Rolling the Abdomen

Rolling the Abdomen

This can be a stand-alone practice when we’re sitting on the floor or in a chair. We can roll our abdomens in conjunction with the yin and yang movements of tai chi. As we move in yoga or tao yin postures, we can roll our abdomen with to match the expansion and contraction of our spine.

Rolling the abdomen helps to eliminate trapped gas. Some Taoist teachers recommend holding the breath and roll the abdomen until it feels empty. This creates a vacuum-like sensation that creates internal pressure and energizes the internal organs.

When we are totally out of breath, we can breathe in quickly and deeply. This strong influx of air creates a cleansing effect on the abdominal area. It is said to fill the large intestine with oxygen and in turn help the skin receive oxygen through the tiny capillaries at the cutaneous layer. (In Taoist medicine, the lungs, large intestines, and skin are intimately connected.)

The practice of holding the breath, rolling the abdomen, and inhaling sharply can be followed by exhaling the lung sound: SSSSSSSSSS (like a tea kettle steaming before it whistles). The air in the digestive track will push out trapped gas, sometimes causing belching or flatulence. To further help the large intestine, drink more water, eat more fiber, and swallow more saliva.

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