The Thai medicine and massage was first introduced by Shivago Komarpaj, who is fabled to be Buddha’s physician more than 2,500 years ago. The Thai massage’s history is more complicated than what would seem owing to a single founder’s work. It is a fusion of a variety of influences from Chinese, Indian, Southeast Asian medicinal traditions and cultural spheres, more generally like TTM.
According to its appraisal today, the art is most likely to be a product obtained from a synthesis done in the 19th century of many healing traditions carried out all around the kingdom. A considerable variation exists even today, from one region to another across Thailand. No fixed routine or a rigid theoretical framework is universally followed among the healers.
In general, modern Thai massage practitioners work on the basis that the ‘lom’ (air) permeates the body which when inhaled in the lungs, travels through the body across 72,000 pathways known as ‘Sen’ (vessels). Normally, massage therapists start off by manipulating a few of the primary sen lines by exerting pressure on particular points along these lines. On almost all these models, the line of sen originates at navel and then spreads all across the body to end at certain orifices. Now, an important part of the Thai massage practice also involves stretches like in yoga which are aimed at stimulating the sen lines and articulating lom throughout the body through a particular pumping action that is directly related to a patient’s breathing.
The lom and sen theory generally translates as ‘energy’ and ‘meridians’ in English. Even though, there are a few superficial resemblances to the theory of Chinese meridian, the Thai massage system is actually more directly linked to the basic depths of many Indian traditions like Ayurveda and yoga. In Thai tradition, it is popularly known that around 72,000 sen lines exist. However, this should not be taken in literal sense because the number actually indicates an infinite amount in Buddhist tradition — the whole point is that each and every cell constituting the body of a human being is linked to each cell via an intricate and infinite energy mesh. This pang of energy is called chi (in Chinese) or prana (in Sanskrit), or even palang sak (in Thai).
Such pranic networks pervade the living being’s body, as well as vibrate to psychological, physiological, and also certain spiritual experiences. Not just anyone can diagram or name all the infinite energy circuits of the body. But, the 10 major sen lines are widely used and taught in the massage schools of Thailand in order to efficiently treat the human body.
This article was written by John from LivingInThailand.co