Marma points are considered the vital points where the force of life (Prana) dwells. Many of these vital points (marma) are situated on the foot. So, caring for the feet has high therapeutic importance beyond cosmetic purposes. Keep reading to learn more about Marma points of the feet and how they benefit your health, when stimulated.
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The ancient Ayurvedic sage Sushruta defined Marma as the anatomical site where muscle(Mamsa), vein (Sira), ligament (Snayu), bone (Asthi), and joint (Sandhi) meet.1
There are five Marma points located on the foot. They are:Kshipra Marma, Talahridaya Marma,Kurcha Marma,Kurchashira Marma, andGulpha Marma. These Marma points are the mirror image of those situated on the palm region in number and location. They also have the same names. They come under the category of Marmas of the limbs (Sakthi marma points).
Here is a detailed analysis of the Marma points of the feet2 along, with their importance in health and healing.
Talahidraya Marma is associated with respiration and circulation. It controls the respiratory system (Pranavaha Srotas) and circulation with heat reception on the skin (Bhrajaka Pitta) and the feet. It boosts the immune system. It controls the right foot and left foot along with the power of circulation (Vyana Vayu) particularly for the lower part of the body (below the navel) and Apana Vayu.
Kurchashira Marma helps to control the muscular system of the body (Mamsavaha Srotas). In particular, it helps control the muscles of the foot and bodily posture. It boosts digestive power, promotes visual activity, and reproductive stimulation.
Kurcha Marma is related to the force of life (Prana Vayu) and with the digestive process. It improves flow of viral force (prana) for sensory activity. It controls the power of the eyes (Alochaka Pitta).
Kshipra Marma is associated with the functioning of the heart and lungs. It controls the lymphatic (Rasavaha srotas) and respiratory systems (Pranavaha srotas) and supports lubrication for the heart and lungs (Avalambaka Kapha).
Gulpha Marma is responsible for joint movements. It helps in the management of joint injury, muscle sprain, and pain. It controls fat, bone, and reproductive systems (Medovaha, Asthivaha and Shukravaha Srotamsi), circulation of Vyan Vata (type of Vata), lubrication of the joints (Sleshaka Kapha), and movement of the feet.
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According to Vasant Lad, BAMS, Marma therapy is an ancient non-invasive practice which focuses on the manipulation of life force or subtle energy (Prana) in the body for supporting and healing process.5
It is based on utilization of 107 Marma points which are considered to be the access point to the body, mind, and consciousness. Marma points help to balance the three biological humors (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) which are the integral components of the human body.
It balances Triguna (Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas) which are integral components of the mind. They are also helpful in healing the human soul as all these life forces (prana) are considered to reside in these Marma points.6
As Marma is related to life force (Prana) which is associated with Vata Dosha so Marma mainly deals with Vata. Apart from this, Marma therapy also helps to clear the channels (srotas) and improves circulation in the body. It develops physical and mental flexibility and removes toxins (ama) from the body channels.
Marma therapy helps to move positive prana through the various channels of the body by applying moderate pressure on Marma points. This prana may be instrumental in managing health conditions like headache, joint pain, paralysis, heart diseases, mental stress, and muscular sprain.7 It is the art of touching at exactly the same point so that the energy blocked at that point can be released.
David Frawley stated that therapeutic regions like Marmas on the arms and legs, are the most important for treatment purposes. While doing Marma therapy on the feet, points there are stimulated to open the channels of the body.
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Reflexology is a science that seems to be derived from the core of the ancient Ayurvedic knowledge. Foot reflexology is a form of foot massage that targets points on the foot which are believed to correspond to another part of the body.
Reflexology practitioners rely on the reflexes map of the feet and hands which are connected to all the internal organs and other human body parts.8 Like Marma therapy, they also believe that by applying the appropriate pressure and massage on certain spots on the feet and hands, all other body parts could be energized and rejuvenated.
Marma points are similar to the pressure points used in reflexology and acupressure techniques. Many marmas and acupuncture points share similar locations.
It is said that reflexology and acupressure evolved from the Marma system of Ayurveda.
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Marma points are energy points which play an important role in regulating the body and keeping it in a harmonious and balanced state. So, the utilization of these points inoleation therapy may enhance the effectiveness of the therapy for wellbeing.
As marma points are related to various internal organs, doshas, and channels (srotas), these points when pressed, may be useful in influencing the functioning (stimulate/inhibit) of internal organs, treating various disease conditions and help in promoting health. Marma therapy can thus improve the functioning of body organs by achieving homeostasis.9
In massage therapy, Marma points can be used in three ways.10
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Foot massage with oil (Padabhyanga) is considered a part of the recommended daily Ayurvedic routine. It also has its importance in reflexology and acupressure techniques.
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In the Ayurvedic classics, it is mentioned that by regular foot massage with oil, roughness, immobility (stiffness), dryness, fatigue, and numbness of feet (loss of sensation) are immediately cured. After massaging, the feet become soft, strong and steady. The classical texts also say that it isbeneficial for eyesight. All diseases related to the power of circulation or an imbalance of Vata Dosha are resolved with oil massage. That is, the person who does regular oil foot massage will not be affected by sciatica or constrictions of the vessels.11 Massage to the feet brings sound sleep. It is relaxing, refreshing, and invigorating to the body and the eyesight.12
Presently therapists are focusing on Marma points during foot massage (padaabhyanga) with application of different kinds of Ayurvedic herbal oils and aromatics or essential oils, as needed.13
Stimulation of these specific Marma points of contralateral and affected feet treated with rubbing, pressure, and oil massage has also shown relief in specific groups of conditions.14
So, we see that feet are an important part of the body where some important Marma points exists. They should be taken care of properly. With regular massage and pressing of these points one feels relaxed, energetic, and healthy and does not suffer from several health problems.
1. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sutra sthana, chapter 6, verse 16. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
2. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sharir sthana, chapter 6. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
3. Dr. Smita Rajanna Gotipamul, A Review On Clinical Importance Of Marma According To Ayurveda, wjpmr, 2018, 4(2), 89-91 SJIF Impact Factor: 4.
4. Dr David Frawley, Dr Subhash Ranade, Dr. Avinash ‘Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing’ Lotus Press, Twin Lake WI.
5. Marma Points in Ayurveda, by Vasant Lad, Ayurvedic Press 2008.
6. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Sharir sthana, chapter 6, verse 37. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
7. Dr. Smita Rajanna Gotipamul, A Review On Clinical Importance Of Marma According To Ayurveda wjpmr, 2018, 4(2), 89-91 SJIF Impact Factor: 4.
8. Revisiting reflexology: Concept, evidence, current practice, and practitioner training J Tradit Complement Med. 2015 Oct; 5(4): 197–206.Published online 2015 Sep 28. doi: 10.1016/j.jtcme.2015.08.008PMCID: PMC4624523PMID: 26587391.
9. Gaurav Rajendra Sawarkar, Appraisal Of Oleation Therapy With Respect To Indian Medicinal Marma Pints, Unique Journal Of Ayurvedic And Herbal Medicines, 2017, 05 (03): Page 18-23.
10. Atreya, Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage chapter 6 Marma: the Subtle Pressure points in the body, Page no 61, Lotus Press 1 st edition, 2000.
11. Vaidya Yadavaji Trikamaji, Charaka Samhita Sutra sthana, chapter 5, verse 90-93, Chaukhmba surbharati prakashana, reprint 2000.
12. Ambikadutta Sashtri, Sushruta Samhita, Chikitsa sthana, chapter 24, verse 70. Chowkhambha Bharti Academy, 2006.
13. Dr David Frawley, Dr Subhash Ranade, Dr. Avinash ‘Ayurveda and Marma Therapy: Energy Points in Yogic Healing’ Lotus Press, Twin Lake WI.
14. Dr Sunil Kumar Joshi, Marma Science and Principles of Marma Therapy, Vani Publications, Delhi.
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