Bodywork — Opening the Belly

back index ahead

REMINDER: If you want to learn to do “real” Body­work, you must find a qual­i­fied teacher — some­one who has “hands on” expe­ri­ence — and there­fore can help you to learn to judge the amount of pres­sure to apply.

That being said, apply­ing mod­er­ate pres­sure while play­ing with these exer­cis­es will give you feel for what Body­work is about.


Impor­tant cautions

Please note the fol­low­ing impor­tant cau­tions before fol­low­ing this exercise.

Not all exer­cise is suit­able for every­one, and this or any exer­cise pro­gramme may result in injury. Con­sult with your doc­tor before you use the exer­cis­es from the The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages and videos.

To reduce the risk of injury, nev­er force or strain your­self dur­ing exer­cise. If you feel pain, stop and seek med­ical atten­tion if nec­es­sary. Those with spe­cial health con­sid­er­a­tions should con­sult their med­ical prac­ti­tion­er before per­form­ing any exercise.

The cre­ators, pro­duc­ers, per­form­ers of The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages and videos can­not guar­an­tee that this prod­uct is suit­able and safe for every individual.

Any lia­bil­i­ty, loss or dam­age in con­nec­tion with the use of The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages instruc­tion, includ­ing but not lim­it­ed to any lia­bil­i­ty, loss or dam­age aris­ing from the per­for­mance of the exer­cis­es demon­strat­ed here, or any advice or infor­ma­tion pro­vid­ed by The Phoenix Cen­tre for Cre­ative Liv­ing’s Body­work pages in the videos, or on the web­site, is express­ly disclaimed.

Bel­ly Release

The bel­ly is the home of the low­er dan tian — accord­ing to Chi­nese Med­i­cine, a major store­house of chi. The chi ris­es from the earth, up the legs, and through the Root Chakra; then, the ener­gy is then 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. We approach this area gen­tly and with respect.

The bel­ly is a hyper-sen­si­tive zone for many peo­ple, as indi­cat­ed by the idea that threats are often described as attacks to our “soft under­bel­ly.” While this is a metaphor, trust­ing some­one enough to give them total access to our stom­achs is a major mark­er of both being in our bod­ies and being will­ing to be “open.”

The low­er belly/front of the pelvis is the seat of “pas­sion for pas­sion’s sake.” Our sen­su­al­i­ty and sex­u­al­i­ty, is “locat­ed” in the area from the navel to the gen­i­tals, and from an ener­gy per­spec­tive, pas­sion is caused by the ris­ing of “front pelvic” energy. 

In Body­work, we release the upper body before the pelvis, to give the ener­gy a place to go. You can do the same, by first using the Chest Release, and then doing the fol­low­ing exer­cise with the belly.

The bel­ly is criss­crossed with mus­cles, which “hold every­thing in.” Much ten­sion is often held in this area. Let­ting go in this zone is key for releas­ing sex­u­al and phys­i­cal trauma.

The Belly Massage

We begin by iden­ti­fy­ing some of the loca­tions: this mas­sage will incor­po­rate both the upper and low­er bel­ly — from the bot­tom ribs to the pubic bone.

  • Begin with the inside of the edge of the pelvis, coloured pur­ple in the pho­to. Move your fin­gers out­ward and upward at a 45 degree angle, along the inside of the pelvis.
  • 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 xiphoid process. (red in photo.) 
  • Run your fin­gers along either side of the out­side edges of the stom­ach mus­cles, coloured  green.

  • Giv­er: Begin by apply­ing mas­sage oil (the orange area in the pho­to ) to the upper and low­er bel­ly, from below the ribs to the pubic bone, and out­ward to the inside edges of the pelvis.

  • Giv­er: Work under and along the ribs, slid­ing your fin­gers inside as far as the recip­i­ent allows.

  • Giv­er: Move your hands and apply medi­um pres­sure to the low­er dan tian, locat­ed 2 inch­es below the navel. You can rub in a small cir­cle, clockwise. 

    Ask the per­son you are work­ing on to mon­i­tor the pres­sure for you. It should feel slight­ly sore but relaxing.

  • Giv­er: Re-posi­tion your hands so the fin­gers are point­ing down toward the recip­i­en­t’s feet. Place your fin­gers along the upper edge of the pubic bone, and press light­ly down­ward into the bel­ly. Your fin­gers are posi­tioned on the pink coloured spots. 

    Hold, and apply light down­ward pressure. 

  • Giv­er: Move to the side of the recip­i­en­t’s hips and hook your fin­gers over the top of the mons pubis. (The yel­low area in the pho­to) Pull down­ward toward the recip­i­en­t’s feet. 

    Again, ask the per­son hav­ing the mas­sage for direc­tion regard­ing pressure.

  • Giv­er: 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. 

  • Giv­er: 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 to the right. 

    This is near to the main leg artery, so be sure to be to the side of the artery. 

  • Rush­ing door is marked with the stars

  • Giv­er: 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 gen­tly, then push your fin­gers / thumbs together.

    The bel­ly will rise up between your thumbs/fingers; you’ll be squeez­ing the stom­ach mus­cle. Hold this for a breath or two, then slide your fin­gers along the length of the mus­cle, from ribs, to pubic bone.

  • Giv­er: Use one hand to cir­cle the entire bel­ly in a clock­wise direc­tion. Each cir­cle gets small­er, end­ing with your fin­gers press­ing into the navel. 

  • Giv­er: Rest both hands on the bel­ly, and imag­ine send­ing warmth, or chi, into the recip­i­en­t’s belly. 

  • Giv­er: 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 fin­ger­tips are nes­tled between the pubic bone and the edge of the pelvis. 

back index ahead

Scroll to Top