Chi Nei Tsang



Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) is an ancient Oriental healing art that focuses primarily on the abdomen -- the area below the ribcage and above the pelvis. In Chinese, chi means electromagnetic energy or life force and tsang means the viscera (or internal organs). Chi Nei Tsang (pronounced chee-nayt-song and rhymes with Cheech and Chong), then means to work and balance the energy of the internal organs.

CNT was developed thousands of years ago by the same Chinese Taoist monks who originated Tai Chi, Qigong (Chi Kung), Feng Shui and Classical Chinese Medicine. These monks were alchemists and had very strong spiritual and martial arts practices. They concluded that the most effective manual method to transform a person's health was to work gently on and directly with the internal organs of the abdominal cavity.

The subtle, powerful bodywork they created was first introduced to North America 30 years ago by the Taoist master and prolific author Mantak Chia. CNT practitioners today use a combination of breathwork, transmitted energy and a deep, gentle touch that trains the internal organs to work more efficiently.

Chi Nei Tsang encourages the internal organs to return to their optimal position while restoring their natural unrestricted movement. Immediately the result is better organ function. CNT also restores vitality by triggering detoxification. It improves digestion, elimination and stimulates the lymphatic and circulatory systems. As the body clears itself of toxins, the immune system is strengthened and one becomes more resistance to disease.

CNT has also proved helpful in resolving many instances of stress, irritable bowel, incontinence, painful menstrual periods, as well as certain lingering complaints related to surgery, pregnancy or injury. Over a course of treatment there is the possibility of improved posture and relief from chronic pains in the back, hips, neck or shoulders.

Like their Taoist forefathers, modern CNT practitioners recognize that the body does not simply digest food. It also digests emotions. When overwhelmed, the body protects itself by burying the energy of the trauma (or 'indigestible' emotional or physical event) within the tissues and organs of the body -- until the person is ready to process it. CNT certainly stimulates physical digestion, but for its most enthusiastic devotees, it is also the bodywork which best improves emotional digestion of those old emotional charges that lie buried at the root of so many of our (mysterious) physical symptoms.

The initial CNT session is educational and exploratory. Clients are asked about troubling symptoms and their intent in seeking treatment. We learn to follow the breath and sense its restrictions. We start to expand the breath, and with it, our awareness. Conscious breathing brings us squarely into the Present Moment, the only time where healing can take place.

As body, mind and spirit are integrated through the breath, the body opens, as much as it is able, to a gradually deepening touch. No comfort barriers are trespassed. By the end of the session, a body attitude is revealed, reflecting any conflict within. A set of 5 to 7 sessions is generally indicated, punctuated by 1 - 3 weeks between each treatment. A regular rhythm encourages the body not to slip back into pattern; the space between each treatment honors the body-mind-spirit, by allowing it time for integration.

Most people have a profound response to work done at the navel center and at the body's core. The belly has many stories to tell. It wants us to listen. For some, CNT works mainly on the physical level. For others the work is deeply affecting emotionally. Five thousand years ago, our Taoist forefathers realized the belly and internal organs are where we store our undigested emotional life. They designed CNT to help create the balance and awareness in us that are the preconditions to enter sacred space. Here we can contact, begin to digest, and ultimately release what we no longer need. The physical body consequently shifts to reflect the liberation. This, then, is the way of Chi Nei Tsang: awareness, transformation, integration -- healing from within.