Vital Life Energy concepts (Qi, Ki, Lom Pran, or Prana) play an important role in quite a number of abdominal massages, notably those that originate in Asia.
Without diving deeply in the theory and practices around Vital Life Energy, the core idea is that blockages of the free flow of Life Energy through the body’s Energy Channels (canals or pathways) cause discomforts and illnesses. As such, most Asian traditional medicine practices focus on unblocking and releasing hindrances in those channels.
In many traditional systems, the body’s Energy Channels are thought to start or converge around the navel, and as such much therapeutic work is done in that area, using acupressure and other massage techniques.
Depending on the tradition, different names (and slightly different functions) are given to the Energy Channels. For instance, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Energy Channels are called Meridians. In Indian Ayurveda Medicine the names of the channels are the Nadis, and in Thai Traditional Medicine the Sib Sen. Note that Energy Canals cannot be seen with the eye or proven by modern technology; they are considered to be invisible.
Along these Energy Pathways one finds energy distribution or transformation centers, in TCM called Dantian and in Ayurveda named Chakras. Additionally, one will find so-called acupressure points along these channels, which, depending on the Traditional Medicine system are considered reflexology points influencing body and organ systems, minor energy distribution centers, or “windows” between the physical and subtle body or between body and mind.