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Healing with Energies >>> Marma/Acupuncture

What is Marma

A marma is a vital energy point located on the surface of the body. As the body is alive and pulsating with energy, there are innumerable “energy points” within it and upon the surface, but Ayurveda has described 107  major energy points. These points are vital because they are infused with Life force, and imbued with Consciousness. Consciousness expresses itself in lively, concentrated form at these points. Thus, these points serve as a bridge or doorway between the body, mind and soul. Marma should be understood as junction or meeting place of the 5 organ principals, ligaments, vessels, muscles, bones, and joints with the four types of the vessels being the nerve, lymph arteries and veins. By making a gentle movements with either the forefinger or the middle finger on the marma, toxins can be released and eliminated by the body. These points can be used specifically for the diagnosis and treatment of disease or generally for promoting health and longevity. Marma points are very potent and can be used as Self-Healing techniques. Marmas are used in Suchi Karma (Ayurvedic Acupuncture). 

What is Acupuncture

Human body has more than 2,000 acupuncture points (vital energy points) connected by pathways or meridians. These pathways create an energy flow (Qi) through the body that is responsible for overall health. Disruption of the energy flow can cause disease. By applying acupuncture to certain points, it is thought to improve the flow of Qi, thereby improving health.

Marma vs Acupuncture

At the core both are referring to the same vital energy points located on the surface of the body and connected via pathways (meridians/nadis). Some kind of Marma/Acupuncture has been practiced in ancient Egypt, Persia, India, Sri Lanka, many parts of Europe and South America, and even by the North American Indians. 'Vital energy points' knowledge spread far and wide and eventually it bacame distinct systems but at the core it is still be same principal, just wrapped in different culture specific names.

Techniques for Massage of Marma Points

Needles could be used by professionals only, but as this website is more concentrated on the Self-Healing, so, here are certain ways we can use the points to heal.

Marmas are sensitive areas, so massage should be done carefully. Massage done in wrong way could create a problem. Therefore are 3 major factors that should be taken care of while massaging as follows:

  1. Duration of massage: The duration of massage for marma points should be at least 3-5 minutes twice a day.
  2. Direction of massage:
    1. Clockwise and Upward motion is stimulating and strengthening. Use this motion when body needs strengthening. e.g Massage clockwise around Navel for curing constipation as body needs stimulation. Same way upward motion is stimulating e.g Massage spine upwards to stimulate energy.
    2. Counter-clockwise and Downward motion is healing and soothing. Use this when the goal is to reduce the excess tissues growth or for detoxification purposes. e.g Massage counter-clockwise around Navel for curing diarrhea. Same way downward motion is soothing e.g Massage spine downward to sooth a vomiting person.
  3. Fingers used for massage: Mainly thumb is used or use all 10 finger tips at same time. However, the knuckle, wrist, palm of the hand or heel of the foot can be used in certain conditions, particularly to cover larger regions. The reason for the different choice of fingers is defined later in the article.

General Marma Techniques without learning specific Marma points

  • You will observe that all the points on the palms are up to 1 inch below the wrist. So, without bothering about where the different points are situated, you should start pressing from one inch from the wrist and slowly press the full palm and all the fingers on both the front and back side. By pressing both the palms or soles for five minutes each, you will cover all the points thus stimulating all the organs of the body. It is like complete servicing of the car. And when all the organs are properly stimulated and the endocrine glands are working properly, you will feel more agile and energetic and can maintain good health. emember that continuous pressure is not to be applied but only intermittent pressure like pumping is to be applied as mentioned above. For children under 5 : For maintaining general good health and physical development of children below 5, pressure to be applied on each palm and sole for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • We can massage the fingers of the hands and the toes of the foot in order to work on these different types of Prana that they hold. This is a kind of special Ayurvedic hand and foot massage.
  • Massaging the head with all 10 finger tips is very beneficial for overall health, especially in weak and depressed persons.
  • Massage both hand palms and feet soles everyday for best health.

Why Choice of fingers matter in Massage

The five Pranas relate to the five fingers. We can use different fingers to project the different types of Prana to various marma points. The five Pranas have their different roles in massage:

  • Prana (Thumb, Space): It affords us overall energy.
  • Udana (Index finger, Air): It allows our energy to move upward and holds the body erect. Acupressure done with index finger projects the upward moving energy of udana.
  • Vyana (Middle finger, Fire): It moves outward, expanding and releasing. Acupressure done with middle finger projects the outward moving energy of Vyana.
  • Samana (Ring finger, Water): It moves inward, holding and conserving. Acupressure done with ring finger projects the contracting and consolidating energy of Samana.
  • Apana (Little finger, Earth): It moves downward and reflects the force of gravity, giving stability and grounding. Acupressure done with little finger projects the downward moving energy of Apana. i.e Grouding.
  • The palm carriers the energy of all 5 pranas and of Prana itself.

Detailed information and association between Marmas and Acupuncture Points

Further Reading:
  • Marma Therapy By Dr Ernst Schrott
  • Ayurveda and Marma Therapy By Dr David Frawley
  • Marma Points of Ayurveda By Vasant Lad
  • The Lost Secrets Of Ayurvedic Acupuncture By Frank Ros
  • Ayurveda And Acupuncture By Dr Frank Ros
  • Manual of Acupuncture By Peter Deadman
  • First Aid At Your Fingertips By Lawson Wood