Marma Massage: A Gift from India

 

By

Dr Sanjeev Sood

M.D. Ayurvedic Medicine, Prof. Panchakarma.,

Head - Depart. Of Panchakarma, Dayanand Ayurvedic College, India

Visiting Faculty

EISRA - Holland, ICAU - Belgium,

Medical Association of Romania

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ImageIn the ongoing evolution of massage techniques, sometimes it pays to stop peering into the future and, instead, unearth hidden treasures from the past. Marma-point massage, stemming from Ayurveda, the ancient healing system of India, is just such a gem.

Although marma-point massage has been utilized for thousands of years, it's just recently been introduced to the Western world. Now, spas worldwide are offering marma-point massage. With training, this therapy can be added to a spa's menu, or offered as a spa-type therapy by a massage therapist in private practice. Where consciousness meets matter
The guiding principal of Ayurveda is disease prevention by harmonizing the body's rhythm with nature. One way to create this balance and align the body's healing energies is through marma-point massage.
"Marma-point therapy is a mind/body/spirit massage," It goes way beyond the physical to penetrate the body on a deeper level. It's on that level that true healing takes place."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 casual connection of tissue and fluids; they are intersections of the vital life force and prana, or breath."The marma points are where consciousness (Prana) meets matter; where deep silence resides in the body." In Ayurveda, marma points are thought to house the three pillars of life, otherwise known as the dosha. According to Ayurvedic philosophy, dosha 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, lacklustre diet, or poor sleep habits cause disharmony among the dosha. 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. The idea behind massaging the marma points is to cleanse blocked energy, also called chi, by either arousing or calming the dosha. Like a television with three channels, each marma point has three receptors that align with the three dosha. During a marma-point massage, the points are stroked in a deliberate sequence using specific essential oils. "Strictly speaking it's not a massage as defined by hands kneading tissue, "Marma massage is more like a very light stimulation of points on the body." In all, 107 marma points cover the human body. 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.

Marma points correspond to the seven chakras

Major Marma points correspond to the seven chakras, or energy centres 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 own Sanskrit name given by Sushruta, one of the founding fathers of Ayurvedic medicine. 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. 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. "A marma point is the junction between physiology and consciousness," They are vital points on the body where vata, pitta, and kapha are present in their subtlest forms." Battle tested


 

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