Chi Nei Tsang Massage Benefits: Everything You Need To Know

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There are many alternative healing methods such as cupping, hypnosis, and acupuncture, but today we're going to talk about a massage treatment that may not have heard of before, it's called Chi Nei Tsang massage.

Before we get into what Chi Nei Tsang is, let's talk about the benefits of it first...

What are the Chi Nei Tsang massage benefits? Chi Nei Tsang massage detoxifies the body by unblocking the stagnant “chi” and eliminating toxins that hinder it from performing at its best. The internal organs are “cleansed” of negative emotions which can produce psychosomatic reactions that manifest as illnesses. When these stress manifestations are cleared, the body is able to properly function. Pain--headaches, back and muscle pain, menstrual cramps, to name a few--is alleviated and managed. Lymphatic drainage is also improved, which boosts your immune system. Chi Nei Tsang realigns your organs with an effect of optimized body performance.

A Closer Look At The Benefits Offered By Chi Nei Tsang Massage

male masseuse pointing finger into athletes stomach

Here are ways in which unblocking stagnant chi through Chi Nei Tsang massage benefits the body.

It increases immunity by clearing the lymphatic drainage system.

A strong immune response protects you from contracting illnesses by fighting off infection and keeping the body healthy.

Cleansing the organs of negative chi optimizes it functions.

Improved digestion and circulation aids in clearing the body of toxins.

Some positive effects that have been noted include regular bowel movement, reduces bloating, increases blood circulation, and the skin clears of irritation.

The massage helps to relieve back pain caused by bad posture.

By correcting the posture, the body restructures and realigns the internal organs which lead to better organ function.

The direct massage applied to specific points in the abdominal area and torso induces the organs to perform better.

The relief from tension, pain, and anxiety that people carry in their bodies lead to a more relaxed body.

The relaxation enables the body to reset and be able to sleep better without the support of medication.

The full rest also aids in repairing the body and bringing back vitality. 

It has been noted that Chi Nei Tsang has helped some patients recover faster post-surgery.

The steady flow of chi into the body speeds up the healing process and also lessens tissue scarring.

Chi Nei Tsang practitioners may even encourage having massage sessions pre-surgery to prime the body and mind creating a healing environment.

The use of Chi Nei Tsang massage awakens you to your emotions.

The connection of body, mind, and spirit helps you deal with emotions that negatively impact the body.

It encourages you to process emotions and recognize how to better deal with it so it doesn’t manifest into physical ailments.

It should be noted that Chi Nei Tsang does not cure or reverse diseases.

What it does is stimulate the body’s natural systems - lymphatic, circulatory, digestive, and excretory, to name a few - so it functions at its optimum level to keep diseases at bay and maintain body health.

What Is Chi Nei Tsang?

Chi Nei Tsang (CNT) is a form of massage therapy and has its origins from Taoist monks in China and Northern Thailand.  

The “chi” is the body’s energy or life force and “nei tsang” translates to internal organs.

Using gentle, deep-tissue abdominal massage, the organs are worked on to release blocked chi to let it flow unimpeded through the body.  

Simply put, it is a massage that helps to work out the emotions that are causing the body to manifest ailments physically.

An excess of negative chi in the form of worries, anxiety, or stress causes the body to develop skin allergies, indigestion, depression, digestive disorders, low auto-immune responses, and other life-threatening illnesses.

Here's a Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage demo from the Purple Lotus Massage and Wellness.

What Does Chi Nei Tsang Feel Like?

Chi Nei Tsang is often described as relaxing. As with any massage, the effect is a loosening of muscles. The easing of the tension brings relief from pain and a general sense of calm and well-being.

People who have undergone Chi Nei Tsang massage sessions have reported feeling a lightness as if a weight was lifted from their bodies.

The release of emotional tension led to peaceful sleep and a lifting of the spirits.

The release of emotional tension sets a heightened emotional awareness for some.

The heightened awareness may trigger other hidden issues that will have to be addressed with additional Chi Nei Tsang sessions and psychotherapy.

People have also reported feeling slight pain as the organs are massaged and detoxified. The discomfort is the body’s reaction to being primed to be fully functional again.

And here’s another video with Ralph Stephens showing the basics of abdominal wall massage.

How Much Does A Chi Nei Tsang Massage Cost?

A typical Chi Nei Tsang massage is about 60 minutes with some extending to 90 minutes. The price varies going from $85 to $150 per one 60-minute session.  

An expert Chi Nei Tsang practitioner who trained in the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Berkeley, California charges $200 for a 45-minute session.

Chi Nei not recognized as a form of physical therapy.

There is no medical insurance coverage, sessions are paid at out-of-pocket costs.

Who Could Benefit From This Type Of Massage?

Abdominal getting worked on

The Universal Healing Tao recommend Chi Nei Tsang to any adult who experiences stress and anxiety but do not practice any means to relieve the negative emotions.

Using that statement as a measure,  anyone who has experienced or suffers the following are excellent candidates for a Chi Nei Tsang session.

  • Back pain, physical trauma, chronic pain, headaches, migraines
  • Gastrointestinal issues - intestinal blockages, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, acid reflux
  • Insomnia, anxiety, emotional trauma
  • Circulation and excretory problems - numbness and tingling in the limbs,  gallstones, urinary tract infections
  • Fertility issues - infertility, impotence, menstrual cramps

Who Shouldn’t Try This Massage

Although Chi Nei Tsang has brought relief to many patients who suffer from the illnesses listed above, it should be noted there are certain conditions where Chi Nei Tsang should not be applied.

These situations include pregnancy, the presence of implants such as an intrauterine device (IUD) or pacemaker, certain cancers and/or skin infections.

Pressure no matter how gentle is not advisable for the listed conditions. It is also a precaution to avoid further irritating the skin or spreading the infection.

Does Chi Nei Tsang Work?

The benefits of Chi Nei Tsang cannot be discounted. Numerous patients have gotten the message and attest to its benefits.

There is evidence to suggest that the treatment works but has no scientific study to back its claims.

Practitioners from the  Chi Nei Tsang Institute also make no cure-all claims. Instead, they stress Chi Nei Tsang treats the vessel, not the illness.

By teaching the patient to recognize the body’s symptoms and treating it early on, further illness is avoided.

Alternative Eastern medicine and treatments offer a great complement to Western medicine.

Related Questions

What do I need to do to prepare for my Chi Nei Tsang massage? It is recommended to not take anything three hours before your session. Chi Nei Tsang practitioners also advises wearing comfortable clothing that can be easily opened to access your abdominal area.

How is a Chi Nei Tsang massage done? The massage is done with you lying face up with a pillow under your knees, and fully clothed. Before the massage, the Chi Nei Tsang practitioner will discuss your health history and current health concerns. The massage uses a deep, soft, and gentle touch to work on your organs and abdominal muscles. Breathing techniques will also be shared by the CNT practitioner to help you relax and enhance the effects of the massage.

How many sessions of Chi Nei Tsang massage do I need? Chi Nei Tsang's effects on the body vary from person to person. Although positive outcomes have been observed by patients after one treatment, additional sessions are recommended to get the most benefit out of the massage. The sessions can be done weekly or once a month but ultimately, the frequency is the decision of the patient.

Who performs Chi Nei Tsang Massage? Chi Nei Tsang massage is performed by a trained practitioner. Qualified Chi Nei Tsang practitioners can be found here and here.

Where can I get a Chi Nei Tsang massage? Chi Nei Tsang is increasingly becoming popular and gaining mainstream acceptance that it is now offered in spas and by licensed therapists alike. The important thing to remember is to check the practitioner’s training credentials.

Where can I find more information about Chi Nei Tsang training? Resources for learning and further training are available at the Universal Healing Tao Chi Nei Tsang,

Chinese/Thai Abdominal Massage website of Master Mantak Chia. Another useful website is Gilles Marin’s Chi Nei Tsang Taoist Healing Touch.


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Papathanasiou, R. (2017, August 10) List of effects About Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal Thai healing massage) followed by an interview Retrieved from

Pearle, K. (Date published not indicated). What are the Benefits of Chi Nei Tsang?. Retrieved from

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Lasby, S. (2017, June 18). Chi Nei Tsang: A Detoxifying Massage For Emotional Release. Retrieved from

Knight, K. (2010 February 28) Chi Nei Tsang Abdominal Healing – Getting to the Core. Retrieved from

Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff at MindBodyPal is a team of experts led by Tyson Chiu. We love tacos, lattes and Funky Fridays.