Marma Therapy - An Ancient Healing Science Of Ayurveda

 

Marma Therapy - An Ancient Healing Science Of Ayurveda
The word “Marma” literally means a tender full vital point, which is a conjugation of muscle, nerve, joint, bone, tendon, artery and vein either in combination of two, three etc., or all the above structures. The father of Surgery – Sushruthacharya, defines Marma as “Marayanthi ithi marma” – which means, that certain vital anatomical locations in the body, when injured shall become painful and cause malfunctioning of the local organs or even cause sudden death (marayanthi) of the individual.

 

"Vital Life Force"
The actions of Marma are controlled by the Pranic Vayu (cosmic energy principle in human body). This Prana Vayu is essential to maintain the life or longevity of a person. Sushruthacharya in his treatise Sushrutha Samhita, in the 6th chapter of Shareera sthana, says that “a person with a surgical amputation of limb will survive, but a person injured at the base of the toe, may not, since the base of toe is a marma point." Post surgically, after amputation, the channels of the body near the area of amputation get closed, thereby preventing the loss of pranic energy from the body. But where as in case of an injury to the toe, the person loses his life, due to the gradual loss of Prana Vayu or the Vital life force.

Great Video: The Spiritual Tradition Of Marma Therapy

108 Marmas In The Human Body
There are 108 Marmas in the human body. The Marmas are classified based on the anatomical structures involved or based on the action potential caused in the body when it is injured. It is classified into the following 5 varieties based on the vulnerability it causes after the injury, namely-

1) SADHYA PRANAHARA MARMA:
When a marma falling in this category gets injured, due to the spontaneous loss of the Prana vayu , death is imminent to occur.

2) KALANTHARA PRANAHARA MARMA:
These Marmas result in kalanthara (gradual) loss of life (pranahara), after a lapse of time.

3) VISHALYAGHNA:
The word shalya refers to a foreign body. When a foreign body pierces these varieties of Marma, the injured person survives as long as the foreign body remains in the place of injury. But instead if removed, it results in the death of that individual.

4) VAIKALYAKARA:
These varieties of Marma when subjected to injury caused deformity of those organs which are dependent on that particular Marma for their energy distribution. The word Vikalya or Vaikalya means deformity.

5) RUJAKARA MARMA:
These Marmas neither result in deformity nor cause death, but results in excruciating pain (ruja) when injured.

About The Author: 
Dr. Rangaprasad Bhat is a staunch believer of Ayurveda & Marma Chikitsa, whose vision is to break the myth that Ayurveda is a slow acting medicine, which it is not,when the diagnosis is perfect and the medicines selected are accurate. And his passion is to teach, preach and spread the potentialities of Ayurveda.

Disclaimer:
This is strictly for educational purpose only and NOT to be considered medical advice. Always first discuss with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.


Fasting Therapy ~ An Ayurvedic Perspective

Fasting Therapy ~ An Ayurvedic Perspective
The word fasting though denotes complete abstinence from food, Ayurveda does not advocate complete abstinence in general with certain exceptions to the rule as in the case of post-shodhana therapy. At one instance Chakrapani in his commentary states the following as the meaning of "upavasa" – उपवास:

क्रोधादिपरित्यागः सत्याद्युपादानं , वचनं हि-उपावृत्तस्य पापेभ्यः सहवासो गुणे हि यः|उपवासः  विज्ञेयो शरीरस्य शोषणम् इति; || . दीर्घञ्जीवितीयोऽध्यायः ||

This echoes the disassociation of the krodha [anger], lobha [greed], moha [illusion], iccha [desire], dvesha [hatred] etc. from the mind and following truth is "upavasa". By doing so, one negates his sinful activities. However, for that to happen a well fed physique will not cooperate, and instead a poorly fed physique is considered more suitable. A physique devoid of food gets to an extent tired and the outward thinking centered on one's negative emotional thoughts like krodha [i.e. anger] gets diverted as the focus of attention runs towards the appetite; thereby relieving one from both his physical and mental stress!

PRACTICAL ASPECT OF FASTING:
That being a spiritual explanation, now coming to the Ayurvedic perspective. “Upavasa” [i.e. langhana] gets defined as यत् किञ्चिल्लाघवकरं देहे तल्लङ्घनं स्मृतम्. In essence, “that which causes lightness to the physique is Langhanam”. Now divulging into the qualities of Langhanam includes that which is light for digestion; sharp in potency; dry, rough & hard in consistency; subtle in its form; and is moving with relation to its kinetics [1] While in commentary of the above verse,  Chakrapani says that which causes dryness to the body is essentially absent of the oily quality and devoid of heaviness is to be considered langhana. [2]

INDICATIONS:
Upavasa is one amongst the 4 types of modalities of Langhana followed in ayurveda.The other 3 being pipAsA (thirst); marutAtapa (exposure to breeze); pAcana (digestive compounds).[3]

Who should consider langhanam [i.e. fasting]?
1. aggravated combination of kapha, pitta, rakta and mala associated with vata
2. one with high tolerance or extreme physical strength

In these two contexts Langhana (i.e. fasting) follow-up Shodhana is advised. The pAcana type of Langhanam has its jurisdiction over persons with moderate strength; kapha & pittaja diseases; nausea; vomiting; diarrhea; cardiac patients; visUcika; alasaka; fever; constipation; heaviness of the body & body parts; and the of appetite. In addition, individuals with poor physical strength and mild diseases; not feeling thirsty, etc. then upavAsa (easily digesting foods) are advocated. [4]

Benefits of langhana [i.e. fasting] [5]:
– brings about lightness to the body
– enhances unhindered elimination of flatus; urine and feces
– belching devoid of odor and taste of previous meal
– wards off the stupor & debility

Last but not least, the condition for which the langhana management addressed ... soon becomes asymptomatic.

 

Adverse effects of excessive indulgence in Langhana: [6]
When indulged in excess the langhana certainly gets harmful and causes the following conditions. Suppression of hunger; thirst resulting in loss of appetite. Debilitated functioning of hearing and visual apparatuses. Confusion of mind (stupor) due to the vata moving upwards and getting stagnated in the precordial region. Exhaustion of physical strength; agni & bala (contextually refers to the mucosal lining). Pain in parvas (small joints like carpals; tarsals; metacarpals and metatarsals). Malaise. Cough. Dryness in oral cavity.

 

DISCLAIMER:
This is for educational purposes only; NOT Medical advice.
Always consult your primary care physician before considering any new management.
Always consult with a professional ayurvedic provider before considering any new management

References:
[1] लघूष्णतीक्ष्णविशदं रूक्षं सूक्ष्मं खरं सरम्||कठिनं चैव यद्द्रव्यं प्रायस्तल्लङ्घनं स्मृतम्|
[2] विरूक्षणस्य हि मुख्यः स्नेहाभावः साध्यः, लङ्घनस्य तु गौरवाभाव इति स्फुट एव भेदः प्रतिभाति ||
[3] चतुष्प्रकारा संशुद्धिः पिपासा मारुतातपौ| पाचनान्युपवासश्च व्यायामश्चेति लङ्घनम्||१८||
[4] प्रभूतश्लेष्मपित्तास्रमलाः संसृष्टमारुताः| बृहच्छरीरा बलिनो लङ्घनीया विशुद्धिभिः||१९||
येषां मध्यबला रोगाः कफपित्तसमुत्थिताः| वम्यतीसारहृद्रोगविसूच्यलसकज्वराः||२०|| विबन्धगौरवोद्गारहृल्लासारोचकादयः| पाचनैस्तान् भिषक् प्राज्ञः प्रायेणादावुपाचरेत्||२१||
[5]  वातमूत्रपुरीषाणां विसर्गे गात्रलाघवे| हृदयोद्गारकण्ठास्यशुद्धौ तन्द्राक्लमे गते||३४||
स्वेदे जाते रुचौ चैव क्षुत्पिपासासहोदये| कृतं लङ्घनमादेश्यं निर्व्यथे चान्तरात्मनि||३५||
[6] क्षुत्प्रणाशोऽरुचिस्तृष्णा दौर्बल्यं श्रोत्रनेत्रयोः||३६|| मनसःसम्भ्रमोऽभीक्ष्णमूर्ध्ववातस्तमो हृदि|
देहाग्निबलनाशश्च लङ्घनेऽतिकृते भवेत्||३७|| पर्वभेदोऽङ्गमर्दश्च कासः शोषो मुखस्य च|