Pressing the Life Button

Welcome everyone to June. The best month of the year . . . because it’s my birthday month. I have the greatest thing to tell you about. It’s called Belly Button Healing. You have to try it. Ilchi Lee invented it, because he was looking for better ways to heal himself when he didn’t feel well or was injured. He had an instinct about the belly button, and started exploring its capabilities in his usual way, testing various ways of pressing and massaging it and observing what it did to his body.


Over time, he learned more and more about the belly button and all of the things it’s connected to or on top of in the body. Because of his interest in the brain, he was especially interested in the fact that it lies over what has been called the “second brain.” The second brain is another term for the enteric nervous system, the network of nerves that manages the digestive tract, as well as helper organs such as the spleen and gall bladder. This network can do its very important job of getting important nutrients and other substances from the outside world while protecting the body from outside things that would harm it, without micromanagement from the brain. The brain does help coordinate its actions with the rest of what is going on in the body and gets lots of information from the enteric nervous system. They are closely connected via important nerves, especially the vagus nerve, which is a cranial nerve that bypasses the spinal cord and goes right to the brainstem.

Another important feature of the gut in terms of our overall health is that it makes a lot of hormones that not only affect digestion, but also the brain and emotion. The gut makes about 90% of the serotonin in the body, the “happiness hormone,” and 50% of the dopamine, the “joy hormone.” For this reason, and perhaps more, the condition of our gut is often affect by, or in turn, affects, the condition of the brain. It has been linked to conditions such as depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, and ADHD.

The belly button is also important in the body’s network of fascia. Through this network, it’s connected to many different parts of the body, even as far away as the shoulders, neck, hips, and knees. You can release tension and pain in your body by pressing on your belly button, which lies approximately at the center.

Inside the abdominal cavity, important organs, blood vessels, and lymph nodes sit. About 30% of the body’s blood can be found there at any given time. But if the abdomen is cool and/or stiff, the blood, lymph, and food don’t move through the abdomen well. Belly Button Healing warms the abdomen and gets everything inside it moving. It’s a simple, pointed, and focused kind of abdominal massage that gives your organs a workout.

Ilchi Lee is always looking for new ways to empower people to connect to and be responsible for the health of their body, mind, and spirit. Belly Button Healing is the latest way he is sharing widely. While this method has immediate effects—people have demonstrated larger range of motion and pain relief from doing it just one time—it is not a magical cure-all. It takes ongoing practice to feel its full force and to use it to improve and maintain your health. Ilchi Lee recommends doing it three times a day for one to three minutes. With a steady practice of Belly Button Healing, any immediate effects will be enhanced and new improvements will appear.


I have been doing it sporadically myself—about once a day. I can feel my brain waves slowing down and energy releasing from my solar plexus, throat, and ears. My shoulders relax and my belly gets warm. The movements also stimulate some kind of pleasure center. I will keep exploring the potential of this practice.

We just published Ilchi Lee’s book, Belly Button Healing: Unlocking Your Second Brain for Your Healthy Life. For more information about Belly Button Healing, you can go to


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