Thai Massage is a unique massage modality and is quite different from western massage styles which work on anatomical features.
Thai Massage, however, combines massage with energy line work. Let’s explore what these “sen lines” are and how they work.
In western massage styles, therapists work on anatomical components like muscles, tendons, fascia etc.
In Thai Massage, therapists work on energy lines. They are not based on anatomical functions, but on the concept of a subtle flow of life energy.
Are Thai Massage sen lines material or spiritual?
They are not material since they cannot be detected in x-rays or MRIs. They are also not spiritual. You don’t have to convert to Buddhism, chant mantras or practice meditation to work on sen lines.
You could think of them as something subtle, like your thoughts or feelings. Those cannot be seen either, but we all know that they exist.
However, the sen lines have a definite connection to the anatomy, since they are traced along the physical body and they are worked on by pressing on the physical body.
This is a concept similar to acupuncture where needles are inserted into the physical body in order to influence a subtle energy.
What if you don’t believe in subtle energy?
There is nobody on the planet who doesn’t believe in energy. However most people use different words to describe it. There is love, feelings, determination, flashes of insights, faith, emotion, etc.
These are all non-material or non-physical expressions of something subtle – and in Thai Massage we call it energy or sen.
This energy is not reserved for yogis who meditate in a cave in the Himalayas. The fact is that we use various types of energy all day long. We just don’t call it “energy”.
How do Thai Massage sen lines work?
The function of the sen lines is to conduct life energy. This happens naturally in a healthy body. However, sen lines can become blocked in many ways – by disease, bad eating habits, accidents or injury, trauma, stress, bad lifestyle habits, etc.
You can look at it like a stream which is partially blocked by a fallen tree which creates turbulence. Once you pull the tree out of the water, the stream can run freely again.
That’s what we are trying to accomplish with the Thai Massage sen line work. The purpose is to clear out blockages and get the life energy to flow freely again. This, in turn, will support and accelerate the body’s healing mechanism.
Where do the sen lines run?
There is no total agreement among the various schools about exact locations.
This would be hard to do with a non-physical pathway. So you cannot use a ruler and pin it down to the millimeter.
However you can get a pretty good idea about the approximate location, and then you develop feeling, sensitivity and intuition to learn how to feel them instead of just mechanically pressing on them.
Sen line work is more art than science.
How effective is Thai Massage sen line therapy?
It’s not a magical push-button system where you press on a particular spot and suddenly the disease disappears.
Sen line therapy, like holistic work in general, is a process which supports and accelerates the body’s healing power.
In most cases, it is a gradual healing process which takes repeated applications. However I have seen rapid results in some cases as well.
One important factor is that mechanical pressing along those lines will not bring about any results unless the therapist is sensitive, intuitive and able to tune into the client’s body.
How do Thai Massage sen lines differ from other energy work?
If you compare it with Reiki, for example, the difference is that Reiki focuses only on the energy without any physical work. Sen line therapy however is applied as part of a real massage session.
It is a much more active and physically involved system than most other styles of energy work, and it combines the benefits of massage and energy work.
How can you learn Thai Massage sen line therapy?
Thai Healing Massage Academy offers advanced online training programs for learning the entire system of professional Thai Massage from A to Z.
You can learn it conveniently and cost-effectively right from your home.
When you join our training programs, you also have access to a wonderful community of experienced and inspired therapists who have worked with our material, and you have personal access to the teacher for any questions.
To learn Thai Massage, check out Thai Healing Massage Academy’s excellent Complete Thai Massage Online Training.
The author, Shama Kern, is the founder and director of Thai Healing Massage Academy and the author of 20 online Thai Massage training courses. He has been practicing and teaching Thai Massage for over two decades.