[SNEC] Dr Stephen Levin will be giving a biotensegrity talk in Salt Spring Island in BC

CJ Fearnley cjf@CJFearnley.com
Tue, 31 May 2005 20:16:19 -0400

I will be giving a biotensegrity talk, (an updated and expanded version
of the one I gave for SNEC in DC) on Saltspring Island in BC. If you
know anyone out that way who may be interested, the details are below.

Steve Levin 

Steve Levin will be visiting me on Saltspring Island BC in mid June. 
While he is here I will host a presentation at our local theatre. Any 
of you within range if this event are most welcome to attend. As we 
will be filming the event professionally, we hope to have a short 
documentary available for purchase on our web sites by mid summer so 
check back then. 

All the best, 
Tom Flemons 

Dr Stephen Levin, a well known orthopedic surgeon and lecturer from 
Wash. D.C. will be giving a presentation on the emerging field of 
Biotensegrity on Saltspring Island BC, Sat. June 18th from 12 pm until 
3:30 pm at the Artspring Centre in Downtown Ganges (100 Jackson 
Avenue). All practitioners in the health sciences are invited to come 
to his presentation and take part in a discussion afterwards. Because 
the implications of this research are so wide ranging, people with an 
interest in paleontology, zoology, land and marine biology, 
evolutionary science, systems theory, architecture, geometry, and 
sculpture will find much of interest in his presentation.(admission 
$35.00 at the door or reserve online at www.artspring.ca, email 
artspring@saltspring.com or call 250 537 2102 for reservations) 

Dr. Levin has been the primary researcher and promulgator of this new 
paradigm in biomechanics at the level of gross anatomy since 1980. This 
is a rare opportunity to learn at first hand the nature and 
implications of this paradigm shift in all of the fields pertaining to 
human health and well being. In addition, new working biotensegrity 
models of the musculo-skeletal system designed by Tom Flemons will be 
on hand to help elucidate the concept. 

Dr. Levin: 

A rigid, axial-loading, gravitationally oriented support system cannot 
be utilized as a model for animated structures, including the human 
body. This is because the human spine was not designed to be an upright 
column, it just evolved that way. It evolved following the pattern laid 
out for it by its genes and the rules of physics. 

Biotensegrity, the application of Fuller's tensegrity concepts to 
biologic structure and physiology, can be used successfully to model 
the spine and other organ systems. In this system of total body 
modeling, the limbs are not an assemblage of rigid body segments. They 
are semi-rigid non-linear, viscoelastic bony segments, interconnected 
by non-linear, viscoelastic connectors, i.e. the cartilage, joint 
capsules and ligaments together with an integrated non-linear, 
viscoelastic active motor system- the muscles and tendons and 
connective tissue. 

The visceral organs integrate structurally and physiologically into the 
same system. There are no limb segment boundaries and the smaller bones 
and joints of the hands and feet fully integrate into the mechanical 
model. The spine is a tensegrity tower that integrates with the limbs, 
head and tail and to the visceral system, as well. A change of tension 
anywhere within the system is instantly signaled to everywhere else in 
the body and there is a total body response by mechanical transduction. 
The structure works equally well right side up, upside down, in sea, 
land, air or in space. Thus it resolves many of the inadequacies of 
present models. 

The Biotensegrity model based on Buckminster Fuller's tensegrity 
icosahedron, demonstrates the principle of continuous tension, 
discontinuous compression, and can be utilized to demonstrate the 
structural integration of the body. All of our previous concepts of 
biomechanics will have to be reassessed in relation to this new model 
and our therapeutic approaches to the musculo-skeletal system will 
have to be revised. 

Stephen Levin is an orthopedic surgeon whose clinical practice was 
limited to non-surgical back pain. He studied orthopedic surgery at the 
National Hospital for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation and 
musculoskeletal medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Academic 
appointments have been Distinguished Visiting Professor of Orthopedic 
Surgery Louisiana State University College of Medicine, Associate 
Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Osteopathic 
Medicine and Assistant Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at 
Howard University. He was the Medical Advisor to the National Park 
Service, National Capital Region and a consultant for the American 
Ballet Theater. He has given over 100 scientific presentations at 
various universities and conferences in the US, Canada and Europe. His 
clinical interests are in non-surgical treatment of back, neck, 
shoulder and non-gynecologic pelvic pain. Presently, Dr. Levin devotes 
the majority of his professional time to research in the field of 

Dr. Levin is the originator of the concept of BioTensegrity, the 
application of tensegrity-balanced forces in organisms from viruses to 
humans. Some of his most recent presentations have been at national and 
international interdisciplinary biomechanics and bioengineering 
meetings. They include the International Shoulder Society, Alberta, 
Canada, August 1999, Mechano-Transduction 2000 at the University of 
Paris, France in May 2000, Force Transduction at the National Science 
Foundation, Washington, D.C. in July 2000, the International Society of 
Biomechanics, Zurich, July 2001, the International Federation of Manual 
Medicine, Chicago, July 2001and the 12th International Conference on 
Mechanics in Medicine and Biology, Lemnos, Greece, 2002, and the 
American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Washington, 2004. He has 
authored several book chapters and a recent published paper on spine 
mechanics in the December 2002 issue of the Journal of Mechanics in 
Medicine and Biology. He is in the process of producing a DVD video on 

Tom Flemons is an inventor and design specialist in tensegrity 
structures. He lives on Saltspring Island BC and is hosting this visit 
by Dr. Levin. He has been working in the field of Biotensegrity since 
1985 and has collaborated with Dr. Levin on the design of many of his 
models. He has worked with tensegrity structures for 25 years 
(furniture mobiles,sculpture), and has designed tensegrity toys 
(Skwish) which have been sold internationally for over 20 years. 

It is not for me to change you.  The question is, how can I be of service
to you without diminishing your degrees of freedom?
  -- Buckminster Fuller

CJ Fearnley                |  Explorer in Universe
cjf@CJFearnley.com         |  Design Science Revolutionary
http://www.CJFearnley.com  |  "Dare to be Na´ve" -- Bucky Fuller