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Chi Nei Tsang

by Mary Ellen Derwis-Balaz LMT
(Cleveland, Ohio)

Originally published in Massage and Carreer guides magazine


Ashland Oregon October 2009

When one  first hears the words Chi Nei Tsang a quizzical expression crosses their face.   Chi!! Most of us understand that it is a word that describes the indescribable energy that influences life. What about the rest of it? Literally, Chi Nei Tsang means abdominal chi massage. This is what I teach. 
Chi Nei Tsang is not abdominal massage as most western therapists see it. It is a modality that uses breath, massage, and movement of chi as tools to bring awareness back into the organ systems of the body. You might say what does that  have to do with massage? Well may I suggest to you the Taoist Medical Chi Kung  perspective that all disease emanates from the disruption of chi. And, one of  the most powerful way to physically balance that chi flow is through abdominal  manipulation via Chi Nei Tsang.
Our first experience of chi as a human being is from our navel where nourishment, both physical and energetic comes from within our mother’s body. A spiraling out of all tissues begins upon implantation of the egg in the uterine wall. It presents itself within our bodies as a spiraling of tissues. Muscles are not connected nor do they work in a linear fashion. They spiral thus offering flexibility. Taoist medical chi kung practice recognizes this spiraling nature and offers ways to address it through specific manipulations, breathing, and Chi Kung practice.
Chi moves within the fascia. It communicates within the fascia. Fascia covers every cell of the body therefore through it Chi communicates with all body systems including the muscular system. Both smooth, cardiac and skeletal. This being said, Chi Nei Tsang is one of the most effective treatments for sciatica, headaches, back pain as well as constipation, bloating, and stress related disorders.   
When one performs a Chi Nei Tsang treatment things begin to happen!

•By the very nature of physical touch detoxification of abdominal contents begins

•Imbalances of visceral structure and congestion of structural patterns release and seek a more healthy position and function within the abdominal cavity

•Unprocessed emotions trapped within the digestive system are attended to. Many psychologists have sought out CNT practitioners as physical support for their clients

•Through massage and breath the client becomes more self aware and now has choices available in lifestyle that they did now know existed.  
Chi Nei Tsang abdominal massage gives one the tools to support this process.  
Choosing to pursue this modality as a practitioner requires a conscious choice to approach massage therapy through the taoist five element system of fire, water, wood, earth, and metal and the eastern perspective of bodywork. 
The classes I teach are based in the teachings of Mantak Chia and Gilles Marin.
There is so much more to learn than I can possibly cover in a short article.  Please feel free to contact me for more information!

Comments for

Chi Nei Tsang

Average Rating


Dec 09, 2009




Here in Asia

    by: Ricardo Neuman


    Fine description and writing, thanks. Here in Thailand
    this technique is getting more and more well known among spas and
    (especially) detox centers. My partner also teaches it she and her
    therapists get good results and feedback. Very complementary to colon




Dec 08, 2009




Excellent Synopsis!

    by: Francesca Fasano, MA, RMT,
    CNT Instructor


    Great job, Mary Ellen! You have covered a wealth of
    information very succinctly. I feel that CNT is the missing link in massage
    therapy and have also written an article about this. More on that later.
    Congratulations on spreading the word far and wide.




Nov 20, 2009




Very well said!

    by: Gilles Marin


    Beautiful article, very well expressed and
    articulated. Thank you for your good work of popularization.


    In Touch,




Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction; healing crisis Jarisch-Herxheimer

reaction, or, Lucio's Phenomena

Also: A healing crisis, or, the "die-off".




An understanding of this pattern is essential to recovery from a severe chronic illness, especially those encouraged by heavy metal toxicity or other severe weakening of the immune system. A sensitive balance must often be maintained between a sufficient and continual attack against and sufficient die off of cell and organ damaging factors, and, the emotional and physical strength of oneself. Too weak and inefficient a

response will lead to death. Too strong a reaction may also

presuppose fatality through physical and/or emotional fatigue

and depression. The limitation of destructive emotions of fear and uncertainty is best addressed with an awareness of what to expect and how to cope with and mediate those expressions. God will help, if you ask with humble sincerity and respond with resolute trust.

Sometimes,it will be difficult to know by how you feel as to

whether you are dying, or improving. Despair and depression

will ensure death through inaction. Guard against them.


The Herxheimer reaction was first described by an Austrian

dermatologist Jarisch Adolf Herxheimer working in Vienna
Innsbruck in 1895 and shortly after this, confirmed by
his brother Karl Herxheimer also a dermatologist working in Frankfort.


It is a phenomenon that results when there is an intensification of the disease symptoms and often an expansion of similar symptoms to other places all of a
temporary nature, after which the patient is improved or well. Often it appears to some as if they have the flu. The symptoms of the Herxheimer Reaction can be most severe. Usually die off lasts only a few hours, though it can last several days, and may, in severe cases, be maintained for weeks. These symptoms can discourage not only the ill person, but also the doctor, therapist, or anyone who is in
close relationship to the patient.


The brothers were involved in treating syphilitics. They observed that skin lesions they treated with very toxic heavy metals became larger and inflamed before lessening and healing. They also found that those cases that responded in this most violent manner healed the best and fastest. A patient could be quite ill for 2-3 days after which the syphilitic lesions resolved. The Jarisch-Herxheimer reaction (referred to as "Herx" often) is believed to be a reaction caused by organisms (bacteria) dying off and releasing toxins
into the body faster than the body may
comfortably handle it. It was originally observed in patients with syphilis who received mercury treatment.


Some immune system compromised or distracted persons will have moderate to severe herxheimer effects from antibiotics that will usually have no effects on normal healthier individuals. It seems to occur when injured or dead bacteria release their products into blood and tissues, provoking a
sudden and exaggerated inflammatory response - thus the response may be connected to a specific organism being killed off. Many non-antibiotic treatments (glutathione – whey products ) may also produce a herxheimer effect  -- whether it is bacteria die off or simply toxin mobilization.



The most common ones include:

nausea, headache, swollen glands, bloating, constipation or diarrhea, increased joint or muscle pain, elevated heart rate,chills,cold extremities, itching, scratching, nail biting,unusual perspiration, fever (usually low grade), hypotension (low blood pressure), Itching, hives and rash (sometimes assumed to be an allergic reaction)



Symptom intensifiers:

Two common sources: decreasing the blood flow, which allows the toxins to accumulate, or, increasing the die off of parasites. fear, anxiety and worry, hormonal imbalances, enzymes, bromelain, pancreatin, etc., clotting
agents, heavy foods, excessive exercise, tiredness, fatigue, exhaustion, cold temperatures,
air pollution, anti-virals, anti-bacterials, anti-fungals,anti-parasitics, chronic illnesses, high doses of vitamins, some forms of chelation treatments



Symptom reduction:

Two common strategies: improving the blood flow to clear the toxins faster (see vascular constriction), or, neutralizing the toxins (or both).antihistamines, relaxation techniques, Enemas, Colemas, Colonics,increase in blood thinning supplements,

  • Lemon/Olive Oil liver/gall
         bladder cleanse:
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
         (Organic) or 1/2 lemon rind),
  • 1 Tbsp cold pressed
         Extra Virgin Olive Oil,

flavanoids (widens blood vessels), aerobic oxygen supplementation, lymphatic massage, anti-inflammatories, bentonite clay, charcoal tablets, diatomaceous earth, pain medication, muscle relaxers, hot baths / hot tub,steam
bath or dry sauna, infrared Hot House treatment,


cleansing bath:

  • add 1 cup salt,
  • 1 cup soda,
  • 1 cup epsom salts,
  • 1 cup aloe vera, to a
         hot bath, remain in and keep hot for about 1-1/2 hours all the while
         consuming about 2 quarts of warm water.



rid of mutated Candida and restoring the proper balance of healthy flora within one’s digestive system is no easy task. It takes a multifaceted approach to overcome the yeast, promote healthy microorganisms, and watching one's diet to
prevent the yeast from feeding on excessive sugar. The medium chain fatty acids in coconut oil provide nutritional support to overcome the yeast, but if this happens too quickly it can cause a “die-off” effect that is referred to as a Herxheimer reaction, which is the result of the rapid killing of microorganisms and absorption of large quantities of yeast toxins, cell particles, and antigens.
Mutated Candida produces 79 toxins according to Vitamin Research Products
Inc journal (3/99Vol.13, #3). Sugar activates candida

metabolism and some of its by-products are neurotoxins such asformaldehyde, alcohol and acetlyaldehyde. One's nervous system can become confused during candida infestation due to specific neurotoxins.
Candida converts the element mercury to methyl mercury which is 100 times more toxic. Mercury chelation might deliver more mercury to the system temporarily  allowing the candida-methyl mercury conversion. Mercury is an antibacterial,
yet, in concentrations lower than fatal to humans, bacteria are often encouraged.
Your symptoms may get worse before they improve. Survival: You can do It!


Be in the tao LLc provides this information for your edification and does not presume to be diagnosing or suggesting specific protocols for treatment. Your personal treatment is your decision.




Mary Ellen Derwis-Balaz
    Lmt, CNTT


3505 E Royalton Road


Suite 201


Broadview Hts., Ohio 44147






Greatest Alan Watts Moments from martyroberts24 on 8tracks Radio.

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East meets West

Mary Ellen's new byline for the Universal Living eZine. In each edition we will cover new and exciting topics that help in integreating Eastern and Western wellness practices.

Want and answer to a question? Send a message and we will cover it int the next edition. I look forward to hearing from you.

  • Chi Kung
  • Meditation
  • Tao Yin
  • Massage
  • Aromatherapy
  • and so much more...


East meets West first article
For those of you that prefer pdf format you can download this and read at your leisure. Mary Ellen's first article is on page 7.
ULE Vol 2 Issue 4 JulyAug 2014.pdf
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Aromatherapy... More than just a pretty.... smell.
Mary Ellen's first article is on page 11.
ISSUU - Universal Living Sept _ Oct 2014[...]
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What is bodywork anyway?
Mary Ellen's article is on page 11.
ISSUU - Universal Living Ezine - Nov _ D[...]
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Chi Nei Tsang is about Bellies and Wellness and Breath.
Mary Ellen's article is on page 13.
ISSUU - Universal Living Ezine Jan_Feb 2[...]
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Why do you Dance:

Mary Ellen's article is on page11.
ISSUU - Universal Living Ezine Mar_Apr 2[...]
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