Books and DVDs on Hara Diagnosis
Our belly – the centre of our body
The only reference book on Japanese Hara Diagnosis is by Kiiko Matsumoto and Steven Birch, Hara Diagnosis: Reflections on the Sea. You will also find a TCM audio lecture about Hara Diagnosis. The Hara Diagnosis shows us that the abdomen is the centre of our body, where our focus lies when we move upright. The majority of our organs are located in the centre of the body: stomach and spleen/pancreas, liver and gallbladder and the (secondary) kidneys in the upper abdomen; small intestine and large intestine in the centre; bladder and the female reproductive organs in the lower abdomen.
Hara: Center for vital bodily functions
The upper boundary of the abdominal cavity is the diaphragm, which separates it from the upper body, the lungs and the heart. At the bottom, the abdomen rests in the pelvis, which, supported by the pelvic floor, forms an effective pelvis in which these internal organs rest. Thus, many of our vital bodily functions take place in the Hara. The digestion of physical food (stomach), the absorption of nutrients (small intestine, partly large intestine), the purification and partial formation of blood (liver, kidney, spleen), the formation of hormones (pancreas, (secondary) kidneys, reproductive organs), the excretion of waste products (large intestine, bladder).
All this takes place without our consciousness and therefore does not require a special presence in the Hara.
Effects of active breathing…
However, it is known that active, trained muscles of the pelvic floor and breathing are supported. Active breathing, which starts in the abdomen and continues via the diaphragm into the upper body, moves the organs in the abdominal cavity. This rhythm results in a constant compression/decompression of the organs, which facilitates, for example, the peristalsis of the digestive system. Furthermore, these movements result in fewer possibilities for gluing the organs together: what moves cannot stick. Adhesions, on the other hand, make the organs’ own movements more difficult, thereby restricting their space, which can impair their function.
…and the muscles of the pelvic floor.
The pelvic floor, on the other hand, enables an active, anatomically correct straightening, since it establishes connections to the entire postural musculature of the body via muscle chains. This gives the organs, primarily the abdominal cavity, but indirectly also the lungs and the heart, sufficient space to perform their functions in a restricted way. Blockages often manifest themselves in problems in the lower back, which must compensate for the lack of mobility.
Hip joints – connection of the upper body with the legs and the mind
The hip joints play a special role for our standing and our movement in the world: they connect our upper body and our mind with our legs and feet. If there are blockages in the hip joints, we will have trouble maintaining our position and moving, whether step by step or in the world in general: our position is an expression of our presence in the Hara. If we succeed in keeping our centre of gravity low, i.e. in the lower Hara, and our erection unfolds from the pelvic floor, and the connection to the legs and feet is open and relaxed, we stand with both legs in life. The hip joints are in a certain sense the movable part of the Haras. They have the strongest muscles in the body. The Hara itself could be called the strongest part of the body.