The theoretical background of the Sib Sen in Thai Massage (officially called the Sen Prathan Sib i.e. main ten channels) is quite similar to the energy line concepts found in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Yoga, and Ayurvedic Medicine.
All these concepts assume that Life Force Energy (Prana, Lom Pran, or Qi) traverses through specific pathways in the body. These Energy Channels are called the Sen in Thailand, Nadis in India, and Meridians in China.
Moreover, it’s believed that an unobstructed supply and balanced distribution of Life Force Energy is of key importance to a person’s health and well-being.
Life Energy or Life Force in Thai Massage is called Lom Pran, which means Wind of Life. A blockage or obstruction in the flow of Lom Pran is thought to cause a variety of discomforts, diseases, or illnesses to a person.
As such, “opening” and “maintaining” the Sen Lines is one of the primary aims of treatments in the Thai Healing Arts.
Sib Sen philosophy (theory or doctrine) claims the following as its main principles:
- The word Sen means “path,” “line” or “channel,” and Sib means “ten” (10);
- The Sen Lines form a fine-grained network penetrating the entire body, effectively reaching every single cell;
- The Sib Sen start their trajectories under the abdominal surface around the navel and end at the openings, endings, or extremities of the body;
- There are a total of 72,000 Sen Lines, but only ten principal Sen Lines; all other Sen branch from these ten major Sen Lines;
- The Sen are material but invisible and made up of highly subtle matter; they can neither be seen with the eye nor with help of microscopic equipment;
- The Sen, from out an Energy Line perspective, are not blood vessels, lymph canals, nerves, tendons or ligaments;
- There is Wind, Subtle Breath, or Life Energy (Lom Pran) conducted through the Sen;
- Sen Lines can get blocked or broken, and if so, Life Energy or Wind can get obstructed or leak, and may cause illness or discomfort;
- Life Energy or Wind transforms into different types of energies or winds in the body;
- Some Sen Lines overlap and combine (parts of) the functionality of the respective overlapping Sen. It’s also thought that a Prana trajectory can conduct more than one type of Wind;
- The Sen have an infinite number of acupressure point locations on the lines that influence the flow of Life Energy. Nevertheless, there are a range of pressure points that have special therapeutic functionality.