Happy Gut... Sad Gut

by Super User
in News
Hits: 303

The Intestines and Emotional Digestion

Intestinal Distress and the Gentle Healing Power of Chi Nei Tsang 

By Gilles Marin, Director of the Chi Nei Tsang Institute in Berkeley, CA,

Chi Nei Tsang is offered in our office by Declan King.

Chi Nei Tsang, the art of manually inducing global body healing from the abdomen, is a practice coming originally from old Taoist Monastic tradition. It is a return to listening to the nature of the human body....Chi Nei Tsang today retains the traditional, holistic, Taoist approach. Even though practitioners are trained to work almost exclusively on the abdomen, the applied techniques on the internal organs have a general repercussion on the entire body.

Internal organs, literally, “digest” emotions. Emotions, being irrational, don’t get resolved at the mental level. Instead, they get digested when we have the will, the power, the support system, the maturity and the mental capacity to evolve from them. This allows us to overcome our emotions in order not to be negatively affected by them. To this effect, it is beneficial to be guided by an external touch that helps us recognize and validate feelings. This increases the psychological and physiological impacts that the emotions have upon the physical body. Only once awareness of the physical connection is firmly established can the emotional charges enter into a processes of transformation. They get naturally digested and feed our soul, the receptacle of our emotional identity, which gives us what we call maturity.

For this process of emotional digestion the body needs more than just a brain, which can only establish sensory and cognitive connections. All our brain can do is to get us to observe facts. To manifest emotional digestion we need a whole system digesting emotions the same way we digest food by retaining what we need to feed ourselves and to eliminate what we don’t need. Emotions, at the visceral level, manifest as energetic charges. Tissues and organs act like electronic components, like living resistances, diodes and transistors. But being alive, unlike electronic parts, tissues and organs have the capacity of choice of reaction. These choices are determined according to the natural function of these tissues and organs expressing the particularity of each emotion. For example, emotional rumination often manifests as involuntary contractions of the jaws with teeth grinding at night, or difficulty “swallowing” emotions as constriction in the throat. Trouble digesting one’s own emotions in general appears as different chronic zones of tension, inflammation, and spastic areas along the intestines and along the whole digestive tract. These patterns of contraction can prevent digestion of both food and emotions with the accompanying feeling of being mentally “stuck”.

Emotional Digestion, Intestines and Dreamtime

The colon, our large intestine, is the internal organ with the most nerve connections in the body besides the brain. Studies by Dr. Michael Guershon, of the University of Colombia, performed since the 1980s, found that the enteric nervous system, the nervous system of the intestines with its complex plexuses, establishes what he called a second brain in our body completely independent of any control from the central nervous system. According to Dr. Guershon, these nerve connections can’t only exist for the sole purpose of intestinal elimination. During treatments, Chi Nei Tsang practitioners often see their clients falling heavily asleep even though their fingers are deeply sunk into their abdomen. After listening to their testimonies, after they have woken up, it became quite obvious to them and their practitioners that the intrinsic movement of the intestines directly correlates to dreaming and oneiric life in general. Or, at least, to this part of oneiric life attached to pure emotional experience. Dreams have the power to naturally distillate emotional charges while protecting the person’s consciousness. In dreams, emotions can be experienced at the maximum of their intensity. This is practically difficult and often impossible to do while awake because the inhibiting effect of rational thinking would prevent it or, at least, restrict it greatly.

For Chi Nei Tsang practitioners, healing work on the intestines became a door to access consciousness. It is an opening toward a more precise comprehension of mental phenomena while guided by the ancient Taoist knowledge that considers human intelligence as an extension of the general intelligence of the whole of nature.

According to the Taoists of ancient China, life is directed by the five intelligences or the five elemental forces that compose existence. These intelligent forces explain the reasons behind the nature and the behavior of each element, including the whole periodic table. These five intelligences constitute what we call in the West, consciousness: Mental intelligence or rational thinking (Hun), bodily intelligence or cleverness (Yi), emotional intelligence or maturity (Po), ancestral memory or instinct (Zhi), and spiritual intelligence or guiding intuition (Shen). As we know, in the West, any level of intelligence needs a brain to manifest itself. But for the traditionalist Chinese the brain is not an organ proper but a central system of connecting nerves. At the most it is considered as a connective bridge like a switchboard in between levels of consciousness. The brain itself cannot create intelligence. It can only repeat the information stored into memory or to follow an induced program like education and conditioning. It is the vital force of the intelligences that is responsible for the development of the brain. We first exist as energy and information and then we manifest physically.

From this perspective we need to use a completely different paradigm than the one used in conventional medical science. It became also crucial to completely differentiate thoughts from emotions. We don’t “think” emotions, we “feel” them... Where are these feelings coming from? They are from the visceral level. The visceral body responds to emotional sensations much more rapidly than our mind does. There is already a delay between a feeling and its emotional interpretation. But, even before becoming a feeling, a sensation has to manifest itself very precisely inside very specific parts of our organism. The propagation of these sensations, at the physical level, is immediate and global in the whole body. It is way too fast for the nervous system. It is the result of spontaneous chemical operations directed by the endocrine system. This gives instantaneous responses which are then extended to the nervous system. Then, the nervous system takes the time it needs to connect, transmit, and react along long and complex pathways crossing numerous gates of nervous networks before it can let us know “how we feel”.

Emotional digestion is just as natural a phenomenon as breathing or digesting food. Like breath or digestion, it usually remains unconscious. However, if we pay attention to our breathing we won’t be able not to improve it, and being conscious of our digestion allows us to improve our diet. Similarly, our consciousness is able to aid the performance of emotional digestion. But this is done through the body’s intelligence, which does not require thinking. This is why we don’t need to be intelligent to heal.

Chi Nei Tsang’s characteristic touch facilitates emotional digestion. It establishes a physical connection not only with the organs but also the tissue and cellular levels, with the body’s intelligence. Thus, Chi Nei Tsang practitioners have to be educated and trained so their way of touching is able to transmit the quality of energy and the information (Chi) necessary to calm down intestines in crises. This transmission through their hands must carry the healing and supportive attitude of emotional validation and peacefulness.

There Are No Miracles. The Only Miracle Is Life Itself. Life Is Miraculous!

Combined with the power of gentleness, the CNT (Chi Nei Tsang) touch pacifies someone rather than fights against a disease. From the holistic perspective there are good reasons for all diseases. Diseases are always coming from a healthy reaction to an unhealthy situation. So we don’t fight diseases with Chi Nei Tsang. Instead we do everything we can to make the person stronger and avoid everything that would make her or him weaker. We are strengthening the general health of this person to allow him or her to overcome the disease by outgrowing it and chasing it out of the body. The disease then becomes the means to be used to heal, grow, evolve, and change in order to overcome the pathological conditions that give rise to all sources of suffering.

Declan is having an information talk on Chi Nei Tsang on Monday, February 3rd at 6:30pm.

Participants who attend the talk receive 50% of their first Chi Nei Tsang treatment. Reserve your spot with Kelsey info@innerocean.ca






They seem to be getting stronger... those viruses and bacteria.

Here are two quick things to know about fighting off those pesky viruses and bacteria.

1. Your nervous system cannot go into repair mode efficiently if it's stressed. The more stressed you are, the lower your immune system, the less defensive abilities your body will have.  Your nervous system repairs and rejuvenates when it feels safe. 

2. Your body has natural defence mechanisms that start from code yellow to orange to red. Skin and mucus membranes are our first defence. Virus in your mucus membrane (nose for example) will alert your system to start putting up the defences. If the mucus, hair or skin is unable to keep the virus out, then code orange is initiated. That's when you start feeling some mild symptoms. This is the time to listen and take action. DO NOT wait until you're fully sick. In code orange, the body is still in offensive mode. Take advantage of this time. Code red happens when the body is fully under attack and is now in defensive mode. In this mode, it will do whatever it deems necessary to "keep you alive" - and does not take any consideration for your comfort. Coughing, mucus, vomiting, fever... they are all defensive mechanisms. They may not be comfortable, but they are deemed essential for survival. If you suppress any of these mechanism, it confuses the immune system... and may make your body more vulnerable in the long run. Work with them as much as possible. 

What to do...

1. Drink lots of fluids to keep your skin and mucus membranes moist and healthy. 

2. Decrease your stress, so that your body can repair properly.

3. Get lots of rest. Sleep time is when the body is most efficient at repair, rejuvenation and fighting things off.

4. Everyday, do something that makes you happy and relaxed. Sit in a 'safe' place so the body can rejuvenate. 

4. Good old vitamin C! 

5. Muccococineum... what the heck is that?? It's a homeopathic version of the flu shot. You take it as a preventative measure. We carry them at the office and they work great!

Take care of yourself and live long and prosper ;)


Summer Tune-up - Acupuncture treatment to transition into the seasons smoothly and optimally.

Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture 

Daylight is increasing and there is hope of warmer weather ahead!

We are entering the element of Earth which relates to the spleen and stomach energy. Summer is a good time for renewing, recharging, rest and relaxing and having fun! Go out in nature and reconnect with the elements. Ground yourself by walking barefoot and take time to just be.

Come in for a summer tune-up to help you optimize your health !  Book an appointment with our TCM acupuncturist Christine Ouellette, R.Ac. and discover which elements your constitution naturally gravitates into and how this knowledge can help you stay healthier and happier!


How often do I get adjusted? 

Patients often ask me: “who takes care of me and how often do I go see my chiropractor”?

I do see an alternative chiropractor. My chiropractor does not use the same technique as I do, however, it is close enough that my body is able to work with it well. 

I also get massage, acupuncture and reflexology from my colleagues in the office. 

However, the question I would like to address in this blog is “how often do I get adjusted?”.

Like many chiropractic patients, I’m presently on a maintenance program. 

This means my body is healthy and working well, and I get tune-ups to make sure it is working optimally. 

However, I have a physical job, I deal with a lot of people throughout the day, and presently, I’m not exercising as much as I normally do during the summer ;). So, depending on my level of self-care (stretching, meditation) I find I feel my best if I get adjusted every two weeks. 

Physiologically, tensile tissues (cartilage, ligaments, fascia) start to thicken and tighten within one week of a joint not moving properly.  Therefore, it is crucial to keep all of our joints moving properly all the time. Also important is to take joints through their full range of motion. We may use our arms throughout the day, however, we may not have them over our heads very often, or behind our backs.

Our booklet “exercises for life” has exercises to keep your neck and shoulders healthy through their whole range of motion. You can ask our receptionist Kelsey for an email copy. 

Exercises like “cat/cow” and “child pose” allow your spine to go through its full range of motion and keep your spine healthy. 

If a joint is not moving properly, tissues surrounding the joint get tight and immobilize the joint even further. Also, the body starts to compensate for that one link that is not working, therefore, the joints above and below have to move more and can become strained and injured. 

So, this is why I get adjusted every two weeks and do daily exercises and stretches to keep my body healthy and limber. 


Dr. Anne