Tension in the belly can affect the whole body and potentially inhibit how we move through life. Since your abdomen is your core—your entire body branches out from this focal point—it makes sense to release tension in the abdomen to promote overall health. Most people don’t realize that their unprocessed emotions are stored in the digestive system waiting to be addressed. Poor emotional digestion is one reason for ill health as emotional blockages prevent good energy flow physically. For instance, I’ve experienced relief from chronic neck pain when my belly was massaged. I’ve also cried during treatment, not out of pain, but relief, as sadness I carried around for years was finally released. I felt less guarded and lighter afterward (albeit confused about salty discharge streaming from my eyes!).
These intensely emotional and physical healing experiences inspired me to dedicate my training to abdominal bodywork and the mind-body connection. I often incorporate several forms of bodywork into a session depending on what is best for the client in that moment. Those techniques are the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy®, Chi Nei Tsang, Visceral Manipulation™, Ayurvedic hip massage, Restorative Exercise, and Craniosacral therapy. In this article, I want to talk about the two of the modalities I use- the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® and Chi Nei Tsang.
Maya Healing for Reproductive Health
Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy® (ATMAT) combines ancient Maya healing techniques with herbology and naprapathy (advanced bodywork science focused on ligaments). Although ATMAT shines when it comes to reducing pelvic congestion by realigning the uterus, it is also effective for male reproductive health and for women who have had hysterectomies.
When the Uterus Strays
Tilted uteri are quite common and there are many degrees of “tipped”. Some tipped uteri don’t cause problems, and some do. It really depends on the degree of flexion or angle and whether the uterus is stuck in any one position. Consider this: your uterus weighs about four ounces and can swell to eight to ten ounces right before and during your period—that’s a lot of potential extra weight on your rectum, bladder, blood vessels, or nerves. The uterus is positioned between the bladder and the rectum so when tipped forward, you might experience frequent urination; if tipped back, your uterus might be leaning up against the rectum which may cause thin stools, foul smelling menses, and/or constipation. Your uterus may also lean to the left or right, and other symptoms caused by a displaced uterus range from painful/irregular periods, fertility challenges, headaches, ovarian cysts, back pain, difficult pregnancy, PMS, and fibroids. Many women have or will experience such symptoms and would certainly benefit from ATMAT to enjoy optimum health.
When positioned correctly, your uterus will work more efficiently, optimizing proper blood, lymph, and energy flow. Remember that your organs work as a team. For instance, the liver controls all flows in the body including the menstrual cycle. This is where Chi Nei Tsang enters the equation.
Chinese Abdominal Therapy Heals As It Inspires
Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) is a form of bodywork used first thousands of years ago in China by Taoist monks to strengthen and purify their bodies on their journey to enlightenment. The practice encompasses abdominal massage, breath work, and Chi Kung principles to cleanse and purify internal organs of built-up toxins and emotional stresses.
CNT can help flush toxins from the liver, lymph, kidneys, and colon, improve digestion and assimilation, aid elimination, stimulate the lymphatic and circulatory systems, relieve back, shoulder, and muscle tension, improve breathing restrictions, increase vitality, and clear unprocessed emotions. We can all enjoy these positive changes in our bodies to support our minds and our spirits!
Your Emotions Physically Manifested
Not only do your organs function as a team, but each major organ holds energy, manifesting differently according to whether in balance or not. For example, the liver holds feelings of kindness and generosity when in balance, or anger and frustration when not.
CNT practitioners can teach how to transform these “negative” energies. And, one way to begin this transformation is through sound.
Healing Sounds for Your Organs
Each organ responds to a particular sound—a unique vibrational quality—that when made, helps release stored stress. CNT uses such healing sounds to assist both emotional and physical stress release from the internal organs. For instance, when you make the healing sound shhhhh your liver is will respond positively.
The daily recommendation is to make each sound three to six times. An old Taoist saying offers: “If you make the liver sound 36 times and you’re still angry at someone, you have the right to slap them.” (Just kidding! Please don’t slap anyone. You likely will not be angry after ssssshing 36 times, but if so, see a certified CNT practitioner for support.) After making the sound, position your smile toward the corresponding organ, in this case, the liver. Place your hands in your lap, palms up, and direct your smile towards your liver as if smiling to a good friend, sending all that love inward.
You can learn more about healing organ sounds, corresponding emotions and chi kung positions for each organ in the book Taoist Ways to Transform Stress into Vitality: The Inner Smile * Six Healing Sounds
Tapping Into Your Body’s Wisdom
Engaging in healthy practices to address the root of daily distresses can provide lasting, positive impact. CNT and ATMAT are more than belly rubs—personally, abdominal massage has helped me in many ways, but above all it has taught me to listen to my internal wisdom. These treatments help us reconnect with parts of ourselves that we have been cut off from both emotionally and physically so we are able to live life more fully in the present.
Not in the Portland, Oregon area? I can teach you the Chi Nei Tsang self-care massage and Restorative Exercise via Skype.