The foundation of Thai Traditional Massage is based on “working the 10 Sen Energy Lines,” that is, applying theoretical and practical knowledge of the so-called Thai Sib Sen (Sen Sib or Sen Sip).
These invisible canals (or pathways) run through our bodies and distribute vital life-energy, called Prana, Wind, Lom Pran, Chi, or Universal Energy. By unblocking or opening these channels or meridians and by “balancing” the flow of energy, we maintain or restore the proper functioning of our body and mind, thereby preventing, alleviating or curing discomforts and pains.
With Thai Massage we learn their trajectories, and we learn how to manipulate and unblock them — with pressure, acupressure, rocking, with stretches, and with Yoga poses, to name some of the most commonly used techniques.
Traditional Thai Massage recognizes ten main energy lines, although these ten lines also branch into many extensions and sub-lines, said to be a total of 72,000 pathways. In this post, we give an overview of the trajectories of the ten principal Thai Sen Lines and their respective therapeutic indications, roles, and purpose in our bodies.
Mind that, depending on the Thai Massage lineage, there are some disparities about the routes these Sen Lines take in our bodies. We have primarily followed the outcome of research done by the two well-known Thai Massage instructors Asokananda (Harald Brust) and Kam Thye Chow.
Rest to say that in Thailand the Sib Sen Lines may also carry different names depending on the Thai Massage school, teacher or lineage.
Below you find a quick overview of the ten main Sip Sen Energy Lines. Follow the individual links for details about the specific Energy Line, its therapeutic function and trajectory across/in the body.
1. Sen Sumana
Sen Sumana runs primarily along the spinal column, and is perhaps considered the most important of the ten Sen Lines. Its associated with the Wind Element and respiratory function, but also with abdominal and digestive issues.
2. Sen Ittha
Sen Ittha is associated with the Earth Element. Typically, the Ittha Energy Line is related to curing or alleviating headaches, sinusitis, back and neck pains, and sciatic nerve pains.
3. Sen Pingkhala
Sen Pingkhala is the counterpart of Sen Ittha, and associated with the Fire Element. This Energy Line is related to healing or alleviating headaches, sinusitis, back and neck pains, and sciatic nerve pains.
4. Sen Kalathari
Sen Kalathari, also called the emotional and psychic line, is the Energy Channel strongly associated with “movement of the limbs,” that is, with movement and mobility of the arms, hands, legs, and feet. This line is associated with both the Fire and Wind Elements.
5. Sen Lawusang
Sen Lawusang is related to the function of the ears, and associated with the Wind Element. This line is the counterpart of Sen Ulangka.
6. Sen Ulangka
Just like Sen Lawusang, Sen Ulangka’s counterpart on the left side of the body, Ulangka is related to healthy functioning of the ears, and associated with the Wind Element.
7. Sen Sahatsarangsi
Sen Sahatsarangsi is associated with the Water Element, and the counterpart of Sen Thawari. Sen Sahatsarangsi is related to the eyes, the lower abdominal region, and the chest.
8. Sen Thawari
Sen Thawari runs on the right side of the body, being the counterpart of Sen Sahatsarangsi. Its associated with the Water Element, and related to the eyes, the abdominal region, and chest, with special indications for the intestines, liver, and gallbladder.
9. Sen Nanthakrawat
Sen Nanthakrawat is mostly related to the function of the genital and lower excretion organs, being associated with the Wind Element.
10. Sen Kitchanna
Like Sen Nanthakrawat, Sen Kitchanna is related to the healthy function of the genital and lower excretion organs, and associated with the Wind Element.
Although Nanthakrawat and Kitchanna have overlapping functions, each of these Sen Lines have another trajectory, also addressing other organs and different functions.