the path of breakdown, or the process to correct it.

Chiropractic has never had a vitalistic explanationfor why chiropractic indicators exist. Only that they do from subluxation.No one can differentiate the bone that is out of place from a causative or re-balance modulation. No one can differentiate a heat reading that is caused by subluxation or a muscle spasm (decrease heat) from the body modulating towards steady state homeostasis.  As in medical diagnostics, better devices do not address the solution; they can only clarify the problem.  Only through our focus can we hope to find the solution. The Postural String Theory ties together cause and the mechanism of response. This is a paramount discovery, because from cause, we can now correct beyond a segment to a global level.  The Postural String Theory explains a system from start to finish, includes all indicators, and opens a more complete path towards orthogonal and Tensegral. The key word here is…process.It is the process of mapping the breakdown, knowing how to reverse it, that is the important function of our work.

All of this is visible on our patients. We can see evidence for the Postural String Theory on everyone. We see the anatomical imbalance. We see the body’s attempt at rebalance. And we see the chiropractic indicators as well. (Figure 1)


Figure 1

Tension lines span these two regions in every configuration and plane of motion to modulate balance upward.

The mechanism to restore balance is mechanical and functional. The structure is injured and misaligns. The soft tissue is the system that is then activated to restore homeostasis. The multiple 3D activation of postural distortions to maintain re-balance is what we measure, visualize, and palpate. This is the Postural String Theory. (Figure 1)

Low hip, low shoulders, head tilt, atlas displacement, muscle spasm, heat, and leg discrepancies, are all indicators of the misalignment- rebalance response process. This is all initiated by the C1 and pelvic proprioception systems. The muscle systems are activated and the structure is modulated towards steady state. (Figure 1)

The body reacts by a mechanism from the righting reflex and proprioception, to turn and tilt two counter-balancing structures of the body. The upper spine and/or head turning away from the low hip are a seen in many single misalignment patterns. (Figure 1)

The mechanical advantage of the long lever spine, the weighted skull, the righting reflex, and the 3D all-plane motion of C0-C2 is good science to indicate the re-balancing role of the upper cervical area.

There are two structural mechanisms or tension line systemsthat becomeactivated in the Postural String Theory to re-balance or modulate the imbalance to a healthier position. They are:

  1. The pelvis to shoulder is the first mechanism to rebalance.(Figure 2)
  2. The lower cervical to skull is the secondary which anchors to modulate and help rebalance and de-stress the body system.a18


Both are a subsystem of the all-inclusivemyofascial envelope. The myofascial envelope is in constant modulation to minimize stress. It exists not only as a protection against misalignment, but also as a system that disperses tangential forces to prevent us from snapping in two. It is through these two string lines that steady state is restored.

  • Trauma
  • Breakdown
  • Activation of sensory proprioception
  • Re-balance
  • More Trauma
  • Re-balance

This constant trauma modulation and reaction process seems to explain the comprehensive subluxated body and furthermore the out of pattern ones as well.These tension lines that span from pelvis to skull are the resistant pathways and occipital fibers that Gregory and Dejarnette discussed respectively.  They are what Thomas Myers discusses in his book Anatomy Trains. These pathways are 360 degrees around the skull and jaw and the clavicle. They act as the insertions or anchors of two tensions line systems for rebalance from the pelvis upward.  (Figure 2&3)

As you notice in figure 2, C1 is an access point for two pathways and this further explainsits historical success.  Right place…wrong reason and not the solo anchor. It is a gateway (multi-attachment) but without clearing all the pathways, the correction process is not complete. Presently, there are eight pathways. And it seems at this point different energy triceps pulls (superficial, intermediate, and deep) are necessary for complete clearing. The eight pathways, the order to clear them, and this energy component are the new frontiers to our Tensegral postural restoration.

The Postural String Theory ties the relationship at a level of process to show how the body responds to trauma-induced imbalance.  It is the process of breakdown to rebalance. It is the coordination of the myofascial envelope from pelvis to skull to maintain a least-stress state. The mechanism behind the reactive modulation towards balance by the body is the core focus of resolution towards orthogonal.

Asking questions as we move forward will increase our ability to remove and release these tension lines so the body can be restored to its optimal “default settings.”

Evolving from “a bone out of place”, to a pathway system that is a dynamically modulating process is an affirmation of how far we have come and a promise of our future success to help more patients and educate our profession at a whole new level. The Upper Cervical model is expanding. From bone out of place to Tensegrity, and from pathways to “the Postural String Theory”… all the while asking questions as we continue to move forward.

On Purpose and In Progress,