Marma application, the key knowledge for human revival
Marma application dates back to southern India year 3500 BC. Masters of kalari, an ancient martial art, first discovered the power of Marma points. In battle, kalari fighters targeted an opponent's Marma point as a way to inflict pain and injury. According to kalari lore, people have 12 Marma points that, when hit with a knockout blow, can cause instant death. These areas were so important that soldiers even used armour to protect their horses' Marma points while riding into battle.
Wounded kalari fighters were nursed back to health with Marma therapy. Practitioners used Marma-point massage to stimulate healing in areas that corresponded to the injuries. For blow to intestines, for example, the Marma point on the back of calf, which correspond with the transverse part of large intestine, is massaged to trigger flow of energy to induce healing. Ayurvedic physicians, all over India learnt the importance of this art and hired kalari masters in hospitals to teach . Soon, Marma-point training became mandatory for surgeons, who worked around specific points to prevent risk to life. Today marma-point massage is still a respected component of Ayurvedic healing.
Classification of Marma
SADYAH PRANAHARA MARMA : When a Marma point is injured, due to the spontaneous loss of Prana vayu , death is certain. KALANTARA PRANAHARA MARMA : These Marmas result in kalanthara (gradual) loss of life ( pranahara), after lapse of some time.VISHALYAGHNA : The word shalya refers to a foreign body. When a foreign body pierces these varieties of Marma, the injured person survives as long as the foreign body remains at the place of injury. But on removal, it results in death of the individual.VAIKALYAKARA : These varieties of Marma when subjected to injury, cause deformity of those organs which are dependent on that particular Marma for their energy distribution. The word Vikalya or Vaikalya means deformity.RUJAKARA MARMA : These Marmas neither result in deformity nor cause death, but results in excruciating pain (ruja), when injured.
A Gist of Certain Individual Marmas used in treating diseases
KSHIPRA MARMA: It is pronounced as ‘Xipra’.It is totals four in number (two in the hands & two in the legs). In hands, it can be easily felt between index finger and thumb , whereas in foot, it lies between the big and the second toe. The width of this Marma is said to be one centimeter, by Acharya Sushrutha. On analysis, the structures present beneath this Kshipra Marma are supposed to be, a branch of Radial nerve in the hand.MANIBANDHA MARMA: Are two in number, one for each upper limb. It falls under the category of Sandhi (Joint) Marma. It can be easily located on the ventral aspect of the wrist joint. Beneath this two to three centimeter width of Manibandha Marma, lies the Inter-carpal ligaments and nerves.KATIKATHARUNA MARMA: Being an Asthi (Bone) Marma, of width of one centimeter, the Katikatharuna lies on either side of the spine in the waist region adjacent to the sacro-iliac joint. The structures beneath it are analysed to be iliac bone, iliac artery & ligaments of the sacro-Iliac joint.
Five Basic Catagories of Marma Points
Mamsa Marma(Muscles) 11 PointsAsthi Marma (Bones) 8PointsSnayu Marma (Tendons &ligamants)27PointsSandhi Marma(Joints)20PointsShira Marma(Nerves,Veins&Arteries)41Points
Tradditional Marma Recognises three categories
Shakha Marma(Legs&Feet)Madhyamanga Marma(Trunk)Jatrudhara Marma(Neck&Head)
ROLE OF MARMA
There are four basic purposes of Marma:
It remove blocks in energy channels called shrotas.It pacifies vata dosha, (air and space elements ), bringing it to its normal path— especially vyana vata, (a sub-dosha which controls the autonomic nervous system.) It creates physical, mental and emotional flexibility. Because of ama (toxins) and because of vata, human beings after 35 or 40 years of age become rigid — and this happens to animals and plants as well. As vata increases in body, it leads to degeneration. This rigidity means becoming fixed in ideas, emotions and physical movements. This gentle treatment creates an opportunity to experience powerful and dynamic transformation at the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level by building a positive link with the unconscious mind. Many a times, people are not able to go outside their ‘comfort zone’. They think they have absolute limitations. After Marma is done, they can start taking positive risks.
Therapeutic value of Marma
Marma is beneficial for many conditions, including the following:
Muscular and joint painFrozen jointsMuscular strainRespiratory conditionsDigestion and elimination problemsNervous system disordersHeadaches and migrainesGeneral aging problemsGlandular tissuesAnxiety and depressionStress response, fears and phobiasConfusion, memory loss and mental focusLow energy and fatigueBreaking through limited belief systems
Diseases Curable & Manageable By Marma Chikitsa
To name a few diseases in which Marma chikitsa is highly appreciated in giving cure are :
Muscular twitching & cramps
Trigeminal NeuralgiaFacial or Bell's palsyUrinary incontinenceLumbar SpondilitisLumbar Spondilolisthesis (Disc bulge or prolapse)Cervical SpondilitisCervical Spondilolisthesis (Disc bulge or prolapse)Frozen shoulder (periarthritis)Carpal tunnel syndromeMuscular and joint painFrozen jointsMuscular strainRespiratory conditionsDigestion and elimination problems
Marma Chikitsa is an important aspect of Ayurvedic treatment where the application of pressure on these Marma points induces the flow of vital energy (prana) along a complex system of subtle channels called (nadis). Based on the knowledge enumerated in Dhanurveda ( dealing with knowledge of bow and arrow fights), 107 therapeutic Marma points are recognised by Ayurveda. The injury to some of these lethal Marma points can lead to instant death. Massage is widely applied in the treatment of Marmas.
Marma Massage Today
In summary, stimulating or massaging Marma points give benefits to the area of their location and improves the function of the connecting organs. The Marma massage is approximately of 60 to 90 minutes of duration, followed by steam bath or warm shower. Given above is only a brief outline of Marma massage . Ideally, Marma massage should be performed by experienced therapists, in consultation of a qualified ayurvedic physician. The Marma massage can be used as a part of a rejuvenation therapy or it could be used as preventive measure from unwanted conditions. Either way, Marma massage is really useful to help improve or maintain a healthy balance.
Thus healing through Marma abhayangam affects the chakras, Physical health and doshas. The purpose of Marma Abhayangam is to stimulate the various body organs and systems.
Marma therapy focuses on energizing the body to relieve occupational illness and stress related diseases. Often, it helps the couples to re-establish harmony in marital life. Here, Kalari master is the spiritual Guru, Counsellor and physiotherapist all rolled into one. Marma Chikitsa (therapeutic treatment ) is an offshoot of Kalaripayattu; Kerala's martial art.