According to Ayurveda, marma points are joining points where the muscle (mamsa), vein (sira), ligament (snayu), bone (asthi), and joint (sandhi) meet.
These are special points (sthana) in the human body and any injury to these marmas may lead to disease, disability, and if not properly treated even fatal conditions. Here, we discuss 29 marmapoints for pain relief.
Marma points are manipulated by several techniques. Rubbing the marma, applying pressure, oil massage, herbal paste application, and fomentation may be used according to the diseased condition.
The Ayurvedic scholar Sushruta was a surgeon as well as the author of the ancient Ayurvedic medical text Sushruta Samhita. He stressed the importance of the knowledge of marma in surgical practice.
He stated that in any surgical procedure, the knowledge of marma and other structures like nerves, muscles, bones, veins, and arteries is of utmost importance.
An injury to an area adjacent to a marma, whether incidental or not, exhibits the same series of symptoms as an actually affected marma. A cut, incision, blow (abhighata), burn, puncture, or injury by any other cause will affect the marma.
A direct injury to a marma, whether it be severe or slight, is sure to bring deformity or death if not treated.2
While performing ksharakarma—the application of plant alkalis—the knowledge of marma is essential. Kshara can act as a surgical instrument hence one should be cautious.
The area of marma is very sensitive hence a surgeon should take precautions while performing any surgery. One should also remain cautious while applying anything onto the marma areas or near these vital points.
Marma points are stimulated by massage. Massaging the marma will give healing effects to specific areas of the mind-body system. Marmas are sensitive areas so massage should be done carefully.
Apply steady pressure on the marma point for approximately 1-2 minutes.
For toning and strengthening the internal organs, massage should be done in a clockwise direction. This pacifies Vata and Kapha but may stimulate Pitta dosha. Counterclockwise movement is calming and pacifying.
It soothes Pitta dosha but may stimulate Vata and Kapha dosha. Linear movement balances the Vata dosha.3
For Vāta prakriti, use sesame oil in a large quantity. For Pitta prakriti, use coconut oil, ghee, or sandalwood oil. For Kapha prakriti use mustard or safflower oil.
Anatomical and applied physiological information about marma is essential for a panchakarma therapist as it helps to avoid the possibility of any kind of injury or trauma to these vital spots during therapy.
It also helps in the selection of appropriate therapeutic interventions through marma points.4
Instant pain relief is the motive of marma therapy. Stimulation of marma can produce analgesia by secreting a number of prostaglandin inhibitors, endorphins, interferon, and other opioid-like substances which are a hundred times more potent than opium.1
The following marma points are targeted for pain relief in different organs. Rub gently or apply pressure to these marma points.
2. Abdominal Pain: The Kurpara marmaand Urvi marma work well for abdominal pain.
3. Chest Pain: The Kurpara, Urvi, and Ani marma might help relieve chest pain.
5. Leg And Knee Pain: Rub or apply gentle pressure to Kshipra marma and Gulpha marma.
6. Sciatic Pain: Rub or apply gentle pressure to Kshipra marma and Gulpha marma.
7. Kurcha marma improves the digestive process and agni (metabolism). This marma point can also help with metabolism.
9. Kurchashira marma supports healthy digestion and agni (metabolism) in general.
11. Manibandha marma helps reduce excess fat deposits.
13. Manibandha marma energizes the reproductive system.
14. Kshipra marma supports heart function.
15. Kshipra marma supports lung function.
17. Talahridaya marma supports heart and lung function.
18. Kurcha marma promotes visual acuity.
19. Kurchashira marma calms the nervous system.
21. Kurchashira marma has considerable influence on hand muscles.
22. Manibandha marma promotes healthy joints.
23. Manibandha marma promotes bone growth.
25. Kshipra marma stimulates the lymphatic system.
26. Kshipra marma improves the flow of prana throughout the entire body.
27. Kshipra marma provides lubrication to the lungs.
29. Talahridaya marma helps strengthen the immune system.
Consult your Ayurvedic practitioner before trying to massage your marma points for pain relief.
1 Dr. Sunil Kumar Joshi, Marma Science, and Principles of Marma Therapy, Vani Publications.
2 Sushruta Samhita, Sharir sthana, Chapter 6, verse 41.
3 Lad, Vasant, ‘Marma Points of Ayurveda’, The Ayurvedic Press, New Mexico, p: 76.
4 KERALA AYURVEDA ACADEMY KAA 108: Ayurvedic Bodywork 2016 KERALA AYURVEDA ACADEMY KAA, p: 38.
More Research on marma points – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4687231/
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