Transferring the enduring relevance of Chinese Medicine into the context of one of the UK’s most luxurious spa locations, Grayshott Spa Hotel explains why Chi Nei Tsang is more than just a massage …
What exactly is Chi Nei Tsang?
It is a form of massage focusing on the abdominal organs; over time, if you have a lot of stress in your life, hormones can build up in the organs. Massage moves the vital energy of organs according to the Chinese Medicine framework of thinking dispersing the effects of stress which can have a knock on effect and cause other health problems. For example, in Chinese Medicine organs can be too hot or too cold, and that effects how they work – the liver is an organ that is notorious for getting too hot causing red eyes, tension, headaches, menstrual problems, prostate problems and other concerns, but this massage helps to disperse the heat and therefore treat those symptoms as well. It can be done wearing clothes or as part of another massage with oils, and while most of work focuses on abdomen then neck and head, different practitioners work differently and it also varies according to individual diagnosis; we look at the tension patterns in the abdomen and then tailor it.
Where does it come from?
It has its roots in ancient Chinese Medicine brought to the West largely by a man called Mantak Chia, who was not well regarded in the East because he was seen as having given their secrets away.
What is it supposed to do?
It is a great treatment to help with stress and locked in patterns of tension, and is also good for dealing with breathing problems including asthma, as well as hormonal issues and reversing the negative effects of stress.
Is there anything you do to enhance the effectiveness of the treatment?
We do Chi Nei Tsang as part of a whole programme, so it depends on why clients are here at Grayshott. If it’s detox then we might add in hydrotherapy baths; if it is stress we would recommend adding in aromatherapy and Reiki – it depends on person. The wider practice of the treatment itself however puts a great focus on breathing, with particular sounds that correlate to different organs that practitioners can teach you so you can continue it at home if you want to – but we don’t make guests do that!
Is there anything you recommend clients to do pre or post-treatment to get the most out of it?
Working with the breath afterwards is extremely beneficial, and as I say, it is something we can show guests if they feel comfortable. It diagnoses the concerns for that person so we will always have advice for the individual, but good nutrition compliments everything.
Is there anyone you particularly recommend the treatment for?
Definitely anyone who is suffering from stress and can’t see the wood for the trees; someone with really low energy levels; and it is great for digestion, migraines, and provides a novel approach to back ache as certain organs will cause back pain when congested – for example, if colon is sluggish it can result in sciatica.
Is there anyone who shouldn’t have this treatment and why?
It isn’t great during pregnancy, anyone who has just had an operation, or if you think you might have a cyst and certain forms of diverticulitis. If have extreme hypertension or aneurisms then we don’t want to increase that pressure either.
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