Tapping Into Muscle Pain

Tapping Into Muscle Pain

Tok Sen massage is an ancient northern Thai practice that relaxes muscles by rhythmically tapping with special wooden tools.

The one service I love to incorporate into my treatments is Tok Sen. Tok Sen is a traditional modality from northern Thailand that dates back to the Lanna Kingdom. Tok means to tap, and Sen refers to the energy lines which are the basis of Thai massage treatments.

During a Tok Sen treatment, I use a kon (hammer/mallet) and lim (peg/wedge) to tap on my client’s energy lines instead of using my thumbs, elbows or knees. An entire Tok Sen session incorporates both the kon and lim plus traditional Thai massage techniques.

Though the idea of being hit with a wooden mallet and chisel sounds offsetting, Tok Sen is painless. The soft, rhythmic tapping is good for relieving muscle tension, especially in the larger muscles like the shoulders, back and glutes. Tok Sen also reduces physical and mental stress, promotes relaxation, improves blood circulation and clears energy blockages.

I primarily incorporate Tok Sen when I work on the hips and legs, as the vibrations can easily penetrate the superficial muscles down into the deeper ones. It also works well on the shoulders as I can send the vibrations under the scapula where I cannot apply direct acupressure.

Admittedly, I rarely promote the standalone Tok Sen sessions as I prefer to use these techniques in conjunction with traditional Thai massage, Herbal Compress and Oil. But this ancient Lanna Thai Therapy is an incredibly soothing massage treatment that promotes a sense of calm. If you want to try something new, Tok Sen is an excellent choice for those who enjoy a firm yet relaxing massage experience.

What Is a Tok Sen Massage?

What happens in a Tok Sen treatment? What is the origin of this Lanna modality? What are the contraindications for Tok Sen?

Tok Sen is taught in many schools in Chiang Mai.
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