The Three Bodies

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There is a very useful orientation in biodynamic osteopathic practice that helps orient practitioners to the dynamics of primary respiration called the three bodies. They are (1) the physical body (2) the fluid body, and (3) the tidal body.

The physical body is composed of the body’s cells and tissues. It also includes the deeper organization of these as embryological form and development. The embryo has become an archetypal presence in biodynamic work and the skilled practitioner can sense embryological forces and organization at work even in the adult system. The mid-tide is sensed as motility within the cells and tissues of the physical body at a rhythmic rate of 1-3 cycles a minute.

The fluid body includes all of the body’s fluids as a unified field of action, and is the medium within which the potency of the Breath of Life is expressed. As potency is expressed within the fluid body, it generates the fluid tide and, because of this, it is also called tidal potency. Within the fluid body, tidal potency is the activating and organizing principle, fluids are the medium for that principle, and the physical body is organized around its action.

Within the natural world it is water that conveys the most primary and formative forces of life. In this sense, the fluid body is truly an expression of the waters of life itself and is a holistic fluid-entity that has primordial origins. From the first cell that emerged from the primeval ooze, to the most complex organism alive today, it is the fluid body of that organism which allows life to exist and take form. This fluid-potency field can be sensed 50 centimetres/20inches or so around the body as an energetic presence. The mid-tide is sensed as the fluid tide within the fluid body.

The tidal body refers to the wider tidal presence of the Long Tide as the root of primary respiration within which the midline, ordering matrix, fluid body and body-mind system is suspended and breathed. The tidal body has its midline through the centerline of the physical body, extends into space as a vast torus-shaped field that seems to suspend the fluid and physical bodies in the vastness of the universe. As one settles into a still relationship to the presence of the Long Tide as tidal body, it can seem that the totality of the client’s mind-body system, and his or her fluid and physical bodies, are suspended within its action.

Sensing the Long Tide as a tidal body helps the practitioner orient to its subtle substance. Its presence as a suspensory ordering field can be directly sensed. It is not just an airy entity, but is vital and potent and can be sensed as a truly substantial presence both within and around the client’s system and within the universe as a whole. The tidal motion within the tidal body is sensed as a stable rhythmic phenomenon of 100 seconds (50 seconds of inhalation and 50 seconds of exhalation) oriented to a person’s midline.