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 that goes beyond cosmetic purposes.
Marma points, often referred to as vital energy centers, are crucial spots where the life force, known as prana, resides. Among these significant points, many are located on the feet, making foot care more than just a cosmetic concern. In this blog, we'll explore the marma points in the feet and how stimulating them can enhance your overall health. These points are considered life-giving, and their importance extends far beyond aesthetics.
According to vagabhatta, marma points are specific areas where any injury can result in various types of pain and even tremors. This concept of marma forms the foundation of martial arts, acupuncture, and acupressure anesthesia. Sushruta Samhita explains that damage to the "mansa marma," or muscle-related marma point, can lead to a loss of touch sensation. Remarkably, this information can be utilized to induce local anesthesia by stimulating the mansa marma.
In one leg alone, there are 11 marma points, and the same number exists in the other leg, summing up to a total of 44 marma points across both the upper and lower extremities. Furthermore, there are 12 marma points in the thorax and abdomen, 14 in the back, and an additional 37 marma points situated above the clavicular region, encompassing the neck and head.
So, as we go deeper in learning about marma therapy, you'll discover the incredible potential these points hold for enhancing your well-being.1
Before delving into the practice of marma therapy, it's crucial to pinpoint the exact location of each specific marma point. These locations can vary from person to person, depending on their unique body measurements and structures. The descriptions of these points often reference bony prominences, joints, and other anatomical landmarks. The distances are typically measured in terms of finger lengths specific to the individual. Additionally, marma points come in various sizes, ranging from as small as a pinhead to half a finger's width, four fingers laid laterally, or even the size of one's palm.
Marma therapy holds the potential to significantly enhance physical, mental, and spiritual energies. On a physical level, it acts as a rejuvenating force, revitalizing the body's tissues. At the cellular level, it enhances vital functions such as digestion, respiration, blood circulation, and excretion. On a psychological plane, marma therapy improves mental faculties by channeling them in a positive direction. Remarkably, it provides a drug-free approach to address many psychosomatic ailments and harmonizes the nervous and endocrine systems to manage psychological disorders.
Spiritually, marma therapy involves the reasoning of the mind, regulating and transforming thoughts towards a positive orientation, thus aiding concentration on life's ultimate goals. It serves as a preventive measure, helping individuals cope with challenges that arise due to various diseases. Furthermore, marma therapy plays a pivotal role in perceiving psychic centers within oneself, ultimately guiding individuals toward inner consciousness transformation.
For those who embark on the journey of self-marma therapy, the experience is transformative, leading to the accumulation of physical, mental, and spiritual energy.1
The ancient Ayurvedic sage Sushruta defined marma as the anatomical site where muscle (mamsa), vein (sira), ligament (snayu), bone (asthi), and joint (sandhi) meet.2
There are 5 marma points located at the foot. These are kshipra marma, talahridaya marma, kurcha marma, kurchashira marma, and gulpha 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 analysis3of the marma points of the feet along with their importance in health and healing.
Talahidraya marma is associated with respiration and circulation. It boosts the immune system. It controls the right foot and left foot along with the power of circulation particularly for the lower part of the body (below the navel)1.
Kurchashira marma located on the hands as well as feet helps to control the muscular system of the body. 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 located on the hands and the planter sides on the feet. It is related to the force of life and with the digestive process. It improves the flow of prana for sensory activity.
Kshipra marma is associated with the functioning of the heart and lungs. It controls the lymphatic (circulation) and respiratory system and supports functioning for the heart and lungs.
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, lubrication of the joints, and movement of the feet.
READ MORE: 29 Marma Points For Pain Relief
As mentioned above, marma therapy is an ancient non-invasive practice that focuses on the manipulation of life force or subtle energy (prana) in the body for supporting and healing process.
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.
As marma is related to life force which is associated with Vata Dosha so marma mainly deals with Vata.
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. It is the art of touching at exactly the same point so that the energy blocked at that point can be released.
The therapeutic regions like marmas on the arms and legs, are the most important for treatment purposes. While doing marma therapy on the feet, points are stimulated to open the channels of the body.
Reflexology is a science that seems to be derived from the core of 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.
Reflexology5 practitioners rely on the reflexes map of the feet and hands which are connected to all the internal organs and other human body parts. 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.1
It is said that reflexology and acupressure evolved from the marma system of Ayurveda.
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 in oleation 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.1
In massage therapy, marma points can be used in three ways1.
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.
What are the benefits of foot massage with oil?
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. 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 marma massage will not be affected by sciatica2 or constrictions of the vessels. Massage to the feet brings sound sleep. It is relaxing, refreshing, and invigorating to the body and the eyesight.
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.
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.4
So, we see that feet are an important part of the body where some important marma points exist. 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.
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