Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) is a centuries-old variety of healing touch therapy from China. It focuses on deep, gentle abdominal massage in order to “train” the internal abdominal organs to work more efficiently, which in turn is said to improve physical and emotional health. The words Chi Nei Tsang translate to “working the energy of the internal organs.” CNT is based on the belief that unresolved emotional issues are stored in the digestive system and that poor “emotional digestion” is one of the main reasons for ill health. According to legend, CNT was first used a thousand years ago by Taoist monks in their monasteries to help detoxify, strengthen and refine their bodies in order to maintain the energy needed for their spiritual pursuits.
What conditions should Chi Nei Tsang be used for?
According to the CNT Institute in Oakland, Calif., where U.S. practitioners are trained and certified, CNT treatment aims to:
- Improve elimination and stimulate the lymphatic and the circulatory systems. CNT is also said to strengthen the immune system. The CNT Institute claims that clients using CNT before and after surgery recover better and faster, but an online search of medical literature yielded no studies on the issue.
- Correct postural problems and relieve tension.CNT is also used to treat chronic pain in the back, neck and shoulders as well as problems related to the misalignment of the feet, legs and pelvis.
- Facilitate the “unfolding of emotions and the clarification of our emotional life.” The CNT Institute website states that this modality has been successfully used in combination with psychotherapy, but no studies documenting this claim turned up in a medical literature search.
- Teach techniques to improve breathing and provide personalized nutritional guidance as well as instruction in visualization and meditation that clients can do at home to enhance the effects of treatment.
According to the official website of Chi Nei Tsang World Headquarters, CNT treatment “clears out negative influences and is particularly useful in relieving intestinal blockages, cramps, knots, lumps, scar tissue, headaches, menstrual cramps, poor blood circulation, back pain, infertility, impotence, and many other problems… as well as speed healing from injury, trauma, childbirth or surgery.”
Reasons to avoid CNT may include pregnancy, the presence of an intrauterine device (IUD) or pacemaker, certain cancers and/or skin infections.