Qiological Live
Engaging Vitality, Qi Signal Assessment

Photo: Monika Chace, Bristlecone Pine and the Milky Way

Engaging Vitality (EV) is a set of palpatory and cognitive tools that help practitioners understand and feel how to better work with their patients. Developed as a fusion of osteopathic and Traditional East Asian medical concepts and techniques, the EV toolbox can be applied to a wide variety of TEAM modalities.

Qi Signal Assessment (QSA) is a core palpatory technique taught in the EV Introductory Series. Based on work pioneered by Jean-Pierre Barral, QSA utilizes off-the-body sensations for a variety of diagnostic information, including the overall health and activity of the qi in a region of the body, which is what we will cover in this class. This will help us discern which area of the body is most in need of our work as well as providing almost instantaneous feedback on the effect (good or bad) or our treatments. It has a variety of other uses as well, for example as a very useful aid in the location of appropriate ‘active’ points.

In this introductory webinar, four Engaging Vitality teachers (Kailey Brennan, Velia Wortman, Jack Rader, and Dan Bensky) will teach students how to perform QSA and discuss its wide-ranging applicability for practitioners of TEAM.

In this real time event we
  •  Review the importance of palpation in the practice of Traditional East Asian Medicine
  • Understand some of the basic premises of Engaging Vitality as they apply to clinical practice
  • Learn how to feel the Qi Signal Assessment (QSA)
  • Learn how to apply QSA to an assessment of the basic functioning of the three burners and how that can be applied to help your patients

You’ll have lifetime access to the recording of this Qiological Live seminar

Recorded seminar fee $35, length 90 minutes

Acupuncture is not sticking needles in people; it is using needles to get a positive response from the organism

Photo: Monika Chace, Hawaii

Your Instructors For This Class

Dan Bensky

I’ve been interested in things East Asian since I was a boy and stumbled into Traditional East Asian Medicine [TEAM] by chance in the early 1970’s. At the time it was not only very hard to find a place to study, it was even hard to know what or how to study.

 This sense of wonder has stayed with me for the past 45 years. 

My experiences, in Taiwan, Japan, China and the US have shown me that the greatest thing about this medicine is that it has so many tools that aid in being open to paying attention to and helping our patients on a multitude of levels.

Similarly, engagement with the medicine demands that we dive into the traditions without being stuck in them so that we can connect to and be a part of them. I have been helped along this path when, again by chance, I became interested in osteopathic medicine in the late 1970’s and had the good fortune to go to Michigan State University where I was able to work with some amazing teachers. It became quickly obvious to me that TEAM and osteopathy were complementary on many, many levels and I’ve been working on integrating them and attempting to understand how each illuminates the other ever since.

Velia Wortman

Born in Mexico City to an Anglo- Canadian father and a Chinese mother and grew up in the Caribbean. After studying social anthropology at the University of Toronto I went to the UK to study medicine at the Royal Free Hospital. In 1978 my brother and I were invited to China as part of a delegation organized by old “China hands” including the British scholar Joseph Needham. Here, we had the opportunity to see how Chinese medicine was practised in TCM hospitals and by “barefoot doctors”.

Around 20 years, four children and two medical specialties later, I began to study acupuncture in Germany and Chinese herbal medicine at the Anglo-Dutch College with Ted Kaptchuk. Here I also met Dan Bensky where he presented the Engaging Vitality method combining osteopathic techniques with acupuncture. Since then, I have used and taught this unique style of practice with great success.


Kailey Brennan

I graduated from the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Denver, Colorado in 2015. I studied 5 Element, Japanese, TCM, and distal styles intensively while in school but graduated feeling quite dissatisfied and unsure of how some of the core teachings of East Asian medicine could be thought about in an experiential, hands-on way, as well as in the immediacy of working with patients. It all felt incredibly abstract to me at that point.

I heard out about a palpation workshop taking place in Boulder called Engaging Vitality and found that Dan Bensky, Marguerite Dinkins, and Chip Chace were speaking about and teaching acupuncture in a way that was incredibly vivid, fresh, and deeply interesting. Practicing acupuncture became more kinesthetically and experientially satisfying the more I worked with the palpation tools taught in EV. I have a clinical practice in the Denver area and specialize in working with fertility, women’s health, and emotional well-being.

Jack Radner, L.Ac

I love working with my hands. While it was originally the elegance and simplicity and depth of Chinese Medical theory that attracted me to begin my studies at The Seattle Institute of East Asian Medicine in 2000, it wasn’t too long after starting school that I began to appreciate the hands-on nature of the medicine. Early on, Dan Bensky introduced me to some of the basics of what is now Engaging Vitality, and I supplemented this with studies of Craniosacral therapy. Focusing on quality of contact, and on subtle forms of palpation and listening techniques, listening to and following my hands, I have so often been taken in unexpected directions with treatments.

Engaging Vitality palpation techniques, and treatments based on this palpation, have become the core of the way I practice, and have brought TEAM to life in my clinic, inspiring me to keep learning and growing as a practitioner. I have been practicing in Amherst, Massachusetts in a palpation-based community acupuncture clinic and a university health clinic for the past 15 years, and I continue to study and assist in teaching the EV material.