Sunday, 8 April 2018

schwedische haus-gynastik

In an era before animation or interactive video, we found this German physical education manual’s use of double-exposure to capture motion and the steps of an exercise routine to be quite clever.
Looking a bit like an incarnation of Shiva, author Theodore Bergquist demonstrates various exercises through multiple super-positions based on a discipline developed by Pehr Henrik Ling, a medical doctor from Småland, who recognising the role that physical activity and preventative measures played in overall health, Ling conceived of a studio equipped with parallel bars, wall beams and the vaulting horse for daily practise. Bergquist above was also the director (Hofrat) of the spa retreat at Bad Wörishofen, also known for popularising hydrotherapy and the Kneippbad was developed here. As innovative as the pioneering Ling was, his association with the invention of Swedish massage is somewhat of a misattribution, with the term only existing in a limited Sprachraum and going by classical massage everywhere else, the standardised practise (to include tapotement—the word used for when they vigourous beat you) first described by Johann Erst Mezger, though Ling was the first to incorporate elements of Asian massage (awakening the subtle body or the nervous system) techniques and importantly lent the ideas of massage and exercise scientific credence.