Traditional Thai massage is a well-known and recommended technique and an excellent therapeutic and relaxing method. It is particularly recommended to relieve deep muscle contractions, old injuries, insomnia, fluid retention, and rheumatism, as well as to help alleviate nervous system disorders. However, there are still many unknown Thai traditional medical techniques and practices in our country – for instance, the Lanna Tok Sen Massage.
Lanna Tok Sen Massage is a method from the Lampun zone, Lanna, Thailand. Although uncertain, some believe that Tok Sen technique has a history of more than 5,000 years and was developed in Lanna (a region in northern Thailand).
The peculiarity of this type of massage is its main working tool, the Tok Sen: a small wooden mallet used to hit a stick or chisel also made of wood, which produces mechanical vibrations and sounds deeply working through the muscles.
Understanding Lanna Tok Sen massage
Vibration waves penetrate soft tissue, muscle, ligaments, tendons and fascia stimulating cell repair and acting very deeply. The absorption rate is so deep that it is very effective in old injuries where working with hands can cause too much pain for the patient. Consider that the human body is composed of 70% liquid and vibration circulates much better through liquid than solids.
Another feature of Tok Sen is the sound. This instrument is created from hardwood which with rhythmic and repetitive hits will create a sound and a very particular and relaxing atmosphere. Therefore, it is an effective technique to mobilise blocked energy through vibration produced by the hits of the Tok Sen, in a relaxing and rhythmic way.
Lanna Tok Sen massage is an excellent therapeutic method in the treatment of fluid retention, rheumatism, contractures, bone injuries, sleep disorders, fatigue, stress, and energetic blockages.
When the Tok Sen is used, the therapist controls the intensity and speed of every stroke in order to adapt the treatment to the need of each patient, without causing pain. For this reason, there are more therapists using it for treatments. It can be perfectly adapted and combined with other treatments or therapies.
Exploring the Art of Ancient Healing
Tok Sen or Tok Sen Sen means “giving off energy” in Thai. This massage dates back to the Lampun zone of Northern Thailand over 5000 years ago. It was then the learned group of the Lampun would heal the people using their techniques and have given it down generation after generation. The Maasage has been sought now for its deep healing effects.
Lanna Tok Sen Massage is a traditional healing practice using a wedge and a mallet. The theory behind these instruments is to activate the Thai acupuncture points in the muscles and in the inner fascia. The skillful person creates vibrations by rhythmically tapping the mallet onto the chisel, making deep vibrations.
These vibrations are then customised for the patient, so the session is pain-free. The use of a mallet and wedge is to be precise and make vibrations that the hands cannot make. These vibrations travel deep inside and can heal bone injuries as well. This art of ancient healing has been passed down to heal people and is known as alternative medicine.
Origin of Lanna Tok Sen Massage
As Chinese medicine has Chi, similarly, Thai medicine is associated with Sen. Both have almost the same theory of energy. The ancient medicines are all very similar and have similar practices. Lanna Tok Sen massage can be dated back to the Lanna Kingdom of present-day Northern Thailand. The Royals indulged in these massages to retain their energy and strength. It was an important ritual “after the war”.
According to the history, Lanna Kingdome also included parts of Myanmar, Laos, and China. This explains the similarity of healing practices. It is believed that the Lanna people developed the Lanna healing technique to alleviate various ailments, promote overall well-being, and maintain balance in the body.
The Lanna people used to refer to this technique as hitting the energy lines. The meridian lines were focused on while using the instruments and vibrated accordingly. It is like the flow of chi, but this is deeper than that. These vibrations are generated to heal the underlying cause of physical symptoms.
The instruments used in this massage are not just simple wooden pieces but carefully selected tamarind and tweak wood. It holds a special place in this massage as well. The stiffness and elasticity of tamarind and tweaked woods are important to generate the required vibration without causing pain to the patient. The vibrations are generated by hammering the wedge onto the muscles and energy lines.
As time passed, each generation refined the practice of Tok Sen., Adding valuable insights and healing techniques to the original art. As the understanding of the human body and healing emerged, so did this Thai massage. It has elements of traditional Thai massage, Ayurveda, and other indigenous practices for healing. This massage is looked upon as the most effective bodywork that can heal old injuries and even bone injuries.
Techniques used in Tok Sen
Usually, massage involves intricate movements to stimulate muscles and nerves; every massage aims are deep relaxation and pain alleviation. With different techniques and focuses, each massage differentiates from the other. Similarly, Lanna Tok Sen Massage is characterized using its distinct tools and movements.
The wooden instruments, made of tamarind and tweak wood, are used. These woods are shaped into hammers and wedges of different sizes depending on the part of the body it is used. These tools are used to generate a rhythmic vibration and involve the use of fingers to stretch the muscle in focus. Here are a few basic techniques used in Tok Sen for its deep healing massage.
1. Rhythmic Tapping
The Tok Sen massage aims at generating vibrations, which is not created by hand tapping. Hence, the use of wooden Hammer and chisel. The therapist uses different sizes of wooden instruments to generate a desired frequency of vibration.
Once the vibration starts to flow through the energy lines, it can be adjusted according to the patient’s needs and desires. The light tapping on muscles, bones, and joints helps in creating a very pleasant and relaxing experience. The major focus of this gentle tapping is to release tension and enhance blood circulation, which directly stimulates the flow of vital energy.
2. Stretching and Compressions
Once the generation of vibration starts, it resonates deep inside the muscle and fascia. The full resonation of these vibrations requires stretching and lengthening of muscles, which is done by finger techniques. These techniques stimulate the muscles to lengthen by activating their muscular fibers to interlock but not contract.
The therapist compresses the muscle to relax it and then stretches the muscles to enhance the flexibility and mobility of each fiber. The stretching goes hand in hand with the vibrations; one step is incomplete without the other one.
3. Sen Line Work
The theory for Thai medicine is almost the same as Chinese medicine, as the Chinese follow the theory of chi and their meridians. Thai medicine has energy lines and focuses on Sen. The focus of this massage is to let Sen flow properly and remove any blockade that may be diverging or diviating it, as Thai medicine believes in vital energy flow for a balanced and healthy body.
The therapist, having knowledge of the Sen, will stimulate the muscles for the vital energy to flow and remove any blockage that may hinder this energy. The points are already known to the professionals and are known to be on the muscles and the fascia. Therefore, all structures are stimulated separately but at once.
4. Acupressure Points
Maintaining the flow of the Sen and the vibrations, the therapist stimulates acupuncture points on the body to guide the vital energy to flow properly. The incorporation of these acupressure points may be a little discomforting at first, but they are used to release tension and stress all at once. The stimulation of energy is similar to that in the Chinese medicine. It is understood as a natural way of healing any disease that may be causing physical manifestations.
The Benefits of Lanna Tok Sen Massage
This message is something that needs to be experienced rather than reading or asking about it. But you can always indulge yourself in the benefits of Lanna Tok Sen Massage, which are plenty. The benefits are just not theories, but people have claimed it is happening. That is why this message is so popular worldwide.
The Lanna Tok Sen massage not only alleviates the physical symptoms but enhances the mental state and boosts energy as well. You can go for a new rebirth experience or have this massage for a specific symptom only as well. Here are a few benefits Lana Tok Sen massage has.
1. Pain Relief
One of the most prominent benefits of the Lanna Tok Sen is that it is very efficient in pain relief. The rhythmic tapping and the proper acupressure can help warm up the muscles and joints and alleviate pain. The pain is the substance P, which is effectively removed from the spot, displaces the chemical, and helps in removing swellings and associated pain. This massage is highly beneficial for chronic pains such as arthritis, nods, twisted ankles, etc.
2. Stress Reduction
One of the fascinating effects of this massage is that Lanna Tok Sen involves tapping with wooden tools, and yet there is a deep feeling of stress reduction. The tapping and acupressure together relax the body in harmony. Vibration affects not only the facia and the muscles but the joints, too. The main aim of the Lanna Tok Sen is to guide the vital energy flow back to normal so the balanced state of the body is restored. This focus also helps in reducing stress.
3. Improved Circulation
The technique involves tapping with wooden instruments and fingers to stretch the muscles. Bringing the massage together with acupressure to heal the pain. This technique is like a call to all nutrient-making cells and other anti-inflammatory cells that are increased in the area by increased blood flow. The increased circulation removed toxins and substance P from the spot of continuous tapping and stretching, which may be the blockage of vital energy flow. Improved circulation is one of the very important benefits of this massage.
4. Enhanced Flexibility
For anything to show effect, it needs to be continuously done in a routine. While the Lanna Tok Sen has immediate effects to completely heal, the sessions need to be taken regularly, as said by the therapist. This is because the muscles have memory, and once they have been under stress for a longer period of time, it takes a while to bring them back to a healthy state.
The stretching of the muscles after a session needs to be maintained by regular sessions until the muscles do not recoil. This provides the natural flexibility of the muscle, or, to say, the muscle regains its natural flexibility. Once the muscles are back to a healthy state, the joints also recover from being under stress.
5. Energy Balancing
The whole point of Thai medicine and massage is to balance the vital energy flow. This is the whole aim of Lanna Tok Sen: to work the energy lines and pressure points on the muscles and joints. The flow of natural energy is the primary goal of this message. It was believed 5000 years ago that if the vital energy is normally flowing through the energy lines, health will be restored.
The detoxification of the human body is very important, and over the years, as we age, the toxins start to build up and can cause diseases and other physical manifestations. The Lanna Tok Sen massage removes these toxins and detoxifies the body, which retains youthful energy, elevates the mood, and boosts energy levels.
The Lanna Tok Sen massage is one of the most sought-after and wanted massages offered by professionals. This massage has all the art of healing and has proven to be a potent pain reliever. While the techniques may seem crude to the patients, bear with the therapists. They know what they are doing, and you are guaranteed to have 100% satisfaction.