Energy blockages arising from organ obstructions and congestion in the abdomen can result in
knots and tangles at the centre of the bodys vital functions, impeding the flow of
Qi, the life-force or bioelectromagnetic field described by Deepak Chopra as
energy-intelligence. Emotions such as fear, anger, anxiety, depression and worry are
related to different organs. When the Qi of an internal organ is in a state of imbalance,
it emanates toxic wind. Diagnosing the energetic condition, the Chi Nei Tsang practitioner
uses intention and touch to influence the participants Qi and "chase the
Wind is an energetic vibration which,
whether toxic or the vital source of life, enters the being through the
"mountains", which include the pointed bones of the nose, coccyx, fingers, toes,
knees and elbows. Winds drain out through "marshes" such as the anus, vagina,
eye of the penis, pores of the skin, mouth, armpits, backs of knees and front of elbows.
The mouth, navel, palm, sole and perineum are among the two-way conduits. A practitioner
disperses or directs winds through marsh or mountain, often using supplementary meridians
When obstructed the internal organs store
unhealthy energies than can overflow into other systems and manifest as negative emotions
and sickness. In search of an outlet these toxic energies create a cycle of negativity and
stress, festering in the organs and overflowing into the abdomen, the bodys garbage
dump. The energetic centre of the body at the navel becomes congested and cut off from the
rest of the body.
Experiment: sitting upright, relax shoulders, relax posture so the abdomen is soft. Place the
tip of your middle finger in your navel. Gently, and very slowly, keep the finger rigid
and push inwards towards your spine. How far can you comfortably go? When the finger can
penetrate to the front of the spine, without pain, you are clear, free of the physical
residue of long-past emotions.
Where do you feel your emotions? The knot
of worry, the slithering eel of fear, the ache of desire, the heat of anger, the butterfly
of anxiety? They are intensely physical feelings, are they not? In and around your belly.
What is happening? Your being is energetically convulsed. The Qi, linking mind and body,
rushes through the channels like a hot torrent or a sliver of ice, the feeling as quick as
thought, energy-intelligence in action. Nerves twist and tighten, cells react, connective
tissues writhe, distorting the fasciae of capillaries, veins and arterioles, muscles and
Such intensity of feeling cannot be
sustained. Storms blow over, leaving after-effects. Knots, tangles and lumps remain in the
abdomen - long after the rational self has "dealt with" the emotional condition
- reinforced by repetition, layer of distortion upon layer, added to by every feeling, the
older the deeper, impeding the Qi, stagnating.
By working in the centre, the practitioner
addresses the core of a condition in its deepest hiding place, the junction of the
meridians internal routes; the points of energy infusion; the vortices of the
abdominal energy-centres; and the residence of the deities of the internal universe: the
major organs in their membranous sacs of protective and connective tissue, attached to and
suspended from the spine and edged by ribs, hips, pubis and sternum, and beating with
The great arterial aorta runs through,
bifurcating at the centre, pumping blood out to the distal parts while a cavernous vein
passes the other way lifting used blood back to the heart for recycling, and the vagus
nerve runs the communications. A mass of tubes, bladders, reproductive organs pack the
spaces, attachments and connections with mesenteric arteries, arterioles, veins and
capillaries, lymph nodes and nodules, tendrils of nerves, endocrine glands, muscles in
broad sheets near the surface and the deep chunky psoas providing a tensile connection
between spine and femur. Fatty tissues like rows of sweetcorn and bunches of small grapes
cling to the sides of tubes and organs, and the whole and each part down to the smallest
cell is protected and connected by webs of fasciae - the connective tissue, from the
diaphragm to the perineum, from the centre to the limbs, from the navel to the wrists and
ankles. Connective tissue is the common network for bodily systems and energy pathways.
Experiment: grab a handful of material of the clothes you are wearing,
around the navel area,
and twist. Feel where the tension goes. See where the material distorts - what is the most
distal point? Imagine the turmoil inside, when just the surface tension is so dramatic -
preparation: "opening the wind
gates"; centering, balancing and flushing the circulatory system, and detoxifying the
lymphatic system. Toxic winds are thus provided with both physical and energetic escape
routes. These preparatory processes may be spread over a series of treatments as clinical
experience has shown it counterproductive to detoxify in one session more than the body
can eliminate - the healing crisis can be too severe.
Escape-routes clear, work can begin on the
organs themselves or any knots, tangles and lumps found in the abdomen. Treatment includes
visual diagnosis of the navel centre for signs of pulls towards areas of congestion,
scanning with the palm (PC8) the winds emanating from the organs, use of intention,
focussed massage, and specific therapeutic meditations such as the Healing Sounds which
help cool and detoxify. Visualisation by the participant helps the profound effect of this
combination of physical, energetic and spiritual therapy.
Focussed massage to points in the navel
area slightly melts the gelatinous coating around local cells, releasing suspended toxins
into the lymphatic system and enhancing conductivity of the connective tissue, enabling
pain-relieving messages to spread through the embryonic meridians radiating out from the
navel centre. Knots, tangles and lumps, the aftermath of forgotten emotion, begin to
loosen, ready to be unravelled or dissolved.
Toxic winds released are dispersed or
directed out through marsh or mountain, combining other, supplementary, points and
channels for specific purposes:
Stomach Channel, elimination route from the
front points either side of the navel (ST25 in combination with other Front-Mu or Bo
points), particularly useful for disturbance of the spirit - emotional - digestive,
reproductive, back pain, cardiovascular conditions, stagnation, distortions of the
Gall Bladder Channel for the sides, at the
point of the 12th rib (GB25) for liver and pancreatic conditions;
Urinary Bladder for the back (UB23 in
combination with other Back-Shu or Yu points) for depletion and kidney conditions; UB51 -
particularly effective for tumours and other deep abdominal conditions.
As always, the question arises: how many
treatments do I need? As always, the answer depends on the condition, the participant, the
practitioner and the homework. Homework encourages participants to share in their own
healing and might include self-massage and meditations such as the Inner Smile to
strengthen the Qi of the organs and aid in adjustments to self-perception and life-style,
and the Microcosmic Orbit to harmonise energy-flow.
It would be unusual for less than four or
more than twelve treatments to be needed, to reach the point where the finger can reach
the spine and the participant is free: of the physical residue of past emotion, or
internal distortions, lesions and adhesions of past surgery; or the symptoms of presenting
conditions have been addressed and, more often than not, relieved.
Summary of effects of Chi Nei Tsang
in one practice
(independent medical diagnosis)
Practitioner homework includes the Healing
Tao practices to generate, conserve and project their Qi and protect themself from
depletion and contamination. The main difference between a Chi Nei Tsang practitioner and
other therapists is the practice of the Healing Tao. Chi Nei Tsang can be integrated with
benefical effect with such therapies as Acupressure, Acupuncture, Aromatherapy,
Chiropractic, Cranio-sacral, Lymphatic drainage, Massage - Ayurvedic, holistic, remedial,
Swedish, Thai; Osteopathy, Physiotherapy, Reflexology, Reiki, Rolfing,
Shiatsu,Trager,Tuina, Western Medicine.
Chi Nei Tsang, Internal Organs Chi Massage, Mantak Chia, Healing Tao Books, 1990
Hara Diagnosis, Reflections on the Sea, Matsumoto & Birch, Paradigm Publications, 1988
Essentials of Chinese Acupuncture, Foreign Language Press, Beijing, 1979
Body Mind & Spirit, Deepak Chopra, Quantum Publications, 1997
Case Study - Mrs D: female
aged 74. Arthritis since being in her early 50s. Her left hip had been replaced at age 69.
Other conditions for which she was receiving medication: heart, liver and stomach
problems, insomnia, high blood pressure. Her spirits were low and she looked upon herself
as a martyr. She described herself as holding on to and supressing anger or expressing it
sharply and then feeling regretful.
Mrs D had been bedridden for 2 weeks prior
to treatment and walking with the aid of sticks for 6 months before that.
CNT diagnosis: Liver felt hot and sticky, Heart hot and dry, Kidney empty;
"cauliflower" feeling to abdomen.
Treatment: opening the
wind-gates, baking winds, skin detoxification. She was sensitive to pain and felt unable
to take any deep pressure on the organs. Blood flushing was contra-indicated because of
High Blood Pressure. She participated in Healing Sounds.
Effect: She slept for two hours following treatment. When she awoke, she got out of bed
and walked through her house, not thinking to use the sticks.
follow-up: Daily self-massage, Inner Smile
and Healing Sounds. She followed the recommendations and had two pain-free years during
which she received CNT once every three or four months, had a second hip-replacement at
age 77 and was able to walk without sticks until shortly before her death of kidney
failure aged 80.
Case Study - Ms S: female
aged 34. Abdominal cancer. She had twice previously received medical treatment including
surgery for cancer in her uterus. Both ovaries had also been removed and she had been
pronounced clear. She works as a nurse and is becoming involved in complementary
therapies. She separated from her husband some 18 months before and had no sexual partner
since. She described herself as having been promiscuous before her marriage, ascribing
this to lack of self-assertiveness and low self-esteem. She was in dispute with her
husband over divorce and property matters.
She has again been diagnosed with a
malignant tumour, this time in an area just below where the left ovary would be. She said
that her training was telling her to go for chemotherapy/more surgery but her instincts
wanted less invasive treatment.
CNT diagnosis: Liver felt hard and slightly painful, Heart empty, Spleen empty; abdomen latticed
with scars and a small lump could be felt in the area where the tumour was said to be.
Visualisation showed it to be dark brown and feeling like rough charcoal in texture.
Treatment: opening the gates, clearing the exit channels, blood and lymphatic detox
essential preliminaries over a series of four sessions to prepare the hara. A further four
sessions each of which included large and small intestinal detox and direct work on the
lump and UB51 led to a feeling of it diminishing in size and breaking up. It was essential
then to open the exit points of ST25, GB25 and UB23 to allow toxins to escape.
After 8 treatments - one a week - Ms S went back to her specialist
who found no sign of a tumour and suggested the original diagnosis had been mistaken.
follow-up: Her training makes her sceptical
of the more esoteric aspects of CNT: she was intermittent with "homework". She
has since become involved in yoga, resolved matters with her husband, finalised the
divorce and moved to a different area.
Case Study - Mr T:
male aged 28. Repetitive Strain Injury. He was a
professional guitarist, practising up to 10 hours daily, until tension and pain in the
left forearm prevented him moving his left fingers. Since then was unemployed. He
described himself as a worrier.
He had undergone physiotherapy, massage and
shiatsu with various practitioners and described the treatments as affording temporary
relief, but then using his left hand again would make the condition recur. He had received
conflicting recommendations from different therapists. His GP recommended surgery. Some of
his fellow-guitarists had gone this route.
CNT diagnosis: Liver felt tight, Heart cool, Spleen painful; solid mass around navel.
Treatment: initial approach to disperse the mass from the abdominal centre provoked
resistance. Working inwards from the periphery was more effective until he was able to
move the fingers freely but still felt pain and tension in the forearm along the route of
the Pericardium meridian. This was eventually dissolved with visualisation of steaming the
embryonic meridians followed by PC meridian.
Effect: Over a series of treatments, once a fortnight for six months, he came to two
realisations: that when he thought of playing the guitar his abdomen would tense up; and
that when he had practised before he had never been satisfied with his work. He was able
to use his left arm and hand but was fearful of the condition recurring.
follow-up: Daily self-massage and
meditation, regular stretching exercises for the inner arm, but mainly to be careful to
stop practising as soon as he felt tension beginning. He eventually went for surgery
because, he said, he did not feel he could play professionally again unless he could
practise as much as he was before.
originally published in and
reproduced here by kind permission of Positive Health Magazine Issue 35: December 1998
How to Learn Chi Nei Tsang