Chi Nei Tsang, an abdominal detox massage that originated in ancient China and literally means “working the energy of the internal organs,” is a highly effective form of holistic bodywork.
Based on the belief that worry, stress and tension can accumulate and manifest in the body, causing issues that can result in the physical entangling and knotting of the nerves, blood vessels and lymphatic nodes, Chi Nei Tsang has the ability to get to the root of your pain and stress by releasing tension and energetic blockages in the abdomen, and hence improving the flow of energy to your entire body.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
By using a sequence of deep, soft and gentle pressure on the abdomen, rib and pelvic area, this specialised therapy opens the flow of energy and increases the blood and lymph circulation in the abdomen, promoting greater chi flow to the entire body, and resulting in improved mental clarity, immunity, digestive health and better sleep quality.
Oftentimes, the abdominal muscles are chronically contracted, and the ligaments get released through gentle rocking, stretching, and shaking. This allows the diaphragm to relax and the breath to re-engage with the abdomen, so that internal organs receive energy and nutrients again to work more efficiently.
When the practitioner directly presses on specific points in the abdominal area that relate to internal organs, the receiver, guided by the therapist, is asked to use a specific breathing method and healing sounds.
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HOW CAN IT HELP YOU?
In addition to detoxifying and harmonizing your internal organs, Chi Nei Tsang is also a profoundly transformative therapeutic form of bodywork that helps to dissolve physical and emotional blocks in the abdominal area, allowing for an energetic balance to return.
Rahul Kalra, Resident Massage Practitioner at The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, describes it as an “emotional detox”. “Many people go through a lot of emotional extremes, sadness, depression, etc, and it gets stored in the different organs,” he says. “It’s physical touch, but when I work on the organs, the emotional release is far greater.
“Your stomach is like a second brain,” says Wanaree Srivichai, Holistic Practitioner and Energy Healer at RAKxa. “Emotion is held in the stomach and the whole abdomen area. Stress and worry is stored in the stomach, fear is held in the kidney and when you are happy or sad, it is felt in the heart. Chi Nei Tsang is a wonderful treatment that focuses on all these areas, releasing tension and blocked emotions which helps to improve energy levels and increase positivity. It also can help with sleep related issues. Serotonin hormone is held in the stomach so when released, it not only makes us feel happier, but it also ignites the melatonin in the brain which in turn helps improve sleep. When we sleep better, we feel more positive and have increased energy levels.”
Even though it can be quite painful at times, depending on the tension and stress we are holding on to in that area, Chi Nei Tsang can initiate a huge energetic release. People who have had this form of alternative therapy often reported that they were able to breathe deeply again, the upper body (shoulders and neck) became more relaxed, the abdominal area opened and became more energized, the ribcage and back became more flexible, and the flow of energy between the upper and lower parts of the body started flowing again.
“It allows for better circulation and improved flow of energy to the reproductive system,” says Buathon Thienarrom, a popular Visiting Practitioner and Chi Nei Tsang therapist based in Thailand. Indeed, the technique has helped many women with menstrual pain and infertility issues.
The number one benefit according to Kalra is an enhanced immune system. “Number two is the ability for the system to get rid of food waste quicker and absorb nutrients and energy more sufficiently,” he says.
A series of Chi Nei Tsang treatments is recommended to move stagnant energy and activate the flow of chi. Thienarrom recommends one session every month to maintain optimal chi flow in the abdominal region.
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CHI NEI TSANG HAS BEEN HELPFUL WITH:
– constipation, bloating, diarrhea
– removing knots and cramps in the abdomen
– improving digestive function
– menstrual pain
– infertility and impotency
– indigestion, acid reflux, heartburn
– irritable bowel syndrome
– back, neck and shoulder pain
– anxiety, hyperventilation, shortness of breath
– insomnia, sleep issues
– various emotional traumas
– urinary issues
– boosting immune system
– improving lymphatic flow
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WHEN NOT TO GET CHI NEI TSANG
Do not undergo Chi Nei Tsang when you are pregnant or menstruating, if you have an IUD or artificial implant, if you had an operation within the last 6 months, if you have been diagnosed with cancer or vascular abnormalities, such as thrombosis or a severe case of varicose veins, or if you have a fever.
Rahul Kalra is a Resident Massage Practitioner at The Mandarin Spa at Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong where he offers 90min Chi Nei Tsang treatments among other therapies.
Wanaree Srivichai is a Holistic Practitioner and Energy Healer at RAKxa. She is a Chi Nei Tsang expert.
Dr. Buathon Thienarrom is a holistic practitioner from Thailand with an expansive knowledge of alternative medicine, Taoist practice and Tibetan medicine. She practices Chi Nei Tsang among many other modalities.
See also: 7 Lesser-Known Holistic Therapies