Are Sen Lines Needed to Give Thai Massage Therapy?

Published: Nov 30, 2015 | Revised: Jul 18, 2024
Edited by: Marce Ferreira

Chart of Sen Kalathari

An interesting question is if there’s a proper, genuine, or maybe better said — deductive or a priori theoretical i.e. conceptual framework backing up Traditional Thai Massage.

When you study the subject you are bound to discover that there are rather persistent antagonist views of the Thai Sen Energy Lines and acupressure points outline. And subsequently, it’s hard not to get the impression there’s something wrong with the picture.

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Yet, does one need knowledge of the Sen Lines to be a capable Thai Massage practitioner or therapist? I would say — not necessarily. A case in point of this is the fact that there are exceptional healers in the high North of Thailand “doing Thai Massage,” who don’t have any knowledge whatsoever of the so-called Sib Sen Energy Lines.

But then, why would one invent a conceptual foundation?

First of all, I’m sure there’s no deliberate fraud or faking implicated here. I assume that the theoretical foundations of Thai Massage — and the Thai Healing Arts in general — came about after a very long history of trial and error, look and feel, and curative results. Experience!

Let’s see it this way — I don’t really believe that Doctor Jivaka Komarabhacca saw 72,000 Energy Lines appearing in deep meditation, and I can’t imagine he actually did the Cobra Pose on a receiver either. Do you?

So, what does this teach us?

As a Thai Massage practitioner, I have noticed that I don’t need any theory to do “the work.” What I do, is in fact entirely based on experience. On having done a whole lot of sessions, and learning from those.

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I think that simply looking at a teacher’s or therapist’s work and — feeling, doing sessions myself and learning from those, would’ve been another way to teach me what I know now.

Now, certainly, becoming a Thai Masseur would’ve probably cost me a lot more time if I wouldn’t have had some theoretical instruction going with it. I would probably have needed to “sit at the master’s feet” for an indefinite period of time. Like in the “old days.”

But don’t get me wrong — I don’t think there’s something inherently flawed with theoretical or conceptual frameworks. Nevertheless, it can obstruct us of “going further.” It can hinder our creativity, our process of continuous learning and becoming better and more adaptive healers.

You see, after we’ve learned the concepts, we need to let go of them to really grow.

But that we can only do authentically by deeply understanding how these concepts came about. And as to that, I think real knowledge can only emerge from practicing an incredible whole lot, and moreover, doing it with whole our hearts.

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