Chi Nei Tsang - traditional Chinese abdominal massage
The abdominal area is of great importance in TCM, but it is also a focus of other chi exercise traditions like chi kung (Qigong) and tai chi.
The key energy source of the body is the lower dantian, a spot that is usually a couple of finger widths below your navel. Cultivating the energy there is one the things done in Qigong through meditation, massage and abdominal breathing methods.
Chi Nei Tsang is a set of massage techniques for the abdominal area. I have been practicing massage for over 20 years, but the Thai and Chinese methods I initially learned did not include abdominal massage. Japanese Shiatsu, however, maintained it as a key part of a normal practice. Generally people want to relax during massages and they don't consider tummy massage to fit the bill so modern Thai and Chinese massage have developed without it.
While I don't offer standalone massage (except pregnancy massage where useful for my clients), Chi Nei Tsang is an exception as a therapeutic specialtywith unique potential benefits.
There is so much going on in the abdomen from a TCM viewpoint. The area is the 'second brain' that stores our emotional responses physically. Luckily Chinese abdominal massage traditions of Chi Nei Tsang have been maintained in various places and I had the opportunity to study them in Chiang Mai in 2016-17. An hour of Chi Nei Tsang aims to release deeply held tension around your major organs.
I use massage where medically relevant in my practice, so if I suggest some tummy massage during treatment you know the backstory. And if you are particularly interested in the health benefits of Chi Nei Tsang let me know.