Ba Mai, Dynamic Stillness, Mid-space and Ignition

One gives birth to two

What formerly was Charles Chace's module on Ignition and integration, and expansion on the Extraordinary Vessels will be now 2 non-sequential but complementary classes:
  • Ba Mai, gateway to deeper dynamic stillness: explorations on the Morphology and inherent movement 
  • Mid-space and Ignition
Although non-sequential, this seminars build on eachother. The Ba Mai class (presented by Rayén Antón) builds on the previous knowledge acquired with the Engaging Vitality Basic Training; the Mid-space and Ignition class (presented by Felix DeHaas) builds on this, and also benefits greatly from the skills acquired on the Ba Mai class...

Ba Mai: explorations on 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 and keeping a fluid and open-minded approach while rigorously pursuit clinical efficacy. Li Shizhen, the outstanding XVI century physician, was one of those scholars. Li Shizhen was himself a medicine 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 as well 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 back to medicine the possibility of accessing the Ba Mai directly, allowing to any practitioner of medicine -even without inner alchemy or qi gong training- a grasp of them in a tangible and 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. This, and the palpatory skills trained enough to be able to listen at the Fluid Body, are the starting point of the journey that takes us to engage the Ba Mai in one of their most direct manifestations.
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 at 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 Shizhen.
This class is complementary to the Ignition class taught by Felix DeHaas, where the Nei Dan and inner cultivation aspects are explored in depth, and also the palpatory references for the midline.

Requirements to take this class:   
Basic Engaging Vitality training (Modules 1-2-3 or similar).

Duration of the class: 2 days.

General topics:
·         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 does it feel under our hands. 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. 

Trainer: Rayén Antón (assisted by Felix DeHaas). 

Mid-space and Ignition


The mid-space or midline is a concept which has always played an important role in East Asian Medicine as well as in Osteopathy.

In East Asian Medicine and Inner Cultivation traditions we find many references to the Mid-space. It is narrowly connected with the ideas about the Extraordinary Vessels which have developed over the last 2000 years. From East Asian Medical and Inner Cultivation perspectives the Du, Ren and Chong Mai are all expressions of the Mid-space. In some Inner cultivation texts we can find also the mentioning of an even more central aspect, the Zhong Mai or Central Vessel.
Also, from Osteopathic and Cranial perspectives the Mid-space is a very important concept.

Thanks to great scholars as Li Shi-zhen who integrated knowledge from inner cultivation literature into the medical literature we have now access to a wider view of the Extraordinary Vessels.

We can see the Mid-space as the core of our system, or as the central axis, on which our whole system organizes itself around. In the clinical setting is the free flow in and openness of the Mid-space essential. If we are able to palpate the mid-space and are able to open it up, we can greatly improve the whole self-reorganizing ability of the system.

Another aspect of the Mid-space is the concept that the Chong, Ren and Du Mai are all expressions of the Yuan Qi 元氣 (Primal Qi)

We have to realize that the Mid-space is narrowly related with all the other channels, be it Extra ordinary Vessels, Primal Channels, Divergent channels, Collaterals etc. Also they are narrowly related to different aspects of Qi, Blood and Fluids.


Ignition is a palpable process in which we perceive comprehensive transformations related to the influence of the Yuan Qi 元氣  (Primal Qi) on the body. These transformations express themselves as improved coherence, communication, connections and organization.
Ignition could be viewed as a kind of super De Qi 得氣 , a situation in which the whole system makes a major shift towards a therapeutic change. If it happens it is a pretty reliable measure that some significant and lasting shift in momentum of the health of the patient took place.

This is not something which can be forced and not necessarily happens in every treatment. But we can facilitate this process and once so often it can happen in a clinical setting. For being able to facilitate this process the practitioner needs to rest in the SSIO to the best of their capacity. By recognizing the Shi 勢 (propensity) and Ji 機 (Qi dynamic) the practitioner could estimate if he or she has an opportunity to facilitate the Ignition. It deserves a certain amount of Yi (Attention/Awareness) of the practitioner.

Ignition is also closely related to the Mid-space and its dynamics. So a basic understanding of the Mid-space and the ability to palpate the Mid-space is crucial here at this stage.

This workshop has grown out many years of practice and experience of Charles (Chip) Chace who studied this material thoroughly and developed it in conjunction with other aspects of Engaging Vitality. At the moment this material will be presented by Felix de Haas a close student of Chip and because of his own background very familiar with this material.

In this seminar we will learn:

·        How the Mid-space is perceived from TEAM and Inner Cultivation traditions.
·        How we can palpate the Mid-space
·        How we can improve the free flow in and openness of the Mid-space
·        How the opening of the Mid-space can facilitate the self-reorganizing ability of the body.
·        How to facilitate the process of Ignition

Set up of the workshop
Saturday morning : Introduction to the main concepts of the Mid-space and its history in TEAM and Inner Cultivation.

Saturday midday : Learning to palpate the Mid-space

Sunday Morning : Introduction into the concept of Ignition and learning to facilitate Ignition

Sunday Midday: Integration of this material in the wider context of Engaging Vitality and TEAM.

This seminar is a complementary intermediate class to:  Ba Mai; explorations on the morphology and inherent movement palpation..

Intermediate class on Mid space and Ignition will be given by Felix de Haas assisted by Rayen Anton (the other intermediate class about the Bai Mai will be given  by Rayen Anton assisted by Felix de Haas)

Requirements to take this class: have completed the basic Engaging Vitality training (Modules 1-2-3 or similar basic training)

If you're interested on these classes, check our section CALENDAR and find your next destination!

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