Why to massage the belly?
I get many people asking me why I practice Abdominal Massage and “What does it do?” Instead of listing the dry benefits, here’ s my full perspective.
Why not to massage the belly I am asking?! Think about it: our internal organs are, with a few exceptions, the centres for our bodies vital functions. They keep us running, digest our food, support temperature regulation, facilitate fight, flight & freeze, produce & regulate hormones, live in close connection with the reproductive system - our centre where life literally origins and so forth. So how is that not important to massage? In Chinese Medicine we call this vital energy “Chi” - our life energy- with the seat in the “Tan Tien” 2 fingers south of your navel. Our muscles do a pretty good job too of course - but are by far not the only parts of the body that want/need to be massaged. Muscles carry a lot of tension and congestion: imagine what the organs do carry hence mainstream lifestyle choices with fast food, big stress levels & social media! So it makes sense to give this special attention to this part of your body.
Living from the head up vs. living full body experiences
A few years ago still I was completely living from the head up. I was in architecture school, working long hours cause I thought that’ s the way it goes, neglecting my health, organising & planning all day long. I didn't t give much love and care to my body, but was mainly using my brain to figure things out. Again- no offence- it’ s a great tool, but widening the perspective it is just one smart part of the body. We actually do have neurons in our organs too, including heart and digestive system. So you could say we’ ve literally got a heart brain or a intestines brain.
“Connecting with my body and all it’ s bits through different awareness practices changed the whole picture for me in terms of how I experience life.”
It is hard to describe but to give it a clumsy try: it’ s almost like being able to sense with every single cell, to feel very subtle fluctuations and oscillations in your body of different quality and to find enjoyment and bliss in this experience, while walking, working, having sex, etc. Yoga practice, mindfulness, amongst other embodied practices like chanting, meditation & self-touch facilitated the journey for me personally. Living an embodied life makes me feel full. Being able to respond to the signs my body is giving me in a loving way.
“When I had my belly massaged for the first time
it felt like I was accessing a whole new set of
sensations and ways of feeling my body.”
I actually felt deeply met receiving this massage and like most practices I am feeling drawn to, it felt more like a lot of energy was flowing through my body than in any other whole body massage I have experienced. By going gently deeper and releasing different blocks and tensions in the abdominal area, the Chi Nei Tsang Practitioner can facilitate a process of deep visceral release and support healing on a whole- body level.
From the abdomen to the whole body
From a holistic perspective all the different systems of the body are linked and even conventional medicine recognises that we need to look at the body as a body-mind-emotion complex that all influence each other. They can not be looked at in isolation. So even just massaging “one part” (belly) of your body has an influence on many systems in the body. So how does touch in the abdomen influences the rest of the body? For example: we massage parts of the lymphatic system in the belly which is linked with the rest of the body’ s lymphatic system. That’ s why stimulating it through touch can have whole body effects and balance out imbalances. Makes sense?