What is Marma Therapy?
Marma therapy is an alternative healing technique that helps restore the balance of the body, mind, and spirit to provide a holistic method of treatment for people suffering from various ailments. There are vital points in our body that are energy centres, known as varmams. According to Siddha philosophy, every living being is known to possess vital life-force known as Uyir Sakthi. The varmam constitute centres for uplifting this life-force. As these points possess tremendous power, they are placed deep inside the body and covered with tissues making it difficult to access them.
The History and Origin of Marma Therapy
Tracing folklore reveals that Lord Shiva shared this knowledge with his wife Parvathi, who in turn taught her son Murugan about the marma system. The knowledge was later passed on to Tamil sage Agastya who further enlightened his students. The ancient textbook of medicine from the 4th century, Sushruta Samhita, focuses on Varma Kalai and discusses its constructive and destructive potential in great detail.
Marma massage dates back 1500 BC southern India. An old and revered form of martial arts called kalaripayattu discovered the location of marma points first. The ancient Kalari masters discovered the power of these points and found that the right pressure could heal and the wrong move can injure or even kill. 12 points on the body are said to cause instant death. The Kalari fighters used to wear armor to protect these points when going to war.
Not only did Marma therapy help these fighters in wars, they used similar techniques to heal the fighters' wounds after the battle. Soon Ayurvedic practitioners all over India realized the power of Marma therapy and asked the Kalari masters to come to colleges and hospitals and teach what they know. It was compulsory for physicians and surgeons who worked with certain points in the body to be well versed in Marma Therapy.
How are Ayurveda and Marma Therapy connected?
Marma therapy and Ayurveda share a few common basic principles. Marma Shastra, similar to Ayurveda, also follows Pancha Mahabuta (5 basic elements) and considers Prana, and Tridosha as important aspects of health.
How are Marma and Prana connected?
Prana is part of the Vata Dosha. It is related to Marma. Ayurveda treats Vata as a separate entity that can act of its own accord. Marma therapy deals with how Vata is arranged in the body anatomy, how it acts and reacts to the bodily changes etc
The Marma Method
In marma therapy, the vital points that are related to the particular ailment are identified. These points are stimulated with the help various techniques. Since these points are present below the skin and tissues, the therapists are required to be specifically trained to stimulate them. On doing so, the overall flow of energy and blood through the body improves drastically. The accumulated toxins that are responsible for causing the disease are dispersed. As blood and energy flow improves, the condition of nerves, muscles, bones and other organs also gets better.
Classification of Marma Points
Varmamis classified as:
• Paduvarmam (varmam due to injury)
• Thoduvarmam (by touch)
• Thattuvarmam (by blows)
• Thaduvuvarmam (by massage)
• Nakkuvarmam (by licking i.e. tongue massage)
• Nokku (by staring)
There are 108 varmams (vital points) in the human body:
• Head to Neck: 25
• Neck to Navel: 45
• Navel to Arm: 9
• Arms: 14
• Legs: 15
Marma therapists are trained to determine the vital points that correlate to a specific ailment. Depending on the diagnosis, the therapy is carried out on the patient.
The Four Basic Purposes of Marma
It controls and brings Vata dosha to a normal state so that it doesn't disrupt the functioning of the various bodily systems.
Energy channel blocks are removed. These are called shrotas.
People who undergo marma therapy experience a great change. They feel uplifted on an emotional, mental and spiritual level. This is because marma creates a positive connection to the unconscious mind. So any inhibitions and fears are reduced leading to a better outlook and willingness to take risks.
Due to the presence of vata and ama (toxins) human beings tend to become set in their ways. This can even happen with animals and plants. Marma therapy helps induce flexibility in mental, physical and spiritual levels. Helping break bad habits and other unwanted behavior along with welcoming new experiences.
Marma Chikitsa in Relation to Psychological Disorders
There is no one particular aspect of Marma therapy that can be used to cure all forms of psychological disorders. Each disorder is associated with a different Marma and has different methods for treatment. Massaging the head and ears can help those who have insomnia and trouble falling asleep due to various stress reasons. Massaging the feet can also help with insomnia. If the Marma called Uppukuti close to the tip of calcaneum is affected it can lead to sleep disorders of many kinds and even insanity. If the marma called Choratindakalam located around the neck is affected and it can be treated through massage and oral medication.
The Therapist Makes a Difference
In order to administer efficient treatment, a marma therapist must possess deep knowledge about the body's nerves and physical structure. Due to the requirement of intense training, and the lack of awareness regarding this holistic healing technique, the number of marma therapists in the world is dwindling. Marma therapists hold tremendous responsibility in their hands as varmam stimulation has potential to improve or degrade the patient's condition to a large extent. It's essential to seek treatment from a trusted and credible Marma therapist.
Why Marma Therapy is Safer than Modern Medicine
With the prevalence of allopathic medicine, ancient techniques are being slowly forgotten. However, modern medicine using advanced technology is often invasive and focuses mostly on treating the symptoms of the disease.
Marma therapy provides a safe and non-invasive treatment alternative for various conditions like slip disc, fracture, arthritis, spondylitis and more. Without surgery or any external medication, the vital points can be stimulated to improve energy and blood flow throughout the body.
Benefits of Marma Therapy
Marma therapy can cause major shifts in the body at the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels. This can provide a whole range of benefits. Some of which include:
• Detoxification of the body
• Glowing skin and removal of unhealthy pigmentation
• Reduced pain especially in the back and joints
• Regulates body temperature
• Deeper sleep and neurochemical balance
• Better respiration, digestion, and immunity
Marma Therapy at Chakrasiddh
At Chakrasiddh, the fundamentals of Siddha healing are followed to provide treatment for diseases that may be otherwise considered incurable. The team at ChakraSiddh consists of expert healers and therapists who have been practicing Siddha for several years.
Marma therapy whether through stimulation or massage, benefits the body and improves the ability of the connected organs to function. Marma therapy should be performed by well-seasoned and qualified therapist, with the consultation of a credible Siddha physician. It is usually 60-90 minutes long and the patient is required to take a hot shower or bath after. There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to Marma Therapy that it can only be used once diagnosed with a disease. It can also be very effective in the prevention of diseases and degenerative conditions. It is beneficial for maintaining a healthy state of being.
It is extremely useful to fight stress and any other occupation-related illnesses. Some married couples have even claimed that marma therapy has helped them come closer together and resolve their issues.