Chi Nei Tsang: What is it and how to use this technique?

abdominal massage

This massaging technique was developed following Traditional Chinese Medicine’s principles that assert that emotional blockages are physically hosted in our body.

This means that the way we feel provokes physical pain, so this treatment intends to free our organs from pain and heal us.

emotional blockages affect our well-being

Even though there may be many people feeling suspicious about this approach, it is largely known that we feel “butterflies” in our stomach when we fall in love, or that we get muscular contractions produced by worries and stress. 

This same belief is common in China. So, understanding physical pain as the result of emotional trouble is not actually such a crazy thought, is it?

What is Chi Nei Tsang?

Thousands of years ago, the Taoists realized that emotions affect the organs, and saw that one of the main causes of the disease is emotions which get stuck in the body.

We may feel emotions such as anger, sadness, fear or jealousy and don’t know how to let them go. Each of these emotions is correlated to a specific organ and may interrupt their normal functioning.

the belly hosts important organs

Even though emotions can not be classified according to moral judgment because we don’t choose the way we feel we do choose the way we manage our emotions.

If we cannot overcome anger, odds are it will turn into sustained rage. This can create pathologies such as chronic constipation, menstrual dysfunction or migraines.

Chi Nei Tsang claims that this is our body telling us exactly how we feel, because we seem to be incapable of noticing it in some other healthier way. 

Chi Nei Tsang unlocks ingrained emotions

Chi Nei Tsang is a Taoist technique meant for unlocking ingrained emotions in every organ of the human body. 

This method starts in the abdomen, because the digestive system is believed to be an emotional regulator. This is why we usually talk about “digesting” our emotions!

the belly is the seat of digestive system

An emotionally blocked intestine does not process food well. In fact, it is proven that many of the neurotransmitters responsible for happiness and wellness are produced in the intestine.

So, a healthy intestine will better perform this function and contribute to optimal emotional health.

How do emotions affect our body?

According to Tao and traditional Chinese medicine, each organ is especially sensitive to certain emotions, and is therefore affected by some and nurtured by others.

emotions affect our body

At the same time, a weakened organ can generate specific unpleasant emotions. On the contrary, a healthy organ endows us with specific positive emotions.

Let’s see how this works on each organ!


In the traditional Chinese system, the functions of the heart are paired with the small intestine, and are affected by emotions such as impatience, excessive joy or euphoria, cruelty and hatred.

To nurture both organs, they must be filled with love, compassion and measured joy.


Paired with the large intestine, lungs are very sensitive to sadness, grief and depression. On the other hand, strong lungs respond to courage, determination and joy of living.

Kidney and bladder

When weak, they make the person feel fearful and excessively shy. 

Panic and sustained fear weaken both kidneys and bladder. Instead, courage, silence and gentleness nurture them.

Liver and gallbladder

Imbalanced, the liver and gallbladder can make us tend to anger, rage, envy and resentment.

If these emotions are not released, they take hold of these organs and congest them. When these organs are balanced, they favor generosity, justice, creativity and fairness.

Spleen and stomach

If these organs are well balanced, they give us both confidence in life and the feeling that everything is fine.

When healthy, they give us a good memory and capacity for studying and understanding. On the contrary, when they are sick, they generate concern and obsessive thoughts.

These organs, in addition, regulate digestion. This is why a life full of worries affects their functioning and the body’s ability to digest emotions, which become more ingrained and create more blockages.

How does Chi Nei Tsang unlock our body?

By massaging each painful area in the abdomen, the therapist works with our vital energy, looking for emotional obstacles and unlocking them to free us from the pain. 

It is essential that the therapist practices Chi Kung, which means knowing how to encourage and manage the ‘Chi’ (our vital energy).

chi nei tsang releases blockages

This massage technique can be a little uncomfortable at the beginning, but as the treatment goes on, accompanied by conscious breathing and relaxation, each knot starts to loosen. 

It is then when we can feel how our body’s energy strongly flows and nourishes the physiological processes that were previously stagnant.


Chi Nei Tsang is a powerful Chinese technique that helps release emotional blockages through abdominal massage. By touching specific parts of the belly, the therapist can address different organs.

If you can overcome the initial discomfort, the benefits of this massage are not limited to the physical body but extend as far as to heal emotional unbalance and improve the general well-being.

your well-being starts from your belly

Chi Nei Tsang practitioners are often present at Samma Karuna, offering private treatments. Stay tuned and check out our Workshops Calendar to check all the upcoming events!

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