As a shiatsu practitioner, I have been studying the energetics of healing for many years. I study and work with Qi, the life force energy of the universe that moves throughout our bodies via meridians. Meridians are like highways of energy that bring Qi to every part of our bodies. In shiatsu we find the blockages and deficiencies in these highways and get them flowing again so that you feel good. Each meridian is connected to – and an expression of, a specific organ. When the Qi is healthy and strong in an organ, then the parts of the body that this organ represents, like your shoulders and lower back, will usually feel strong and healthy also.
I had been studying the organs in relationship to the five elements of Chinese medicine for years before I experienced my own deep healing and transformation. My whole life, anger was the thing that consistently showed up for me. I projected this anger onto an “unfair world” and the circumstances around me. Anger is the emotion associated with the liver, which is known as “the master planner.” The liver assists in determining long-term plans and life goals. Oh, I had goals. The world was fucked up and I was determined to change that.
So when I attended a medical Qi Gong workshop at Breitenbush Hot Springs in 2010, I was hoping to take my practice to the next level. What actually happened was something else altogether. I expected to learn very concrete skills (western mind!) to improve my practice. What we did was sit and breathe; and breathe deeper into our organs while chanting sounds and visualizing colors. I was SO ANGRY! This did not seem like it was going to help my practice. I got so frustrated at one point that I had to leave the class and go sit in a field and cry and yell and freak out. Once I calmed down I went into a deep meditation into my liver, which told me very clearly something that I had been denying for years. It told me that if I wanted to be truly happy that I would need to transition my gender.
Boy did that change my life! And not just in the way that you would think. During my transition, I went from a frustrated, skeptical person who was upset with the whole world and wanting to fix its wrongs – to a person who has a lot of fun being alive, accepts the world as perfect-in-process, and seeks joy and meaning in every situation. I also feel that I have control over my life, whereas I used to feel that life happened to me.
This of course was a process – as all of life is. It took me a year to even begin my transition after that moment. I had many layers of ideas and expectations to peel off before I could move forward in the direction that my heart (and liver!) had chosen. When we are able to tune in to our bodies and listen deeply to it’s messages, profound transformations can happen.
Chi Nei Tsang is Chinese organ massage. Like Qi gong, it is a powerful healing tool that works directly with the organs in the belly. By working directly with the organs, we avoid chasing symptoms and go right to the source for healing. The focus is on moving stagnant energies, reducing fascial adhesions, and cultivating healthy, pure Qi for improved health. The practitioner performs gentle manipulations while clients breathe into the area that is worked on. We spend some time listening into each element.
Each organ has an associated emotion, sound, smell, season, time of day, direction, color, taste, thought pattern, and function. When working with an organ, I will ask you to breathe into the color and visualize the area of life that it represents. In doing this, you are able to make a deeper connection between your body, mind, and life experience. Using breath and visualization gets your body in sync with your mind for a more unified, profound, and aware version of healing. After a session, when the thoughts, feelings, emotions, and issues come up again in your life, you will have tools to CONSCIOUSLY let. more. go….while creating more space for new and healthier things to enter.
Do you have physical symptoms that are asking for your attention? Is there a theme in your life that you would like to learn more about? Do you want to develop a better relationship with your body? Are you interested in listening to what your organs have to say?
Then come experience Chi Nei Tsang. It’s $10 off for all of April.