Theory of Thai SEN (Channels)

Sun and Moon ChannelThe SEN (Thai) / Nadis (Sanskrit) / channels is one of the most fundamental concepts in both Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage. Almost all poses (asanas) of Yoga or techniques of Thai Yoga Massage are based on either opening the blockages on these SENs/ Nadis or stretching them or contracting them. Therefore, it becomes necessary to understand what these channels are.

The SEN of Thai Yoga Massage is derived from the Indian yogic system and often have similar sounding names. The word SEN in Thai is a generic word for “channel”, pathway, route, etc.. In many Thai Massage courses across the world these SEN are described as energy lines. This is an unnecessary mystification of a clearly anatomical system as they are often palpable and for a trained eye even visible.

In Thai massage, these SEN can be divided into gross and subtle channels.

Gross (physical)l Channels work with the following:
1. Bone, muscle, tendon, and ligaments. (Earth element)
2. Blood: however - Arterial or venous carrying nutrients and other glandular secretions (water/emotion) or Lymph
3. Nerve impulses (Fire)

Subtle Channels work with Mind/Intellect (Air) and Ether/Consciousness (Sky). These subtle channels, however, are not easy to palpate and can be accessed only once one has moved into advanced meditative practices.

A good rule of thumb to locate the SEN is to follow the valleys and peaks of the body. From an anatomical perspective this signifies the space between two muscles or between muscle and bone. This space is filled with soft connective tissue called fascia formed from collagen proteins. The SEN can also travel over the center of the muscle belly that form toned peaks of the human musculature.

Modern Myo-fascial research now confirms that arteries, veins and nerves travel to various parts of body using the fascia as scaffolding and support. The fascia itself wraps the various body parts and provides them structural integrity and acts as a medium for force transmission and dispersion.

With this understanding one can then observe that SEN form the space through which life flows (blood, lymph, nerves and bio mechanical force) in a body.  When a blockage arises in the fascia due to adhesions, then the SEN is constricted and the flow of life impeded resulting in disease. Further if a muscle gets tightened due to a trigger point then the resulting bulge in a muscle also can reduce the fascial space around it resulting in blocks.
If the issue persists or if the blockage is close to the internal organs of the body then it can impede nutrient supply and toxin elimination thus affecting the normal healthy functioning of organs.

All Thai Massage techniques work with removing these blockages by compression followed with stretching. In some other modalities of Thai like Tok Sen a wooden hammer and mallet is used to create a vibration effect that loosens these blockages.

In the Thai system there are 10 major SEN and may seem quite similar to Chinese meridians. However from the yogic point of view the actual numbers of SEN are 72000. In a good Thai Massage courses instructors should not only be able to explain this concept but must be able guide students to palpate and discover blocks on the SEN. These blocks can be detected with a light hand as stiff points or hard knots in the soft tissue that are quite sensitive to pressure. Releasing these blocks is often signified by softening of such a point, a drop in sensitivity, a re-emergence of a pulse or pain radiating to a distal point.

We invite you to learn more about the SEN by browsing the articles listed below which contain charts, anatomy and application of the lines.

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Theory of Thai SEN (Channels)


Theory of Thai SEN (Channels) The SEN (Thai) / Nadis (Sanskrit) / channels is one of the most fundamental concepts in both Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage. Almost all poses (asanas) of Yoga or techniques of Thai Yoga Massage are based on either opening the blockages on these SENs/ Nadis or stretching them or contracting them. Therefore, it becomes necessary to understand what these channels are.

Study Thai Massage Online - Sen Sip - Thai Massage Sen, Meridians Channel - Front View Study Thai Massage Online - Sen Sip - Thai Massage Sen, Meridians Channel - Side View Study Thai Massage Online - Sen Sip - Thai Massage Sen, Meridians Channel - Back View

The SEN/ Nadis of Yoga and Thai Yoga Massage are derived from the Indian yogic system and often have similar sounding names. The word SEN in Thai is a generic word for “channel”, pathway, route, etc.. In many Thai Massage courses, these SEN are described as energy lines. This is an unnecessary mystification of a clearly anatomical system as they are often palpable and for a trained eye even visible. 

In Thai massage, these SEN can be divided into gross and subtle channels.

Gross (physical)l Channels work with the following:
1. Bone, muscle, tendon, and ligaments. (Earth element)
2. Blood: however - Arterial or venous carrying nutrients and other glandular secretions (water/emotion) or Lymph
3. Nerve impulses (Fire)

Subtle Channels work with Mind/Intellect (Air) and Ether/Consciousness (Sky). These subtle channels, however, are not easy to palpate and can be accessed only once one has moved into advanced meditative practices.

A good rule of thumb to locate the SEN is to follow the valleys and peaks of the body. From an anatomical perspective, this signifies the space between two muscles or between muscle and bone. This space is filled with soft connective tissue called fascia formed from collagen proteins. The SEN can also travel over the center of the muscle belly that form toned peaks of the human musculature.

Modern Myo-fascial research now confirms that arteries, veins, and nerves travel to various parts of the body using the fascia as scaffolding and support. The fascia itself wraps the various body parts and provides them structural integrity and acts as a medium for force transmission and dispersion.

With this understanding, one can then observe that SEN form the space through which life flows (blood, lymph, nerves and bio mechanical force) in a body.  When a blockage arises in the fascia due to adhesions, then the SEN is constricted, and the flow of life impeded resulting in disease. Further, if a muscle gets tightened due to a trigger point, then the resulting bulge in a muscle also can reduce the fascial space around it resulting in blocks.
If the issue persists or if the blockage is close to the internal organs of the body then it can impede nutrient supply and toxin elimination thus affecting the normal healthy functioning of organs.

All Thai Massage techniques work with removing these blockages by compression followed with stretching. In some other modalities of Thai like Tok Sen, a wooden hammer and mallet are used to create a vibration effect that loosens these blockages.

In the Thai system, there are ten major SEN and may seem quite similar to Chinese meridians. However, from the yogic point of view, the actual numbers of SEN are 72000. In a good Thai Massage courses, instructors should not only be able to explain this concept but must be able to guide students to palpate and discover blocks on the SEN. These blocks can be detected with a light hand as stiff points or hard knots in the soft tissue that are quite sensitive to pressure. Releasing these blocks is often signified by softening of such a point, a drop in sensitivity, a re-emergence of a pulse or pain radiating to a distal point.

We invite you to learn more about the SEN by clicking on the image of each of the SEN shown below which contain charts, anatomy, and application of the lines.

Sen Sumana Sen Itha - Sen Pingkhala Sen Kalathari Sen Sahatsarangsi Thawari Sen Lawusang Ulangka  
Sen Sumana Sen Itha & Pingkhala Sen Kalathari Sen Sahatsarngsi & Thawari Sen Lawusang & Ulangka  

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Study Thai Massage Online -  Channels/ Sen/ Meridians - Sen Sahatsarangsi Thawari Front View mapped on human muscle anatomy Study Thai Massage Online -  Channels/ Sen/ Meridians - Sen Sahatsarangsi Thawari side View mapped on human muscle anatomy Study Thai Massage Online -  Channels/ Sen/ Meridians - Sen Sahatsarangsi Thawari side View mapped on human muscle anatomy 

Thai SEN: Sahatsarangsi & Thawari

Indications:

Connected to the sense of sight and is hence used for redness/swelling of the eyes. Facial paralysis, toothache, fever, chest pain, manic depressive/psychosis, gastrointestinal diseases, urogenital diseases, arthritis of the knee, paralysis of legs, knee pain. Sen Thawari is used in for Jaundice and appendicitis.


Anatomy chain

Major: Starts at the Navel cuts down to the medial edge of the Rectus Femoris. Down the knee to between the tibia and the Flexor Digitorum Longus. Goes to the top of the foot four finger from the Superior Extensor Retinaculum and cuts back up the leg along the Anterior Tibialis. Once it crosses the knee, it follows the lateral edge of the Rectus Femoris to the tip of the ASIS. Here it cuts back to the Sciatic notch in Gluteus area. At the Sciatic Point, it switches back to the front of the body under the Serratus Anterior to the nipples. From the nipples, it heads up behind the Posterior Scalene to the middle of the eye.
Minor: Starts at the Sciatic notch and goes up the posterior side of the Transversus Abdominis muscle up the middle of the scapula to the Levator Scapulae and then to the top of the head and turns back to the face along the hairline of the ear and ends at the tip of the eyebrows.

Application:

Line 1 inside and outside. Line 3 of the Back.

Myofascial Meridian:

Superficial Front Line on the legs

Study Thai Massage Online - Sen Sip - Sen Lawusang Ulangka front view Study Thai Massage Online - Sen Sip - Sen Lawusang Ulangka side view mapped on human muscle anatomy

Thai SEN: Lawusang & Ulangka

Indication:

Deafness, ear infections, middle and inner ear problems, coughing, facial paralysis, toothache and sore throat.


Anatomy Chain:

Starts at the Navel runs to the nipple up the Posterior Scalene to the front of the ear and back along the hairline behind the ear to finish under the ear lobes.


Application:

Points of the head 3 & 4. Closing the ear flaps in ear massage.

Study Thai Massage Online -  Channels/ Sen/ Meridians - Sen Kalathari Front View mapped on human muscle anatomy Study Thai Massage Online -  Channels/ Sen/ Meridians - Sen Kalathari Back View mapped on human muscle anatomy Study Thai Massage Online -  Channels/ Sen/ Meridians - Sen Kalathari Side View mapped on human muscle anatomy

Thai SEN: Kalathari

Indication:

Sen Kalathari is closely associated with muscular, skeletal, skin system and also considered the psychic/mental line. Application for paralysis of arms and leg.s Pain in the arms/legs, angina pectoris, epilepsy, schizophrenia, hysteria, various mental diseases. Cardiac Arrhythmia, arthritic fingers, jaundice, hernia, chest pain, shock, rheumatic heart disease.


Anatomy Chain

Major 1: Starts at the Navel crosses to the Nipples and runs into the armpit. From there down the inside of triceps brachi long head and down to the elbow from there it runs between flexor carpi radialis and Palmaris Longus. On reaching the wrist, it opens into five branches ending at the tip of each finger.
Major 2: Starts at the tips of each finger and runs the reverse path of Major line 1 back to the navel. From here it crosses to the other side of the body down to the groin and down to the upper thigh along the adductors. It then crosses the knee and runs along the between the gastroc and soleus muscle. It crosses the front of the malleolus down under the foot to the Plantar aponeurosis and spreads to the end of each toe.
Major 3: Starts at where the Major line 1 crosses into the armpit at the Pectoralis minor goes up clavicle to the clavicular head of the SCM muscle. From here it goes up the clavicular strand of the SCM and up the face to the corner of the eyes
Minor 1: Starts at the Plantar Aponeurosis goes to the lateral side of the foot up the Peroneus Longus tendon. Once it crosses the knee, it follows the Illiotibial Band. Once it reaches the level of the Greater Trochanter, it cuts back across the Gluteus muscles to the inside of the Iliac Crest and up the back in line with the inside edge of the Scapula. From here it follows up the upper Trapezius muscle to the Occiput. It then runs up the Occiput and cuts forward two fingers above the ear to finish at the lateral tip of the eyebrows.
Minor 2: Starts at Minor line 1 at level with C7 it runs down the arm to the Medial Deltoid. At the end of the Deltoid, it goes between the Brachialis and the Biceps Brachialis to the elbow. Once it crosses the elbow, it runs on the Extensor Digitorum to the wrist and fans out to each finger.



Application :

On the legs Line 2 inside and outside. Arm Line inside and outside, Back line 2.
Myofascial Meridian: Lateral line on the Lateral part of the legs. The spiral line in the abdominal area.

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