A 5000-year-old Thai massage system

A 5000-year-old Thai massage system

Tok Sen in Thai means reactivating energy lines, in other words, it is a technique to get stagnated energy flowing again. It uses manually generated vibrations and sound impulses to create relaxation deep in the fascia and muscles. This unique approach is found exclusively in the Chiang Mai area of northern Thailand in the rice farming province of Lanna.

The monotonous and bent body postures in rice cultivation led to severe tension on a recurring basis. So it was no wonder that the healers of the time were looking for - and found - a more effective method besides the classical Thai massage.  

It is believed that Tok Sen is about 5000 years old and was developed in Lanna parallel to the development of acupuncture in nearby China.

This energetic healing method is still used by healers in the countryside today, but has not spread much. It is the special merit of Grand Master Mantak Chia to have transferred the historical Tok Sen method, handed down from healer to healer, into a medically vibration teaching system. He was honoured by the Thai government for this and the method is professionally taught as Chi Nei Ching Tok Sen Healing Harmony in his centre Tao Garden near Chiang Mai. The first book publication "Chi Nei Ching ,Internal Muscle, Tendon, Meridian Massage" was published in 2013 (ISBN 978-1620550861).

 

Tok Sen helps improve energy flow - restore balance - resolves muscle pain and is used in Thailand for people with symptoms of paralysis and other secondary effects of constricted nerves due to tension.

It is a traditional method used for therapeutic purposes for people with tendon and muscle problems. Special massage tools of different sizes and shapes are used. The basic technique is the same. By lightly hammering with varying degrees of contact on the affected parts of the body, targeted vibrations are created, rhythmic vibrations are sent through the nerves, muscle and connective tissue.

Not only the tapping is important, but also the tempo and pressure of the application. Usually the rhythm is three strokes, one, two, three and again one, two, three. The differently shaped tools are used for different areas of application and body conditions.

The two-footed tappet, for example, is for tapping two places at the same time. It can be used between two bones, the smaller pestles are used on the narrower parts of the body. There are many reasons for using Tok Sen, but one of the main reasons is that a therapist's fingers are limited. For example, they are not able to reach into tight places. Also, fingers can get tired or even sore if used intensively. And when they are tired, they may no longer be able to provide the necessary treatment, every professional masseur has experienced this. In Tok Sen, the fingers are used to feel an area to see if it is still too tight and needs further Tok Sen applications.

 

 

Traditional Asian healing techniques have been passed down for centuries and claim their place alongside modern medicine. They are now also accepted by conventional, western doctors These assumptions about health and well-being are far in the past, the concept of chi is at least 2500 years old and that of traditional Asian medicine at least 2200 years old.

According to ancient Thai texts, 72,000 channels are named, starting from the abdomen and spreading throughout the body.

These energy channels are used as the ten energy channels ''Sen Sib'', they are the heart of traditional Thai massage. They are a synthesis of Chinese, Indian and Thai methods and have been practiced in Thailand for centuries. Unlike Western medicine, the Thai approach is more holistic. Nothing can be treated or discussed in isolation from the whole. Rather, everything must be understood as part of the organic whole, all influences are interrelated and in turn interactively influenced by every other part of the body.

In Chinese medicine there are twelve muscle-tendon meridians. They run mainly on the outer areas of the tendons and muscles. They are of great importance in the transmission of power through the joints. Therapies along the muscle-tendon meridians are extremely effective in eliminating muscle tension. Blocked, stiff and aching muscles respond clearly to muscle-tendon meridian therapies, improved blood circulation and pain relief can be expected promptly. The corresponding Chinese massage system Tui Na, which is considered one of the 5 pillars of Traditional Chinese Medicine, should be mentioned here.

Of the many areas of the body that can benefit from Tok Sen treatment, the neck and shoulders are particularly volatile. The 'yoke' of duties and stress are particularly likely to cause tension pain here. In the holistic approach of Traditional Thai Medicine, treatment of this region is believed to eliminate causes that seem unrelated to the neck and shoulders.

Traditional Thai Massage aims, as one of its primary goals, to remove blockages to aid healing and restore freedom of movement. The tendons and ligaments of the body need to be cared for to maintain our health. In Thailand, these tendon therapies have been tried and tested for centuries and are also used for prevention. Another important part in this subject complex is the psoas major muscle, which among other things supports the area under the kidneys and the Tan Tien. The Tan Tien is of particular importance for Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners and is understood as the energetic focus of the body. Classically, three tan tien are distinguished.

    1. Shang, the upper Tan Tien: The so-called 3rd eye, is the point in the middle between the eyebrows and corresponds to the "Ex HN 03" (extra point).
    2. Zhong, middle Tan Tien: in the middle of the chest at about the level of the nipples and corresponds to the point "KG 17" (conception vessel/Ren Mai)
    3. Xia, lower Tan Tien: In the region of the lower abdomen, about 1.5 cun (width of the index and middle fingers) below the navel

 

Our entire body is interspersed with countless tendons. They connect the muscles to the bones and are crucial for every movement of the body. Tendons and muscles are directly related to every part of the body, including organs, fascia and the nervous system. They are a vital part of the joints, and perhaps their greatest function is in engaging the vertebrae.

The unique feature of Tok Sen is the wooden tools used for therapy. Tok Sen massage sets consist of a hammer and various types of plungers. The shape of the plungers evolved according to the areas of the body to be treated.


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