Article in the Star April 1999
Hands up for good health
Marika Sboros Reports
Illness is simply a sign of a body out of alignment, pulled down by the forces of gravity. But Rebalancing Therapy can lift the body back up to a state of well-being, says a Cape Town teacher Sw. Prasado.
In the physical world, gravity dictates that what goes up must come down, fortunately, the same does not have to be true of your health. Tensegrity, the polar opposite of gravity, can lift your ailing body back up from the depths of illness and disease to a state of rising health, say Cape town based therapy teacher Prasado.
Prasado, founder of the Osho school for creative touch, will be in Sandton next month to give training courses in Rebalancing, at Vision lodge in Athol.
Rebalancing is a form of deep tissue massage that combines different disciplines with the principles of gravity and Tensegrity to achieve balance and harmony in body, mind and spirit.
If you have never heard of Tensegrity, your are not alone and you are probably not an architect. I could not find it in any of my English dictionaries. But I found it quickly enough through a search on the Internet, on a Harward medical school biochemistry website that applies the principle of Tensegrity to new definitions of biological design of the cytoskeleton,(cells and bones of the body). Tensegrity is an architectural term for the upliftment of matter via pulleys and levers. Medical scientists have taken it on board, along with related terms such as scaffolding, in formulating new medical models based on the concept that the body cells use Tensegrity architecture for their organization. Illness says Prasado, is simply a sign of a body out of balance or out of alignment, pulled down by the force of gravity. The principals of Tensegrity in Rebalancing involves the manipulation of tendons, ligaments, muscles and bones to lift up the body but also the mind and spirit. This can offset the effects of relentless downward forces that lead the body to weakness illness, disease and death. Not that he is suggesting that rebalancing can conquer death. It can however, turn on its head the pessimistic views that old age, frailty and declining health are our inevitable companions. It is possible to grow healthier as you grow older, says Prasado, and Rebalancing is also helpful for children, he says particularly in South Africa where the turbulent, violent nature of society regularly exposes young people to unacceptable and relentless levels of stress and pervasive fear. Early intervention through body work can prevent the deleterious effect of years of accumulated stress on young bodies, he says, because the key components for health at any stage of life are deep relaxation and the ability to leave in the moment. The latter sounds simple enough, but it remains a surprisingly lucid and difficult goal for many to attain, it is one reason why Rebalancing uses a unique combination of established, powerful massage techniques to hopefully improve the odds.
These include: movements originating from Rolfing, a form of deep tissue massage that is said to reach a deeper, myofascial layers of the body not reached through more ordinary massage techniques.
Movements Originating from postural Integration, a form of intensive body work focusing on posture and the role it plays in health.
Joint release, a form of therapy in which a therapist uses specific techniques on separate joins to release holding patterns and to ease spasms that can lead to a debilitating overload of tension in the body.
Liquid body work, as the body is made up of almost 80 percent water this therapy uses a form of touch to create rhythmical waves in the body. This teaches the person having the treatment how to behave and use the body in a more fluid way. It requires drinking lots of water to keep the body liquid.
Separately these therapies have proven their worth, says Prasado, but he believes they work better in combination that allows therapists to deviate from rigid structures and give their own creative input. Rebalancing is a process of transformation says Prasado a creative form of touch that eventually formulates a permanent awareness of how best to use the body. Prasado is the best advertisement for what he preaches. Now in his early 40’s he looks much younger than his years, with a relaxed, gentle features and a tranquil demeanour, to which he ascribes regular practice of meditation, and of course regular Rebalancing treatments.
Rebalancing is a path along which people can find a new relaxed place in the present, and slough off preoccupations with the past, essential prerequisites to be here now, he says. The therapists hands are the transmission tools of everything that is shared with the person on whom they are working. And that includes compassion and human warmth along with professional and scientific movements applied to muscle groups to release deep seated physical and emotional tensions. Breathing is also important part of the Rebalancing process. It is a major ingredient in the distribution of awareness, says Prasado, also in the distribution of the effects of the therapy. Apart from breathing to live, the body needs more oxygen to process waste products broken down through DEEP TISSUE and liquid bodywork he says.
Rebalancing was developed in the early 1980’s by a group of trained American and European physical therapists working at the Osho Multiversity in Oregon, an academic environment dedicated to the study of and practice of alternative methods of meditation and healing. The Multiversity has now moved to Poona India. Prasado’s courses are conducted in different modules, full time professional trainings, short intensive trainings and workshops, or earn as you learn modules, with practical and theoretical assignments in between. Course material covers the precise anatomy of the body, without which no self respecting body Work therapists could ever hope to apply his or her trade, and in depth study of psychosomatic tension as a function of psychoneuro-imunology (the scientific study of how the mind affect the body and vice versa), it is unique among the deep tissue therapies, he says, as the 10 session structure is a tool to work with, and not a rigid structure to cling to. Besides scientific knowledge of the strokes, precise anatomy, and theory of massage, there is space for creativity and even artistry on the practitioner’s part. The underlined concept of Rebalancing says Prasado, is that the body and the mind are one, and both are the home of the soul.