Ba Mai and the Fluid Body: Explorations in the morphology and inherent movement palpation
The Extraordinary Vessels are one fascinating piece of TEAM, with their overarching influence, connection with primal qi, and unique place as gateway between internal alchemy Nei Dan and medicine. The direct perception of the vessels themselves has been largely overlooked in our field of medicine, relegated to the Nei Dan practitioners and their field of internal alchemy. More often than not, our decision-making process when selecting a vessel for treatment tends to be based on theoretical considerations and/or indirect forms of palpation (as the pulse or the abdomen). Few scholars have taken the bold step of exploring the Ba Mai from both perspectives, keeping a fluid and open-minded approach while rigorously pursuing clinical efficacy. Li Shizhen, the outstanding XVI century physician, was one of those scholars. Li Shizhen himself was a medical and Nei Dan practitioner, and in his seminal book Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao he approaches the issue from both perspectives, revisiting previous knowledge on the topic and adding his own interpretations. After a couple of decades working on the Ba Mai, and 11 years of work on Li Shizhen’s Qi Jing Ba Mai Kao, Charles Chace, who was a practitioner of both these disciplines and one of the core developers of Engaging Vitality, mapped out the Morphology of the Ba Mai on the Fluid Body. The Engaging Vitality palpatory skills served him to bring direct access of the Ba Mai back into the medical realm, allowing any practitioner of medicine (even without inner alchemy or Qi-Gong training) to grasp them in a tangible and clinically useful way.
The Fluid Body and the Ba Mai share some characteristics. For instance, they organize themselves around a midline and they tend to layer themselves. These, and the palpatory training to be able to listen to the Fluid Body, are the starting points of the journey that takes us into engaging the Ba Mai in one of their most direct manifestations: The Morphology.
We’ll be exploring yet another form of palpation for the Ba Mai in this seminar. Developed after the Fluid Body palpation and making use of the palpatory skills acquired with the Engaging Vitality training. The Inherent Movement palpation is a complementary approach to directly engage the vessels by listening to their movement. We can directly palpate or resonate with the inherent movements of the vessels; this offers another angle to approach them and another cross-referencing tool.
In this seminar we will explore both of these novel ways to directly contact the Ba Mai and will be cross referencing this with abdominal palpation and simplified forms of Ba Mai pulse diagnosis coming from Li Shi-zhen.
This class is complementary to the Ignition class taught by Felix de Haas, where the Nei Dan and inner cultivation aspects are explored in depth, as well as the palpatory references for the midline and midspace, and the concept of Ignition.
Revisiting the Shape of the Qi.
Revisiting the Fluid Body.
Revisiting pulse and abdominal diagnosis for the Ba Mai.
The Ba Mai as fields of influence, general indications, trajectory and treatment holes.
The morphology, mapping the terrain.
Walking the path: practice session on the morphology, how it feels under our hands and how to work with it in clinic.
Inherent movement: generalities and conceptual frameworks.
Palpation and recognition: practice sessions to learn how to tune into the inherent movement of the vessels.
Putting it all together: practice sessions to cross reference the multiple ways of listening at the Ba Mai and work with it in clinic.
About the teacher
Rayén Antón started her path into Chinese Medicine in 2002 and then graduated as TCM practitioner in the Fundación Europea de Medicina Tradicional China in Barcelona. Later she continued studying various types of Japanese acupuncture with Stephen Birch learning Manaka style, Meridian Therapy and Shonishin, and graduated in 2007 as Toyohari practitioner with the European Branch of Toyohari Association. In 2011 started her path with Engaging Vitality studying with Charles Chace and Dan Bensky, and she fully integrated the Engaging Vitality approach into her practice ever since. She now runs the Engaging Vitality Spanish study groups and also teaches the introductory module in Spain. Currently she is teaching Engaging Vitality basic modules and intermediate classes at different locations in Europe.
She has been working as well with Prof. Manuel Rodríguez in Barcelona for his TCM, Manaka, Meridian Therapy and Pediatric trainings since 2005, and was part of his clinic team since 2003 and since 2010 she added running her private acupuncture practice in Barcelona.