Healing with Abdominal Massage
By : Eu Hooi Khaw New Straights Times Malaysia
Dr Aminah performing abdominal massage.
Important organs are located within the abdominal area and a Chi Nei Tsang massage could set you on the path to better health. EU HOOI KHAW finds out how it works.
THE Tan Tien, two fingers’ width down from the navel, is the most powerful energy centre in the body. Think of how at conception, the first cell of the body is formed at the umbilicus, and you understand why the navel and the abdominal area around it are so important.
Chi Nei Tsang, a Tao healing art, revolves around the massage of a series of points around this vital area of the body, to increase the flow of energy to specific organs. It harnesses the principles of Chinese medicine, Tai Chi Chuan and chi kung, to help detoxify and strengthen the body.
It’s a therapeutic massage, whose ultimate goal is to help a person heal physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
Two years ago, Dr Aminah Mohd Amin learned Chi Nei Tsang from senior universal Tao instructor Andrew Fretwell in Chiangmai, Thailand. There its master Mantak Chia had refined the art of working the energy of the internal organs.
Dr Aminah tried the Chi Nei Tsang massage, administered by Fretwell, and her chronic backache which she had been suffering from for many years, disappeared. “I went for the massage a few times and experienced very profound healing.” Her backache has not returned since. “My emotions were discharged in subsequent treatments.
“Andrew has treated thousands of people,” said Dr Aminah, who joined the workshops conducted by Fretwell, learning Chi Nei Tsang from him. “I have found old traumas and emotions surfacing from the treatment, and people getting healed.
“When we don’t process emotions, they get stored in the abdominal area. We massage this area, feel where energy is blocked and where the tension is, to make it soft.
“Our abdomen should be like a baby’s — pliable and soft.”
Dr Aminah, who is a medical doctor, explained that all the organs, lymphatic and circulatory systems, large and small intestines are all in the abdomen. With the massaging, the lymphatic system is normalised, the immune system strengthened.
“It also helps strengthen the metabolic, nervous, reproductive and circulatory systems. The organs function more efficiently.”
Massaging the intestines helps digestion and eliminate constipation.
The massage also goes deep into the viscera and into the muscles, especially the psoas muscle, which helps with backache and strengthening the spinal area.
Dr Aminah now practises Chi Nei Tsang at the Amanur Skin & Spa which she has set up in Mont Kiara, Kuala Lumpur. “I’m more into preventive medicine now. Initially it was difficult because of the conflict with my medical training. Now it’s much easier, especially when I see the healing and how much it has helped my clients.
“We are spirits in physical bodies,” she said. “Once the blockage is cleared, we can connect more to our intuition, heart and mind. It also helps us to know ourselves better, become more self-aware. At times it is easier to feel physical than emotional pain. Sometimes when we massage, the emotional pain surfaces and we react with more patience and compassion. Once the emotions get validated, we can let them go.”
For this process of healing, a few more Chi Nei Tsang treatments are needed. “The goal of Chi Nei Tsang is to let us be more responsible for our own health. We also teach the patient to massage herself, so that the healing can be on-going.
“The massage lasts from 15 minutes to an hour. It’s a gentle massage, mostly on the abdomen; we sometimes work on the shoulder too. But we must first connect with the person.”
Dr Aminah, who has worked more than 10 years, including at Hospital Permai in Johor Baru as a doctor can tell when someone needs conventional treatment and advises him or her accordingly.
Most of the illnesses come from unprocessed emotions. According to Chinese medicine, you store anger in the liver and gall bladder. Alcohol affects the liver and alcoholics can be quite violent.
Fear is manifested in the kidney, worry and anxiety in the skin and stomach, sadness and grief in the lungs, hatred and impatience in the heart.
“When we do Chi Nei Tsang, we teach the patient to change the negative to the positive. It’s good for stress. After the treatment, they are profoundly relaxed. Most of my clients fall asleep.”
Dr Aminah demonstrated the massage on her assistant. “First of all I connect with the patient. Then I check on her breathing.
“It’s very restricted,” was her diagnosis. “We don’t breathe properly.”
Then she starts to feel for any tension or blockage. She works on the spleen, then the large intestine. “Where I feel the hardness, I work on it more. I work below the diaphragm, feeling and working on each organ in the abdomen.
“For instance, if I find the stomach or the spleen is hard, I ask the patient to smile and participate in her own healing. I ask her to massage the area more, and teach her to make the corresponding healing sounds.”
It’s a guttural sound for the stomach and spleen, a “shh” sound for the liver, “chooo” for the kidney, “s-s-s” for the lungs.
She uses the thumb or finger to soften the area around the navel. “When the navel is soft and pliable, you can poke in and reach the spine. This gets the chi flowing.
“Detoxification takes place after the treatment, and the person may feel tired for one or two days. Some may feel very light.”
I tried Dr Aminah’s massage. She turned on some soothing music and gently worked on my abdomen and navel. “You do a lot of self healing on yourself,” she said, so I told her about my supplements, and weekly foot reflexology. She identified two trouble spots, and she was spot on.
Tao instructor Andrew Fretwell will be back in Kuala Lumpur soon to conduct a Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage class. Call 012-235 2166 if you are interested.
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