Over the last year, I have been delving deeper into the world of Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal massage) and it is so exciting! As you know, the abdomen is the physical storage container for all major organs. In Western Medicine, we connect these organs to many functions of the body including digestion, detoxification, and elimination. In the Taoist tradition, which Chi Nei Tsang is rooted in, very similar physiological functions are attributed to the organs as well as a number of other associations including emotions, colors, seasons of the year, sounds, animals etc. Under this holistic framework,Chi Nei Tsang sessions can:
Want to know more? Here are some frequently asked questions about Chi Nei Tsang:
What are you doing when you are massaging my belly?
The main goal for treatments is to clear out physical and energetic knots and tangles (stagnation) so that Qi (energy) can flow smoothly. A smooth flow of Qi allows for a pain free environment where organs can function at their best. Balanced organs are connected to balanced emotions, strong immune systems and healthy bodies.
Are you really going to rub my belly the whole time!?
Yes, the majority of the session will involve massage directly on your abdomen. I often incorporate breathwork and meditation into the session. Also don’t be surprised if you are sent home with homework. Doing self-massage on the abdomen and/or a specific meditation focused at an organ between sessions is a great way to speed up the clearing and healing process.
Does it hurt?
Massage should never hurt, but there may be tenderness in areas. We will work to a depth that is comfortable for you as well as deep enough to affect change. I like to think about it as peeling an onion. We will start by addressing the first layer of tension. Within the session and with regular sessions we will be able to peel away layers for long lasting change.
Can Chi Nei Tsang help with pain/tension in other areas of my body?
Yes! Releasing physical tension in the abdomen can have a direct affect on other areas of the body such as the low back, neck and shoulders. Here's an example of how abdominal massage can affect lower back pain due to constipation: When a person is chronically constipated the large intestine physically enlarges with fecal matter that is not being eliminated. The expansion of the large intestine puts pressure on the surrounding organs as well as the lower back. Addressing chronic constipation with abdominal massage and promoting regular elimination reduces this pressure from the lower back.
Interested in trying a session!? I recommend a 30 or 60 minute session if you would like to work solely in the abdominal area. Chi Nei Tsang can also be incorporated into a longer full body session. I recommend a 75, 90 or 120 minutes if you would like to include abdominal work into a full body session.
Amy Daws is a trained Therapeutic Massage, Shiatsu, and Chi Nei Tsang therapist. She is interested in the way that these modalities can bring healing and joy to people's lives.