Sen Sib translates to “10 Energy Lines” in the Thai language. In the Thai healing system energy lines are known as “sen”. The sen lines are conduits-they are able to connect and move substances and sensations from one place to another. The sen are pathways for prana to flow. Prana is a Sanskrit word for “life force” or “vital energy”. In Thai, “Prana” translates to “Lom Pran”, or “the wind of life”. The sen can also be viewed as rivers of energy, with the major and minor chakras, or energy centers, acting like whirlpools in the river. The 7 major chakras are situated along the centerline or Sen Sumana, while minor chakras are all over the body.
Thai massage pressure points are minor chakras. Acupressure and acupuncture points can also be viewed as minor chakras. The Indian system calls these minor chakras, marma or varma points. In the Chinese tradition, about 2,000 points are now known, of which 365 are described as classical. Most acupuncturists use 60 to 150 of those points in their daily practice. With the Indian system, there are 108 marma points. In Thai massage, point work is done as an addition to line work, and the emphasis is always on the lines.
In Thai Massage, we thoroughly open and remove blocks along these sen lines so the lom can flow more consistently and vibrantly through the whole body. We open and remove blocks through focused and thorough work on the sen lines by palm, thumb, forearm, elbow, knee, and foot pressure, along with stretching.
Each sen line has an orifice in the body with which it connects. Some schools teach that the orifice is the origin point and other schools teach that most of the points start near or above the navel and pass through that orifice.
Thai sen lines closely resemble Chinese meridian lines and Indian Prana Nadi lines. The 10 sen lines, Sen Sib, are considered invisible because they do not have a specific, anatomical base, though you can generally follow them by anatomical markers. Since Thai Massage has been passed orally, from teacher to student, until the twentieth century, there are differences between Thai schools and lineages regarding the sen sib.