Levin, Stephen M.

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Kenneth Snelson’s Needle Tower inspired Dr. Stephen M Levin to re-envision biologic structure through the tensegrity model. Levin reasoned that the human structure must constitute a living tensegrity. Since living beings exist both in a continuum of development and a continuum of evolution, tensegrity would have to be found throughout all biological life: biotensegrity.

In his development of the concept of biotensegrity, Levin found everything he could on tensegrity itself, as well as how it might relate to living organisms. He contacted Snelson directly, began to build his own models, and shared his insight with peers. He presented his theory of tensegrity as a biomechanical model for supporting the body in an address before the North American Academy of Manipulative Medicine in 1980. At the 34th Annual Conference on Engineering in Medicine and Biology held in Houston, Texas in 1981, Levin presented The Icosahedron as a Biological Support System, which was published in the Proceedings. An early presentation for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation personnel at Alexandria Hospital in Virginia connected Levin with Dr Francis Wenger. Wenger told Levin that Ida Rolf, with whom Wenger had trained, also saw tensegrity as a key to understanding the body’s mechanics. This led to Levin contributing an article to the Rolfing journal (Continuous tension, discontinuous compression. A model for biomechanical support of the body) in 1982.