A couple of clients have asked me about Chi Nei Tsang, and am I experienced in this work. I am familiar with aspects of TCM, (Traditional Chinese Medicine), but because I was unfamiliar with this, I decided to investigate - to how if at all it shares any similarities, goals or methods of touch with Lomi Lomi.
What is Chi Nei Tsang?
Chi Nei Tsang is a centuries-old variety of healing touch therapy from China. It focuses on gentle abdominal massage in order to “train” the internal abdominal organs to work more efficiently, which in turn is said to improve physical and emotional health.
The words "Chi Nei Tsang" roughly translated mean "to work the energy of the internal organs” Practitioners adhere to the belief that unresolved emotional issues are stored in the digestive system.
Chi in Chinese, Ki in Japanese, or Mana in Hawaiian all translate to the inner life force or inner strength..
It is believed that Chi, the life-force energy, moves through the body’s internal channels, nervous system, blood vessels, and lymph glands. Tensions, worries, and stresses of the day, month, or year accumulate and are seldom dispersed. The result is the gradual obstruction of energy circulation, which may lead to any number of maladies including, but not limited to, indigestion, constipation, bloating, insomnia, whole body toxicity, poor skin quality, and an inability to lose weight.
The ancient Taoists realized that negative emotions cause serious damage to one’s health, impairing both physical and spiritual functions. They understood that each human emotion is an expression of energy and that certain emotions could indicate the negative energy behind many physical ailments. They also identified a specific cycle of relationships between the emotions and the organs. For example, the experience of a “knot” in one’s stomach indicated the presence of worry, the negative emotion that accumulates in the stomach and spleen.
Whereas I am not trained in this work, I can not speak to it beyond what I have read - however I do find similarities to the work that I am trained in, specifically Lomi Lomi.
Abdominal massage is an integral component of Lomi Lomi. For many it is their first experience with touch on the belly. This is a personal and emotional center on people, but without exception every one of my clients who has received it has enjoyed it.
Why is it so important to Lomi ?
Lomi lomi is thought to have started as a method of aiding in digestion. Its true, Hawaiian Royalty, after consuming large quantities of food would have a special servant Lomi Lomi their belly to aid in the digestion process. From there as the practice spread beyond the palace to villages and family, it was taken on by the kahunas of medicine and refined to address other physical and mental issues. A combination of observation, touch and medicinal herbs constituted successful medical practice. Later missionaries who arrived on Hawaii observed that Lomi Lomi was a remarkably relaxing experience that also induced calm and helped with sleep.
There are similarities between the beliefs and practices of many early cultures. So while I cannot speak to the claims of Chi Nei Tsang, and in general I refrain from exaggerated claims of any type when it comes to bodywork, I can tell you from observation that abdominal massage when incorporated into tradition or Lomi work has positive effects on peoples sense of well being. Abdominal work is always a choice, is is part of my regular intake. If you never tried, consider it as part of your next massage.
I write about things that I myself need to be mindful of. ways in which I would like to improve. It is not from the perspective of preaching - but rather writing helps me work out what I myself need to do - we are all in this together.