Massage is not a one-size-fits-all type of therapy. There are different massage styles to suit a variety of medical and physical needs. Among the various systems, Thai massage offers a wide range of massage therapies to treat a variety of conditions. That is why it is one of the most popular forms of massage in the world. While some of the options are well known, others are less so. That does not mean that they are not as effective of providing treatment and effective relief from specific physical problems. One of the lesser known, but highly effective ones, is Tok-Sen massage.
What Is Tok-Sen?
Tok-Sen massage has its roots in the Chiang Mai region of northern Thailand. It has been in use for over 500 years by wives to help their husbands relax and unwind after a hard day’s work in the fields. It is done by asking the husbands to lie on a flat wooden table and tapping along the body with wooden sticks, hammers and spoons of different shapes and dimensions. Traditionally, the instruments are made from the wood of a tamarind tree that has been hit by lightning. The belief is that the lightning bolt gives the wood the ability to remove negative energy from the body. It does not matter if the person receiving the massage believes this or not – the effectiveness of the therapy remains the same.
The Effect on the Mind and Body
The tapping is done firmly but gently on specific parts of the body. The rhythm of the tapping on the body enables the mind to relax and enter a meditative state which the recipient may not even be aware of. This relaxed state is in itself very beneficial and it also helps the body to become freer and less tense which in turn makes the physical benefits of the massage even greater.
Modern Tok-Sen massage uses herbal medicine balls to increase the beneficial effects of the therapy. The medicine balls are heated in a steamer and applied on the skin along the contours of the muscles. The herbs permeate the skin and work to relieve sprains, stiffness and strained tendons and muscles. The hammers and other instruments are used to tap the energy lines and key parts of the body to release blocked energy that results in tiredness, numbness, lethargy and soreness. The rhythm of the instruments creates a resonance that moves through the muscles and the rest of the body and works to dislodge deep-seated tension. These negative influences on the body are often caused by physical conditions such as rheumatism, bad posture or general stress and exhaustion.
Tok-Sen massage offers not just relaxation and tension relief. It also has a number of specific benefits including:
- Improved blood circulation.
- The release of blocked energy.
- Pain relief.
- Easing of pinched nerves, sore tendons and numbness.
Tok-Sen is a very specialized form of massage that offers amazing benefits. That means that it should only be done by a trained and qualified massage therapist who understands the technique and who will benefit from it. Those who have tried a herbal Tok-Sen massage usually make it a part of their regular massage and wellbeing routine.