For years I had been thinking that Chi Nei Tsang is an ancient Chinese traditional healing modality. But recently, doing some research on Chi Nei Tsang, I discovered it isn’t really. Well… it is and it isn’t.
In fact, Mantak Chia, the creator of Chi Nei Tsang developed something new. Yet, don’t get me wrong here—he never made a secret about it. It is clearly stated on the Chi Nei Tsang official website as: “Chi Nei Tsang, or CNT, is an ancient form of detoxifying, energizing, abdominal massage. It blends Chinese and Thai massage and meditation techniques, making it truly different from any other healing modality.”
The confusion, my confusion that is, came about because of Chi Nei Tsang practitioners and instructors sometimes referring to the modality as “an ancient Chinese abdominal healing system.” That in itself can be pardoned, because Chi Nei Tsang, certainly for its theoretical foundation, heavily draws on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) concepts.
Anyway, nothing inherently wrong with new healing modalities—the “trick” had been done before. A nice example is that of Shiatsu being considered a Japanese “traditional” bodywork modality, but which actually emerged only recently at the beginning of the 20th century. Shiatsu developed out of Anma (Japanese traditional massage) which apparently was itself an adaptation from Tuina (Chinese traditional massage).
But now, who is Mantak Chia?
Born in Thailand in 1944 to Chinese parents, he’s the creator of the Universal Healing Tao System (UHT), Healing Tao and Tao Yoga. Apart from that he is the director of the Universal Healing Tao Center and the Tao Garden Health Spa & Resort in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Currently, Mantak Chia lives in Chiang Mai, but he travels intensively around the world giving workshops, courses, lectures and the like.
Already as a young boy he learned Tai Chi Chuan, Aikido, Qigong, Thai Boxing and Kung Fu. He was gradually initiated in Taoist, Buddhist and Zen teachings and healing methods. Later on he worked and lived in the USA, studied Western anatomy and medical science for a while, finally integrating all his knowledge and experience into his Universal Healing Tao System (UHT).
The UHT System today divides up in 5 branches:
Tao Energy Cultivation, Healing Love, Chi Nei Tsang, Internal Martial Arts, and Inner Alchemy.
Mantak Chia wrote numerous books about UHT and created as many DVDs and videos (Universal Tao TV), he runs a large Online Shop, and a incredibly vast UHT System and Chi Nei Tsang certification program with many practitioners and instructors around the world (see the Universal Healing Tao Instructors website).
In 1994, he started building the Tao Garden Health Resort and Healing Tao Training Center in Chiang Mai which was completed and inaugurated in the year 2000. In 2003, he opened the Tao Garden Holistic Medical Spa using Western and Eastern modalities and technologies which include Traditional Thai Massage, India Ayurveda Therapies, and Chi Nei Tsang.
Over the years, Master Chia’s Universal Healing Tao System developed, grew and well… it keeps expanding. Several new or existing healing modalities like for instance Thai Tok Sen, Karsei Nei Tsang, Multi-Orgasmic teachings, the Dark Room, and Inner Alchemy Practices and Astrology were added, revised, or “upgraded.”
To fully grasp what Mantak Chia and his organization are offering, how things are arranged and fit together exactly is, without any exaggeration, an art in itself. I referred to various UHT-websites already, but trust me, there are quite a few more to be discovered.
Perhaps adding a “Universal Healing Tao Websites Discoverer & Practitioner” program and certification to the UHT system would not be a luxury at all!
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