Beginner's Guide to Freeing Massage
Massaging the Belly for Release
The belly is the home of the lower dan tien – a major storehouse of chi. As the chi rises from the earth, from the Root Chakra, the energy is stored in a place two inches below the navel.
The belly is the home of much energy.
The belly is a vulnerable place. It’s soft and contains the viscera, as in "the soft underbelly." We approach this area gently and with respect.
The border of the belly is the navel, across to the pelvic (hip) bones and down to the pubic bone.
The belly is crisscrossed with muscles, which hold everything in. Much tension is often held in this area. Along with the muscles of the pelvic floor, this area is key for releasing sexual and physical trauma.
The Belly Massage
We begin by identifying some of the locations: the massage will incorporate the upper and lower belly, from the bottom ribs to the pubic bone.
- Begin with the inside of the edge of the pubic bone, coloured purple in the photo.
- Slide your fingers down to the top edges of the pubic bone, coloured yellow.
- Locate the 2nd Chakra (lower dan tien) coloured black in the photo.
- Find the lower ribs, (coloured blue) and staying away from the centre where the ribs meet, avoiding the zyphoid process. (red in photo.)
- Run your fingers along either side of the outside edges of the stomach muscles, coloured green.
- Move your fingers outward and upward at a 45 degree angle, along the inside of the pelvis, coloured brown.
Here's a video showing four of the the locations:
Begin by applying massage oil (we use coconut oil) to the upper and lower belly, from below the ribs to the pubic bone, and outward to the inside edges of the pelvis.
Work under and along the ribs, sliding your fingers inside as far as the recipient allows.
Now, apply medium pressure to the lower dan tien, located 2 inches below the navel. You can rub in a small circle, again clockwise. Ask the person you are working on to monitor the pressure for you. It should feel slightly sore but relaxing.
Reposition your hands so the fingers are pointing down toward the recipient's feet. Place your fingers along the upper edge of the pubis bone, and press lightly downward into the belly.
The finger placement is such that you're positioned as in this photo, on the pink coloured spots.
Hold, and apply light downward pressure.
Now apply pressure along the top of the mons pubis, by moving closer to the recipient's feet, and hooking your fingers over the top of the mons pubis. (Yellow in the above small photo.) Again, ask the person having the massage for direction regarding pressure.
Move now to the inside edges of the pelvis. You can slide your fingers fairly deeply into the muscles here.
Press and slide your fingers and thumbs along the entire length of the inside of the pelvis, stopping at the top edge, and the pubic bone, respectively.
Apply firm pressure to the acupuncture point "Rushing Door" (spleen 13), which is located on the crease of the leg, half way between the pubic bone and the side of the leg.
It's marked with the black stars in the photo here.
This is near to the main leg artery, so be sure to be to the side of the artery.
Now, place your hands perpendicular to the centre line of the body, fingers on one side of centre line, thumbs on the other, and about 5 inches apart. You’re now on either side of the main belly muscle.
Push down and push your fingers / thumbs together.
The belly should rise up, and you’re pushing into the muscle. Hold this for a breath or two, then slide your fingers along the length of the muscle, from ribs, to pubic bone.
Use one hand to circle the entire belly in a clockwise direction. Each circle gets smaller, ending with your fingers pressing into the navel.
Rest both hands on the belly, and imagine sending warmth, or chi, into the recipient's belly.
Finish the massage by turning your hands so that the fingers point down. Your little fingers rest against the inside edge of the pelvis, and your finger tips are nestled between the pubic bone and the edge of the pelvis.