Chi Nei Ching: Muscle, Tendon, and Meridian Massage

Chi Nei Ching: Muscle, Tendon, and Meridian Massage

by Mantak Chia, William U. Wei

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Fully illustrated guide to massage techniques for unblocking chi, releasing tight tendons and muscles, and alleviating back and joint pain

• Explains the hammering massage technique of Tok Sen, which sends vibrational energy deep into the fascia and muscles

• Details how to use the 10 Thai energy meridians known as Sen Sib and the 12 muscle…  See more details below


Fully illustrated guide to massage techniques for unblocking chi, releasing tight tendons and muscles, and alleviating back and joint pain

• Explains the hammering massage technique of Tok Sen, which sends vibrational energy deep into the fascia and muscles

• Details how to use the 10 Thai energy meridians known as Sen Sib and the 12 muscle-tendon meridians of Chinese acupuncture in massage

• Explains Meridian Detox Therapy and Gua Sha, which clears blood stagnation, promotes metabolism, and can prevent and treat acute illness

Good health depends on the free flow of life-force energy, chi, throughout the entire body. The accumulation of tensions in the muscles and tendons as well as the stagnation of negative energy can lead to blockages in the body’s energy channels, resulting in pain, low energy, or illness. In this full-color illustrated guide, Master Mantak Chia and William Wei detail massage techniques for unblocking chi, releasing tight tendons and muscles, and alleviating back and joint pain.

The authors explore the 10 Thai energy meridians known as Sen Sib, the 12 muscle-tendon meridians of Chinese acupuncture, and the most commonly strained muscles and tendons of the spine, neck, and pelvis. They explain how to treat specific ailments, such as headache, stiff shoulder, or lumbar pain, with the traditional Thai massage technique known as Tok Sen, which uses a wooden hammer to send vibrational energy deep into the fascia and muscles along the Sen Sib meridians. This method is particularly effective for joint pain, because the vibrations can reach more deeply and accurately within the body’s structure than a massage therapist’s fingers. The authors also explain Meridian Detox Therapy, which includes cupping, skin massage, and Gua Sha--the scraping of different parts of the body to clear blood stagnation, promote metabolism, and treat acute illness. The final book in the Chi Nei Tsang series, Chi Nei Ching offers advanced massage techniques to work with the energy meridians for optimum health.

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Inner Traditions/Bear & Company
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Chapter 6
An Introduction to Traditional Tok Sen

Tok Sen means “take off energy lines” in Thai; in other words, it is a technique to clear blocked energy from the energy channels in the body. It uses mechanical and sound vibration, working deeply through the fascia and muscles. This unique healing modality is found only in the Chiang Mai area of northern Thailand. It is thought to date back more than five thousand years and developed in Thailand while acupuncture developed in China. It is an energetic healing modality and is still practiced in the country areas. Tok Sen helps to improve energy flow and relieves aching muscles.

By tapping the body using traditional Tok Sen tools--a wooden “hammer” and variety of “pestles”--vibrations are sent through the nerves, muscles, and fascia to treat muscle and tendon pain. A light “hammering” with varying degrees of contact is applied to the different regions of the body. Of course, the tools are never applied in a violent or rough manner. The vibrations created by the gentle hammering repair and rejuvenate the tendons and muscles, making them feel more alive.

Just a few of the advantages of this ancient Thai/Chinese treatment are increased circulation, relief from stiff and tight muscles, and improvement of nerve functions. In addition, many maladies that decrease the quality of life can be improved with Tok Sen.

The main function of this treatment relates to the tendons and specifically to the muscle-tendon meridians. The vibration of the tendons, when done correctly, loosens both the tendons and the muscles. This also improves the blood circulation.

Treatment of the entire body is one of the best forms of maintenance. This has been established through centuries of application. Indeed, maintenance with Tok Sen therapy has a positive influence on virtually every part and function of the body as listed below.

1. Increases blood circulation. Better circulation nourishes tendons and releases blocked energy more quickly.
2. Relaxes muscles. Tight muscles will squeeze capillaries, which decreases blood circulation to muscles and causes muscle soreness.
3. Stimulates peripheral nerves. These nerves run parallel with capillaries. Every time we hammer, the vibration will affect capillaries and peripheral nerves, which can stimulate muscles as well.
4. Releases pain from many causes:

- Headaches from nerve problems, migraines, brain degeneration, blurred vision, or hearing loss
- Shoulder pain, neck sprain, shoulder tendon tightness, immobile arm
- Tendon compression, back muscle tightness, scapular problems, and back pain
- Lower back pain, spinal cord inflammation, difficulty bending the trunk
- Lumbar pain and nerve compression
- Thigh pain, hamstring muscle tightness, and patella dislocation
- Calf pain, sole pain, and numbness
- Arm pain, elbow pain, arm numbness, and hand numbness

In addition to unblocking the chi meridians, Tok Sen treatment facilitates the release of tension by addressing armored tendons and muscles. Hammering on the meridians assists in relieving pain and discomfort. This is especially true if a person has stored a lot of stress and created a hard or armored shell on the tendons and muscles. Via palpation, the knowledgeable Tok Sen practitioner is able to sense energy blockages in any part of the body.

The healing sound vibrations created by the tapping of the Tok Sen tools work deeply into the fascia and muscles. Among the many advantages of Tok Sen treatment is the fact that some muscles are too big or too deep for the fingers to reach. Tok Sen, on the other hand, can penetrate to those regions.

Treating Spinal Pain with Tok Sen

The spinal cord is one of the most significant parts of the human body in terms of proper function and mobility. It should be immediately noted that because of the critical nature of the spine, caution is in order; the practitioner never hammers directly on the spine. However, if care is exercised, Tok Sen treatment can greatly assist in not just mobility but in relieving tightness, stiffness, and pain connected to compressed tendons precipitated by the boney structures of the spine.

Hammering the Paravertebral Muscles

Source of pain: Paravertebral pain, tightness, and restricted range of motion for the trunk caused by tendons compressed by bone and spinal cord inflammation

1. First, using the two-legged pestle, hammer the muscles that run vertically along each side of the thoracic spine, taking care not to hammer on the spine itself. Start at the top of the thoracic region and hammer down to the lumbar region. Tap up and down 10 times.

Note: If the two-legged pestle is too narrow to span the spine without touching it, use a single pestle and tap each side separately.

2. Next, hammer each side of the spine downward and away from the spine itself, moving and sliding away with each tapping. Doing this properly results in the easing of stiffness and pain not just in the back but also in other regions of the body because of the lines and connections associated with the spine.

Hammering the Lumbar Region

Source of pain: Lumbar strain and spinal cord inflammation Pain, rigidity, and other problems can be located in the lower back because of stress, heavy lifting, or strains. Thorough treatment of the lumbar area relieves pain and can even assist with problems such as spondylolisthesis (forward displacement of vertebra). But only a highly trained Tok Sen practitioner should undertake the latter.

1. Using a single pestle, hammer 10 times up and down the muscles that run vertically on either side of the lumbar spine. Muscles will loosen and relax.

2. At the base of the lumbar spine, hammer away from the spine on either side out to the edge of the back.

Hammering the Coccyx
The next area treated is the coccyx, or tailbone. In order to determine whether there are problems emanating from the coccyx, careful palpation is necessary.

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