Marma Therapy (Ayurvedic energy therapy)
Marma is a Sanskrit word meaning hidden, or secret. By definition, 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 causal connection of tissue and fluids; they ar intersections of the vital life force and prana, or breath.
Physically, marma point locations are where tendons, bones, muscles, joints, veins, nerves, and other tissues meet anatomically. Energetically, marmas are extremely subtle points where the physical and divine energetic realms intersect in the human body. They are where vata, pitta and kapha doshas come together. There are 107 marma points that are most commonly used, # 108 being the flow of prana throughout the circuit. They range in size from one to six inches in diameter. The points were mapped out in detail centuries ago in the Sushruta Samhita, a classic Ayurvedic text. Major marma points correspond to the seven chakras, or energy centers of the body, while minor points radiate out along the torso and limbs. The points cover both the front and back body, including 22 on the lower extremities, 22 on the arms, 12 on the chest and stomach, 14 on the back, and 37 on the head and neck. (The mind is considered the 108th marma.) Each has its onw Sanskrit name given by Sushruta, one of the founding fathers of Ayurvedic medicine.
Marmas are points in the body where concentrated life force energy is located. They are part of the chakra, nadi, srota system of Yoga. This balancing treatment focused on releasing energy blocks in the body and mind. Using essential oils or and transdermal herbal pastes, marma points are gently massaged to balance the flow of energy. Marma therapy is tailored to your individual dosha balancing needs. Prana is simply the vibrational electromagnetic energy of nature. Prana is what sustains us. There is nothing mystical-shmystical about this energy. We see it all around us.
For example: Compare a carrot from a bag in the freezer or one from a can, to the fresh organic carrot just picked from the garden. The carrot from the garden has more prana, it has more life energy in it.
Ouestion: Every wonder why a home cooked meal always feels so much better than fast food?
Think about how much prana was in that meal lovingly prepared at home. So, prana is that life force, as the Chinese refer to it, chi. it is in our food, it is in the air we breathe. It is in our body and mind. Prana moves along channels called nadis and the points on these nadis are called marmas. So, nadis are the string, and marmas are the pearls of the necklace. A marma is a point of concentrated prana where anatomical structures (muscle, bone, tendon, vessels, ligament, and joints) are also present. Through gently working on marma points, prana is treated, as opposed to simply working on physical tissues. Therapeutic Purposes: The primary purpose is to promote the flow of Prana in the body-mind. Marma points are switches that when opened up, allow for the increased flow of energy. Through the gentle application of transdermal herbs, essential oils and light touch, the marma points are awakened. One feels an abiding connection in rejuvenating stillness. Marma therapy balances the flow of energy through the muscles, joints and organs of the body.
Experience: Marma therapy is an important tool for preventing and treating imbalances in Ayruveda. Treatment is based according to the unique needs of the client.
Marma points are located and measured by the finger widths, called anguli. Unlike the tiny, pin-pricked-sized points in comparable therapies, like acupuncture, marma points are relatively large and easy to find. Marma therapy balances the doshas, increase digestive fire, detoxification, reducing ama, promote energy and rejuvenation. It can be part of panchakarma a single or combination treatment, and also part of our daily wellness plan. Therapeutic touch is used to treat marma points. While lying on the massage table, or sitting in a comfortable chair, very gently pressure, like acupressure, is used on the marma points. Massaging marma points is most often done in conjunction with a partial or full abhyanga, Ayurvedic massage. Essential oils and/or transdermal herbalized oils are the main methods for treating the marma points. Essential oils are highly effective in altering our energy. Marmas are anointed with organic therapeutic grade aromatic oils, oils being specific to each location and condition. Marmas, being concentrated centers of energy, essential oils can penetrate easily and deeply, affecting the entire body.Similarly, transdermal herbs are very effective.
- Balances doshas
- Increases digestive fire, improving digestion
- Reduces ama (toxins)
- Promotes energy
- Particularly good for structure problems and arthritis
- Relieves nerve pain
- Promotes deep relaxation
- Good Health