First of Nine: Tensegrity Blog

Portland, Oregon's Cancer Survivorship and Bodywork Zine by Compassion Arts PDX, LLC

Biotensegrities and an old school Apple user

We’ve been chatting about the tensegrity architecture of the myofascial network in the bodywork field for awhile now. It’s a concept snagged from the artistic and architectural world. A contraction of the words “tension” and “integrity”.

We are not static compression structures. We are not brick and mortar. As Tom Myers says, “A body is more like a sailboat than a lighthouse.” Instead, we are sensate, lively and complex beyond imagination at all size-scales within. We are biotensegrities. Living, adaptable architecture. The soft-tissues… Muscle, tendon, ligament and fascia or extra-cellular matrix allows our endo-skeletal structure to display feats of athleticism, emotion, artistry, compassion, grief, longing and joy. This intelligent connective tissue keeps all your bones from clattering to the floor.


We are producing technologies that sense and adapt to the conditions and situations the world presents. Machines that sense. That respond. That interact. Mimicry of neural networks.

Had a chat with a fellow the other day. Turns out, he was working on neural networks back in the 1980’s. I dabbled with artificial intelligence back in my Commodore 128 days, so rather fascinating to meet someone who had done it for a living. Loved that computer, as it had a Commodore 64 emulator, thus my friends and I would spend hours swapping floppy disks and cracking games.

Massage therapists and anatomy geeks… What’s on your iPad?

My first Apple computer was a Quadra 610 with a DOS card. With a key command, you could switch between Mac OS 8.1 and Windows 3.1. I had a Radius Precision Color Pivot. Coolest monitor I’ve owned. A 15″ widescreen CRT, on a pedestal stand. You could reach up, grab the thing and spin the monitor from portrait to landscape mode with a hefty thunk. A desktop publisher’s dream rig.

I built my first massage therapy website in 2004 with that Quadra 610. The machine was nearly ten years past it’s prime. So, I plunked in a Sonnet Quaddoubler, which doubled the Motorolla 68040 processor to a screaming fifty megahertz. Pimped out the RAM to thirty six megabytes. A 68040 that screamed!

As my bodywork practice progressed, I sniped a brilliant 12″ Powerbook G4 on eBay. Favorite laptop ever and amongst the finest laptop Apple has ever produced. Sure, not as upgradable as an old Wallstreet G3, but something about the 12″ Powerbook was breathtaking in design…. I fell for that keyboard and loved the form factor.

Later, a 15″ PowerBook G4 lead to a revision b MacBook Air. The MacBook Air totally changed the slow growing twinge in my wrist that threatened to slow down my ability to do bodywork. So light!

When, the MacBook Air puttered out and needed repair, I went for the iPad 2. Even as newer iPads leave the specs behind, this machine serves it’s multipurpose purpose continuously well. And, I type every word of this blog on the onscreen keyboard. Cuz, the iPad has inspired me to be a writer. The writer I first dreamed of being in the eighth grade.

Only reason for an upgrade would be to get a larger capacity model, with 64 or 128 gigs. The 32 gig version is feeling quite cramped. Fine for most folks, but I spend most of my free time emmersed in creative pursuits and geeking out on anatomy apps, some of which approach a gig in girth. When the muse whispers, I don’t want to have to concern myself with running out of flash drive space.

Today, the iPad 2 has become my most used computing device. It’s quite a bit more svelte than the pizza box shape of the Quadra 610 and a clunky pivot monitor. Gone are the old shoulder girdle aches and cervical spine pains of laptop use. It’s a freaking powerful and versatile computer that comfortably fits in my hands and is comfortable as a book to use.

The femur in flexion… How many computer users get their musculoskeletal structure stuck here? Screen capture from 3D4Medical’s Muscle System Pro III on the iPad.

Computer and technology use also changes how we use our biotensegrities. Do we keep ourselves in fixed-positions, femurs flexed, head carriage pulled anteriorly, clavicles in torsion, humerus in stuck inward rotation. An architecture of reduced thoracic outlet volume becomes the norm, in front of a computer with little movement throughout the day. Do we slunch forward, eyes narrowing to check our smart phones? What does that endured, repetitive stress do to our range of motion possibilities? What does it do to our cognition? We are critters designed to move about this planet with elegance and adeptness. Bipedal locomotion rocks! Remember that, user!

I’ve been a fan of the Low End Mac approach for years. Apple products take a long time slipping into obsolescence. So, I’m gonna explore all the creativity this doohickey inspires.

-Hamid : )


Just finding First of Nine: Tensegrity Blog? Deep dive with original massage therapy articles, photography, poetry, video, and music in Portland, Oregon’s Cancer Survivorship and Bodywork Zine!

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6 comments on “Biotensegrities and an old school Apple user

  1. Hans Quistorff
    July 9, 2013

    Would you like to have my Apple classic?

  2. Pingback: A huge secret corporations don’t want you to know! | First of Nine: Tensegrity Blog

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This entry was posted on July 7, 2013 by in Technobabble and tagged , , , , , .

Compassion Arts PDX, LLC

Hamid Shibata Bennett, LMT, CAMT (OBMT #301)
Advanced massage therapy and bodywork
3810 SE Belmont ST
Portland, Oregon 97214

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