Chi Nei Tsang
For Happy, Healthy Organs
What is Chi Nei Tsang?
Chi Nei Tsang is a healing modality derived from the practices and teachings of ancient Chinese Taoist monks. The word ‘chi’ refers to the body’s vital energy. ‘Tsang’ refers to the internal organs. Thus, ‘Chi Nei Tsang’ refers to a transformation of the energy of the internal organs.
In modern society when we hear the word massage we usually think about our aching muscles. Our organs are an afterthought if they even reach our consciousness, even though they are vital to our overall health. This is reflected in our daily lives as we often don’t pay enough attention to the signals coming from our stomachs (just one more cookie!) or check in with the status of our liver. Many of us don’t realize that our stomachs aren’t located around our belly buttons (that’s your small intestines, the stomach is higher up and predominantly under your left rib cage!) and don’t give our organs much thought until something is acutely out balance, whether it be a digestive issue or the development of a debilitating condition.
In a Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) treatment massage is lovingly applied to the abdomen to improve the efficiency of the internal organs, reduce tension, and aid in emotional digestion. Different techniques are used to stimulate the proper functioning of the organs such as circling, rocking, activating pressure points, pumping organs, sliding with oil, and many other techniques used to encourage the release of tension and proper functioning.
Each of these techniques can be used to various effect. For example, sliding can be used in different ways to promote efficient organ functioning. Sliding underneath the rib cage can release tension in the diaphragm, allowing for more expansive breathing. Sliding along the digestive tract can aid physical digestion, and also the digestion of the emotional body. Sliding along the liver can help to bring bile in the duct shared with the gallbladder and pancreas.
CNT helps the body to relive stagnation, streamline the process of elimination, and improve the body’s immunity. Emotions imprint themselves onto the physical body and we carry these experiences with us whether we realize it or not. Unexpressed anger may affect the functioning of your liver, or unexpressed grief may express itself as a restriction to your lungs. CNT aims to treat all aspects of the human body, treating patients in their totality as a human being rather than just specific conditions a patient may exhibit. In this way CNT aims to release the root cause of underlying issues to provide long lasting relief rather than a temporary escape.
We can learn a great deal about the whole body by exploring the abdomen. Let’s take the shape of your navel as an example. When lying down relaxed many people will have a deviation from the deep, circular belly button shape. Look at the picture below. See how the belly button is pulling upwards toward the ribcage, making the belly button skinnier and longer? This could indicate a tightness around the lungs due to improper breathing or a tightness around the liver. In CNT we explore areas of tension to use as a guideline to direct our attention and intention.
CNT can also help to correct postural imbalances as it aids in restoring the organs and their surrounding supportive structures to proper positioning. This can help to alleviate chronic tension due to misalignment, common causes of lower back, shoulder, and neck pain.
In my experience CNT is about sending love to the belly. As the belly is an energetic hub (we received all our life sustaining energy from this area as a fetus) this love is spread to the organs and throughout the body. Deep transformation requires getting to the root cause of imbalance and increasing our own self-awareness. As a human being you are ultimately responsible for your own health. CNT helps to put you in touch with your body so that you can listen to it better as it speaks in sensation and emotions.
The ultimate goal of any true health care practitioner is to help facilitate the patient’s ability to heal their self. A treatment can help to you to digest and eliminate stagnant energy, lingering emotions that don’t serve you, and provide insight that you can use to take more active control of being responsible for your overall health; physically, emotionally, mentally, and energetically.