The Harmony of the Spheres
It may be easy to understand that structural issues in the body may have a domino effect, one problem perpetuating and new problem, and that problem perpetuating yet another. The extent to which this is true is likely to be overlooked though, because it is not overt in nature. Having owned quite a few older cars, I am well aware of what it is like to drive one that has its struts, the springs that absorb shock, completely worn out. As it is usually fairly expensive to replace, and probably not worth it in an old car that is not a valuable car, many of us will drive them around without fixing them. One can probably drive a car around indefinitely without replacing the struts, it is not essential to the functioning of the car. Nevertheless, it is unpleasant when one hits a bump or pothole, very jaring. What does eventually become apparent is that it leads to other suspension issues in and around the axle. This makes perfect sense. It may not be worth fixing on an old junker, but our bodies are worth far more than any car. Our arches, our hips, our shoulders and our neck all receive shock from the efficient functioning of many areas in our body. One may have a hard time connecting the inefficiency of their arches or ankles to their neck or shoulder problem, but just as even one shot shock absorber in a car sends shock through the whole car, so does one restriction in the body send shock through the whole body. This is on of the fundamental principles of Rolfing. Restriction can send the organism into a greater degree of disorder.
This being said, we are not cars, we are not machines. We are complex innervated beings, with a much higher degree of adaptability than any machine yet created. If we have a restriction that causes an unnecessary degree of shock, we have ways of adapting to that by finding other ways of dissipating shock and allowing movement. One thing that is important to note is that energy, including kinetic energy, does not just disappear with restricted motion, it has to be dissipated somehow. Swinging the arms when walking allows for the dissipation of kinetic energy when walking, when that is restricted the neck and shoulders receive shock with each step. More so, the energy that needs to be dissipated when walking may express itself through excessive hip swinging, or many other avenues. If hip movement is restricted in one direction, it may express itself in noticeably excessive movement in the other directions that are not restricted. Likewise, if the hips are restricted it may involve excessive arm swinging when walking. Have you ever seen someone who appears to be propelling themselves with their arms when walking? Graceful movement comes from optimal movement, just what is necessary and possible, and only what is necessary, no more-no less.
While watching a documentary on the early solar system, it was illustrated that our current model of the movement of bodies both large and small were once far more erratic in our neighborhood. There were many collisions, and we had a lot more planets and planetesimals that did not make it to the current day without being destroyed. They seemed to have settled down into a more harmonious flow as time went on. How is this possible? They illustrated by putting a bunch of metronomes on a suspended platform, and setting them off at different times, but set to the same frequency. They began to synchronize, first in groups, as the platform moved with the motion of all the combined metronomes. Eventually they all synchronized and stayed synchronized. This will occur weather it is two metronomes or twenty metronomes.
This will happen as long as the plaform they share is allowed to swing freely with the disordered movement of the metronomes. If the movement of the platform is restricted, they will all go into disorder and will not synchronize. It was explained in the documentary that the shared platform the metronomes were placed on is analogous to gravity commonly affecting the planets in our solar system, the force that allows the planets and other heavenly bodies to find order and resonance. The term Pythagoras coined “music of the spheres” comes to mind. There is a harmony that is evoked when objects synchronize. As with the planets and metronomes, we have the ability to find harmony of movement and synchronization when allowed to do so. If there is restriction, it is likely to lead ot disharmony and disorder. Because of our ability to adapt to life situations, we will find some way of functioning, but it may not be an optimal way of functioning. Allowing for a higher degree of order and synchronization to take place in the body is the goal of Rolfing, striving to assist in a more harmoniously functioning individual.