They look simple in the charts, don’t they?
Energy lines running in straight lines up and down the back, parallel to the spine.
And all you do is palm them, thumb them and stretch them to enable the energy in them – in your massage client’s body – to run free, clear and unimpeded.

If only!!
If only they were to be found where they are shown to be located in the books and charts and if only the energy in them moved through them the way your teacher says it does.

Because, after twenty years’ experience of doing energy work in Thai massage, all I can say is that the way (Thai) energy lines are shown in the books and charts are not the way energy lines run and flow in the bodies of the vast majority of my clients.

But don’t get me wrong.

There is nothing wrong with the way the energy lines are indicated in the books and charts, as long as you understand that this is the way they are in a person who has led a perfect life without ever having experienced any major physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or energetic disturbance.

They represent the ideal. The way the lines should be.

But they do not represent the way they are in most people because most people have experienced some form of physical, emotional, mental, spiritual or energetic disturbance. And each major disturbance, trauma or abuse you experience in your life alters the location and energy flow-through of the energy lines.

Let’s take the lines on the back, for example.

When I was first taught the back lines, I was taught them as being the first, second and third lines on the back, although there are actually four:
Sen Sumana – running along the centre of the spine.
Sen Itha Pingkhala – running tight along and close to the outside of the spine.
Sen Kalathari – running along the muscular ridge either side of the spine.
Sen Sahatsarangsi Thawari – running, well, err, downwards from the lower tip of the scapula to the ilium, parallel to the spine.

And, in a perfect world, that would indeed be the location of the lines.

But, in reality, for most of us, our back lines are a bit of a mess.

And that is simply because, for most of us, our life has not run the way it should have. Don’t forget, the lines in the books and charts show the lines the way they should be, without us suffering any kind of disturbance in life.

What I have found from experience is that the energy lines in the back become blocked, confused and badly mis-directed in three major areas. In the right-hand-side of my picture, I have listed these three areas as: 1, 2 and 3.

Point 1, at L5/S1 in the body, is energetically the rear aspect of the navel on the front of the body. The navel is the opening in our body through which the energies of our ancestors and our own spiritual essence, which includes the details of our past lives and our current purpose on earth, enter and integrate into our physical body. If we fully integrate these energies into us, then the flow of energy from our navel to L5/S1 and from there, outwards throughout our entire lower back and pelvic girdle runs open and unimpeded. If this integration becomes somehow impeded then where this blockage manifests in us is in our lower back at L5/S1.

L5/S1 blockage pain is common in many people who are on a course of self-development / self-improvement where full integration or our family and ancestral lines, our past lives and our current spiritual essence is part of the process.

So, what this blockage is simply telling us is that we have not yet fully integrated ourselves into our body. This then adversely effects the flow of energy through Sen Sumana (TCM Governing Vessel) and Itha Pingkhala and Kalathari (TCM Urinary Bladder Meridian inside and outside branches) which are the lines that give us the energy that we use to build the foundations of our life on.

Part of our self-integration is to integrate our spiritual essence into our selves, in particular the part of our spiritual essence that deals with our purpose on earth. If we do not fully integrate those details into our selves, then we will end up living a life which is not in accordance with our true purpose on earth. And that is what is illustrated by Point 2.

Point 2 lies in the scapula and energetically your scapulae represent the direction you are going in in life. So, if the direction you have ended up taking in life is out of alignment with the direction you should be taking, your soul purpose on earth, then the energy of your life purpose, which runs through Sen Sahatsarangsi Thawari on the back, becomes confused and entangled in the area of the scapula, on both sides of your body. This is literally your scapulae telling you that you are going in the wrong direction in life.

Points 1 & 2 then naturally feed Point 3.

Point 3 in your body, at C4-3, is where the energy of your life decision making runs through you. If you are unable to take a decision in your life, usually an important one, or if you are procrastinating over a decision you know you should be taking, or if the decision you are about to take is wrong for you, it will cause a blockage in this area of your upper spine.

And usually people who are on the wrong life path or who have not fully integrated themselves into their body, can and often do have difficulty in taking decisions that are right for them. They continue making life decisions, yes, but the decisions they take just contribute to the already wrong direction their life has taken, thus tightening further Points 2 & 3, causing deeper energetic confusion, blockage and tightness.

And, finally, of course, there is Sen Sumana itself (TCM Governing Vessel). If you are out of alignment with your true self, if you have not yet fully integrated yourself into your body and if your decision-making process is not clear and true, then the energy flow along the centre of your spine, as represented by Sen Sumana, will be a total mess. And, if you are a sensitive therapist, you can feel it. When you place the flat of your hand directly on your client’s back, on their spine, you should feel a hard, direct contact to their spine with only a few layers of skin and fascia in between. But no. It feels different. It feels as if you have placed your hand on top of a plate of Heinz tinned spaghetti in tomato sauce. There is this wobbly, gelatinous mass between you and your client’s spine. A gelatinous mass through which nothing runs straight. And what you then have to do is to untangle the mess of spaghetti into lines of straight-running spaghetti, along which energy can then run.

And that’s the way life is. Neither good nor bad.

All I wish to point out here is that sometimes life is not the way it is shown to be in the books. And if you continue to massage clients’ energy lines in the way they are shown in the books, especially on the back, then there is a (big) chance you have not connected energetically at all to your client.

….and, of course, in all the Thai massage schools, no one teaches you that!