This Winter Byte blog focuses on the health of your lower abdomen and lower back – which is the centre of your power. In Chinese Medicine it’s called the Lower Tan Tien and is related to the Water element which is associated with Winter, the Kidneys and Bladder. This area below the belly button is described in the Chinese Classical literature as the “origin of vital Qi” and is the root and foundation of the twelve meridians (energy pathways) in the body. It’s one of three Tan Tien’s in the body and the most important. The Middle Tan Tien is located at the middle of the chest and is associated with the emotional body. The Upper Tan Tien is located between the eyebrows and is associated with the spiritual dimension.
I practice Kiiko Matsumoto Japanese style of acupuncture whereby I palpate (press gently) different areas on the abdomen which are called reflexes. I look for pressure pain, coldness, heat, tightness and lack of tone in these reflex areas. These abdominal findings form the basis for my diagnosis and the course of subsequent treatments.
My aim is to clear the abdomen of any stagnation and tension allowing vital Qi (energy) to circulate unimpeded, assisting the body to return to its natural balance or homeostasis. In my experience, I’m often finding the Lower Tan Tien to be deficient and cold compared to other areas of the abdomen.
If you are feeling tired, cold, have lower back or pelvic pain, circulation problems, have had abdominal surgery or other chronic health issues, it is likely that your fundamental Kidney energy or Vital Qi is depleted.
Suggestions for re-energising your Lower Tan Tien include:
- regularly practice abdominal breathing
- performing some squats daily – great for energy pumping
- strengthening the abdominal muscles with focused exercises
- protecting the abdomen from cold; use a wheat bag or a belly warmer
- keeping your feet warm in colder months; warm socks, foot bath, no bare feet on cold floors
- learning to massage your belly or use castor oil packs
- bringing mindfulness and loving attention to your belly
- practicing Qigong
- eating warming foods and drinks – avoid ingesting anything cold or frozen
- conserving your energy and live within your energetic means
You can also treat yourself by booking an appointment – warm up and relax in my cosy clinic room. Enjoy the heat lamp, moxibustion (heat therapy) and get your energy moving to bring your body back to balance and enhance your vital energy.
Do get in touch if you want to learn more about anything I have mentioned.
Stay well and warm
BHSc Acupuncture, Dip Tuina & Qigong
Member Acupuncture NZ
ACC Treatment Provider