An editorial note before we begin: I want to describe what I mean by the word magic. With no room for illusion, tricks or slight of hand here, this magic I’m writing about is what gives the spark to life itself.
“Magic” as in the sense of wonder, awe and alchemy. It is the magic of flower buds in early spring, the magic of walking home on balmy summer’s night and the magic in that instance of recognition, that turns strangers into “more than” where one plus one equals more the two.
This magic is synergy.
Our 21st Century World and the Relevancy of Traditional Chinese Medicine
We live in a world where we may at times feel bombarded by things we should do, have to do, must do. From every angle and direction information is coming at us at vary speeds and with varying intentions.
We are sometimes stopped in our tracks, frozen with indecision by all the presenting possibilities and situations. We feel as if we have lost our footing, lost our centre and feel adrift without any real purpose.
We are taught to value and consider the opinions and findings of experts and loved ones without any real value placed on how it feels compared to our own inner knowing.
In fact, we may not even be aware of the importance of such a thing or may have not found the words to fully describe that which is none-the-less felt at the deepest level; a mental, physical and soul level tension caused by a disconnect to our inner-most being.
So What is Chi Nei Tsang ("Chee-Nay-Tsang"): The Potential for Transformation
Chi Nei Tsang, which is founded on the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine, is centered on the observation and allowing of, and merging with our inner experience, because in the middle of that experience, exists the magic:
The potential for transformation.
We spend a lot of time fighting. Working hard at something, fighting for something. Fighting for what we want and fighting against (to eradicate or eliminate) what want we don't want.
Frankly, this fight can be generally terribly exhausting for us as human beings.
Although there is a space and valid reasons for this fight, there is also so much space…so much room for another way. The yin to a usual yang approach to our health.
Chi Nei Tsang guides us from the realm of rational thought in the head to the intelligent felt-sense found within our bodies.
Chi Nei Tang is a hands-on form of body therapy that combines breath, mindfulness, and deep, soft and gentle subtle physical touch applied to the abdomen and other areas of the body such as the neck, sternum and sacrum.
This form of body therapy trains the internal organs to work more effectively and efficiently by triggering internal “adjustments” through the process of insight.
Insight, but Much, Much More...
Insight, which literally means “seeing inwards” is not necessarily mental and is not always conscious, as it often occurs during sleep or states of consciousness reached through deep relaxation, meditation or while being absorbed in nature. Insight is birthed from the connections made between our inner workings that were not previously communicating.
Insight creates a feeling, emotion or thought that helps us know something essential about our lives.
Insight involves our intuition and Chi Nei Tsang helps us to move from being fuelled by instinct to being empowered by intuition.
The Connection Between Chi Nei Tsang & The Belly / Abdomen
Whether it is currently bloated, toned, scarred or “at ease”, our bellies contain organs and performs essential functions critical for our survival. Additionally, our viscera is also designed to help us to live beyond a basic level of survival. Apart from just getting us from one day to the next, our bodies can take us to a place of possessing an “at ease-ness” and resilience within our lives as a whole, through all types of circumstances.
According to Chinese Medicine theory, our organs, along with their physiological functions, help us process and digest the emotions and feelings that arise from the situations we experience in our lives.
Our bellies (and our bodies as a whole) are designed to operate as an "open system". This open system has a natural rhythm and flow; where new things enter, get progressed and integrated into the whole, while ideally, the old, outdated gets released.
When our body feels under stress however (whether from shock, accumulated stress or early developmental/childhood trauma), this natural rhythm and flow gets impaired and the body enters protection / closed mode.
In this protective mode, these adverse stress reactions get trapped in the nervous system and may stay unresolved unless processed consciously.
Four Tell-Tale Signs That Our Bodies are Storing Adverse Stress Reactions
Rigidity and tension
Shutdown: such as low energy, metabolism and feelings of depression
Feelings of overwhelming or confusion
Poor feelings of resilience: oversensitivity and reduced ability to “bounce back” from stressful events
Through meditative practices, the Taoist sages of ancient China learned to look within and observed the importance of this “flow” not only in nature but also within the body (our bodies being a microcosm of the entire universe).
When this internal flow is compromised, this often results in the development of tangible “knots”, “tangles” and sore spots in our abdomens that constricts the vital functioning of our organs and how we experience our life force energy.
Internal flow can be compromised by :
Overwork & stress
Our food choices (and habits around eating)
How we experience the emotions (such as fear, anger, anxiety, sadness and worry) that naturally arise as we live our lives. This is very important to Chi Nei Tsang theory.
Over time, if flow and the open system is not restored, this internal tension in individual organs begin to overflow into other body systems and eventually collects in the abdomen.
Chi Nei Tsang & the Connection to our Energetic Body Center
The energetic centre of our physical body, located at the navel, becomes congested and cut off from the rest of the body, which can lead to feelings of overwhelm, lower sense of resilience and a myriad of physical and emotional manifestations of internal disharmony.
Some symptoms of internal disharmony that may arise when the body is in protection mode include :
Emotional ups and downs
Muscular tension or pain
Immune System Breakdown
Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Fertility & Menstrual Concerns
Chi Nei Tsang helps to create the space that allows for then illumination and clarification of our emotional lives by bring us in touch with ourselves. It is this connection to our centre that inspires us to evolve in the direction of our highest potential and purpose.
Herein lies the true magic.