Integrative Bio-Systems Design.

The Bio-energetic Landscape

In ancient taoist thought, the circulation and storage of Chi within the body was compared to an agricultural system of channels, fields and ponds.

Exploring the Landscape Analogy

Channels served the movement and balancing of water in the landscape, while ponds linked by channels served to collect and store water so that it could be discharged where it was needed. Fields served as buffers, absorbing surplus, gradually re-charging the channels and maintaining the water-table, but also relying on the supply of water from channels to sustain growth and maintain life processes. Blockages could cause stagnation and also prevent the flow of life-giving water to areas that need it, while excessive flows could damage channels and flood areas with excessive water, rotting crops and causing illness.

Jing Luo

This system is referred to as the Jing Luo system. Another useful analogy, which emphasises the interconnectedness of the bio-energetic system, is a spider’s web - touch any strand, and the entire web reverberates. The Jing Luo consists of 12 (in 6 pairs) major channels (Jing) through which Ying Chi circulates and 8 extraordinary vessels (Luo) which are analogous to the ponds mentioned above, storing and regulating.The Jing are thought to connect various organ systems, each of which subtly transforms the Ying Chi that moves through it.

Dan Tien - The Elixir Fields

Another essential aspect of the bio-energetic landscape of the body is the concept of dan tien - energy fields. Khor indicates that the meaning of fields here is related to a cultivated landscape. The comparison with the chakras described in yogic traditions is tempting. It is useful to imagine the dan tiens as three-dimensional energetic vortices that draw Chi inwards on one pole, concentrating it in its core, then emanating and dissipating it on the other.

Generally, three primary dan tiens are recognised.

Shang Dan Tien

The Shang Dan Tien interpenetrates the top and front of the head. Like the yogic third-eye and crown chakras, the shang dan tien is associated with the pineal and pituitary glands. It is here that refined Shen Chi is said to be most strongly concentrated. Read more about Shen Chi…

Jong Dan Tien

The Jong Dan Tien is located in the solar plexus area. It is said to be the field which yields the Ren Chi from the blending of Yuan Chi and Jen Chi. Read more about Ren Chi…

Shiah Dan Tien

The Shiah Dan Tien is traditionally located in an area about three fingers’ width beneath the navel, within the body. It is considered the seat of Jieng Chi. Read more about Jieng Chi…

These different phases of Chi are generally summed up with the concept of the San Jiao or three treasures. Read more about the three treasures…

Recent scientific research is revealing very interesting bio-energetic correlates of chi. Read more about bio-electricity…

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