A Healthy Abdomen
Using our hands to feel that qualities of the abdomen can help us understand the healthy of the organs underneath the skin and muscles. If the skin that covers the abdomen is too tight, and there are knots in the tissue and vessels, energy is stagnating in blood and organs under the skin. If the skin of the abdomen is loose and lacking elasticity, the organs underneath are lacking and leaking energy.
The texture of the skin should fit the body like a tailored and well fitted body suit. The muscles under the skin can also help identify the quality of the energy in the organs underneath. In the abdomen, there are large walls of muscle that protect the organs. (In the back there are ribs and floating ribs to protect the kidneys and adrenals.) If there is inflammation and disease in the body, the abdominal muscles will tighten to protect the inflammation underneath.
In the west, especially around swimsuit season, rock-hard abs are in style. If someone over-emphasizes the front of their body in training, without developing the muscles in the back of the body, it will limit range of motion in the spine, shoulders, the rib cage, and the ability to breathe deeply. A healthy abdomen feels soft and bouncy like a baby’s belly. It is possible to have this quality without carrying excess fat in the abdomen. Sufficient tone can help the organs stay in place, but the tensions that comes with rock-hard abs can cause resistance to the healthy flow of chi.
The recommendation is to eat a healthy quality and quantity of food, stay reasonably active, move your body in ways that move your energy; such as chi kung, tai chi, and Taoist yoga. If we have healthy habits, the health and appearance of our bodies will naturally follow.
The Alchemist’s Tao Te Ching:
Transforming Your Lead Into Gold