[For those interested, here is a link to a 20-page read-only PDF that provides an overview of much of what is included in the book.--OH]
From that PDF overview:
One of the sequelae from the recent industrial and electronic revolutions is a society increasingly alienated from its body. While a few hone their kinesthetic skills through sport and dance (while others hone their reflexes with sophisticated computer games), many more are losing muscle mass, losing an accurate body image, and generally losing ‘touch’.
Physical education and manual therapy, in both their traditional and holistic forms, seek to restore balance, awareness, proper functioning, and a healthy relationship with the physical self. New models, such as the concepts outlined above and other systems-oriented views, open new avenues for a populace weakened by constant sitting, fixed focal lengths, improper footwear treading relentlessly flat surfaces, cheapened sexuality, reduced contact with the natural world, lack of activity, and poor education concerning their physical selves from infancy on up. One major challenge for the 21st century is to adapt body systems forged in a Neolithic world to the socially crowded and almost entirely man-made environment we are rapidly constructing worldwide.
We are accustomed to the idea of IQ – measuring the intelligence of the brain. We are becoming more accustomed to EQ – the idea of emotional intelligence. What is needed is a map to the territory of KQ – kinesthetic intelligence, the intelligence of the body in motion. From the skill and awareness that makes an awkward body graceful to the inherent sense that warns us of impending danger; from the precise coordination required in a basketball lay-up to the body memory involved in plucking just the right strings on a harp; from the wisdom of rest and activity cycles to the cellular letting go required to forgive – there is great intelligence in the body that is not yet well understood. Therefore it is not being taught, and therefore it is being progressively lost, except for small pockets within Eastern and Western medicine where what the great physiologist Walter Cannon called the 'wisdom of the body' is being honored and developed. The most reasonable part in us is the part that does not reason.
These various lines of inquiry into KQ could be gathered under the banner of ‘Spatial Medicine’ (as opposed to the medicine of Matter [allopathic or nutritional], or the medicine of Time [psychotherapy or shamanism]). What can we learn from how humans are arranged in space, and how they perceive and work with their spatial arrangement? Osteopathy, chiropractic, orthopedics and physiotherapy would qualify as Spatial Medicine. So do the entire alphabet of new (and old) therapies from Alexander, Bioenergetics and Continuum, through Feldenkrais and Gyrotonics, to Rolfing, Somatics, and Tai Chi, all the way to Yoga and Zero Balancing. All these (and the many more not named) are inquiries into our spatial relationships and their meaning, and all seem to contribute to the whole picture. Shifting the positions of bones, altering the length of fascial and myofascial tissues, and training the neuro-muscular system all aim for the same goal – easy, generous, poised movement, structural stability, and the extension of healthy movement into later life.
In short, a systems view (as opposed to the symptoms view) of our structural and movement selves is required to counter the destructive effects of the world we have created for ourselves. The anatomical details so vividly and economically set forth in this book can help with the task of finding, restoring, appreciating, and properly using our amazing locomotor system. So can new overall organizing schemes like the Anatomy Trains – the ever-smaller can be put into service of the ever-larger, and vice versa. True human intelligence – what Norbert Weiner called ‘the human use of human beings’ – will be attained not by transcending the physical self, but only through our full participation with our marvelous physicality.