Ayurvedic Marma Therapy is an ancient Indian practice whose focus is the manipulation of subtle energy (prana) in the body for the purposes of supporting the healing process. Marma therapy is based on the utilization of 107 points in the body which are considered to be access points to body, mind, and consciousness. Knowledge of Marma allows the practitioner to influence the flow of prana through both the gross and subtle bodies for the purposes of restoring health and peace of mind.
A simple definition of marma is “a connection point of body, mind and psychic energies.” Physically, a marma point is a juncture on the body where two or more types of tissue meet, such as muscles, veins, ligaments, bones or joints. Yet marma points are much more than a casual connection of tissue and fluids; they are intersections of the vital life force and prana, or breath.”Marma” comes from the Sanskrit “Mru” which means ” to die”. The origins of marma are in martial arts. In ancient India, the warriors understood the subtle energy and used this knowledge to disable or kill an opponent. The warriors who were hurt using these points for defense were brought to Ayurvedic physicians who’s knowledge of these same points was used for healing. Although marma point massage has been utilized for thousands of years, it has recently become familiar to the Western world.
In Ayurveda, marma points are thought to house the three pillars of life, otherwise known as the doshas. According to Ayurvedic philosphy, doshas make up a person’s constitution. The trinity includes vata (air), pitta (fire) and kapha (earth). Everyone is born in a state of balance, or Prakriti. During the aging process, factors such as anxiety, lackluster diet, or poor sleep habits cause disharmony among the doshas. Over the years, doshic imbalances begin to block the movement of free-flowing energy in the body. Eventually, the stagnation opens the door to physical and mental discomfort and disease. Enter Marma massage…
A marma point therapist or Marmani massages and stimulates the points on the body using light pressure along with the application of a variety of nourishing essential oils. Utilizing Pranic Healing, a Marmani also facilitates the movement of energy into and between the marma points, similar to Healing Touch or Reiki. Because each individual has a different elemental balance (Prakriti) and imbalance (Vikriti) in the energies of the body, marma therapy techniques and essential oils are tailored to the client’s unique physical and mental condition. The final preparatory step is to choose one or more essential oils that either complement the client’s doshas or brings her/him back into balance. For example, a marma therapist may use oil that is high in pitta energy, such as sunflower oil, for a client whose pitta dosha is low.
Many historians believe that other point therapies, including acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology, grew out of the science of marma. The key difference is that most other point practices work through the body’s network of energetic currents, or meridians. Marma points, on the other hand, bridge the gap between the physical and energetic bodies by carrying energetic information between the mind and the body’s organs and tissues. As Dr. Vasant Lad explains, “Like quantum mechanics, Ayurveda holds that a human being is not a solid, stable material structure but an ever-changing, dynamic collection of energy and intelligence in the larger field of energy and intelligence that is the universe. The Marmani serves as the bridge or doorway between the body (sharira), mind (manas) and soul (atman)”.
Some reasons to use Ayurvedic Marma Therapy include:
- balance the doshas
- digestion and elimination problems
- boost the immune system
- healing from cancer
- muscular and joint pain and arthritis
- dysfunctions of the nervous system
- glandular issues
- confusion and mental focus
- cardio-vascular support
- increase blood circulation
- headache and migraine control
- low energy and fatigue
- disease prevention
- autoimmune disorders
- depression and anxiety
- peaceful end of life transition
- promote deep relaxation and mental acuity