Nei Kung or Nei Gong for Tuina Massage Therapists


Nei Kung or Nei Gong is an ancient practice derived from internal martial arts. It was more often practiced in the Shaolin and Wudang temples to maintain internal energy harmony and balance for health and harmony. However it is an invaluable extension to any Tuina practitioner’s health and wellbeing. Doctors in China nowadays do not have time or the inclination to bestow upon their students the merits of Nei Kung or even Chi Kung. Those Doctors I have met in China who have been practising since the 1960’s have been involved in Nei Gong, Tai Chi, Iron Shirt or some form of internal energy enhancement.

What any practitioner of Tuina or Massage therapy, or even Acupuncture needs to realise is that Nei Kung is an invaluable tool to remain healthy, prevent illness, coughs and colds, and remain grounded. At a much higher level the practitioner may experience lengthy periods of heightened awareness, perception and even the ability to project Chi or Qi into their patients to affect a healing response.

What forms are Nei Kung are out there? There are several styles, one of which I definitely recommend is called the ‘Tendon Changing Classic’ or Yin Jin Jing. Its is based on years of history around internal martial arts and restorative Taosit exercises. Personally I like to practice the ‘8 Palm Standing Set’, which is a lesser known form of Nei Kung but is easier to learn and execute effectively. Generally those involved in Tuina or Acupuncture should at least consider som form of internal energy work to prevent burnout from their business.

The practice of Nei Kung incorporates standing, moving and breathing in a certain way with emphasis on using the mind towards directing, observing and refining internal Chi or Qi flow through the body. It differs from Chi Kung or Qi Gong in that it focuses on the energy already present in the body and does not make any attempt to draw energy from the outside in.

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