Marma science and marma therapy is an untouched chapter of Indian Surgery. With the exploration of marma science the whole scenario of Indian Surgery may change in multidimensional approaches. As previously yoga was the means of achieving spiritual gains, and these days yoga is a tool for health promotion among the masses and the best way to combat most of the diseases from which man suffers, in the same way the implementation of marma therapy may help in different medical and surgical lesions in many ways.
According to Ayurvedic texts the marmas are the points, when injured, may be life threatening. Among the hidden sciences (Gupta Vidya) of India, Marma science is the most important. The human body is the basis of all types of activities. One can achieve many mortal and immortal gains from this body. In another reference it is said that the human body is the seat of diseases. Can any individual be able to get any gains from ill health? Is there any means to keep the body healthy? In answer to these questions we can say yes and with the knowledge of marma one can achieve it. Marmas are not superficial landmarks on the body surface but these are deep-seated important physio-anatomical structures. The knowledge of marma is the oldest hidden treasure of Vedic surgical skill. Many ancient saints got the knowledge of marma and practiced this knowledge for the betterment of suffering humanity. In ancient times it was a hidden science and only the king and warriors knew it.
Vedic Foundation and Historical Background
The history of surgery in India dates back to the Vedas in which transplantation of head, amputation of legs and its replacement by iron legs have been cited, as performed by the divine twins Asvini Kumaras. The Susruta Samhita is the oldest available text on surgery in the world, dating back to a time between 300 to 3000 BC. Actually whatever we know about ancient Indian surgery was not possible without the preservation of Susruta Samhita. Certainly we would know almost nothing about ancient Indian surgery except through subjects discussed in the Susruta Samhita. This text not only represented the embodiment of surgical knowledge of the past millennia, but also was much ahead of the times in expounding and practicing the surgical principle; the validity of this truth is realized today.
According to Susruta, there are 107 vital points in the body, which are the marmas and 700 blood vessels, 300 bones, 400 ligaments and 500 muscles. The marmas are divided into five categories, pertaining to different body tissues, one of them blood vessel (sira), which is the most important of the five. Any injury to these can be fatal also, and so there is a description of siras and what should be avoided during blood-letting or sira-vedhana, for the purpose of protecting the marmas, as precautionary measures are very important.
Distribution and Description of Marma Points in the Human Body
According to Maharsi Susruta there are 107 marmas in the human body. These are very important vital places. Any injury to these parts may lead to severe pain, disability, loss of function, loss of sensation (anesthesia) and death. According to anatomical consideration marmas can be divided into mansa-marma, siramarma, snayu-marma, sandhi marma, and asthi-marma (respectively, marma of muscle, blood vessel, ligament, joint and bone). On the basis of properties they can be categorized into saumya, vayavya, agneya and saumyagneya marmas. According to site, marmas are situated at udara (thorax and abdomen), prishta (back), shakha (extremities) and urdhvajatru (neck and head) region.
These marmas can be categorized in to 5 groups according to the effect of trauma on it.
- Sadya pranahara (fatal) marma -19
- Kalantara pranahara (delayed fatal)- marma-33
- Vishalyaghna (fatal after removal of foreign body) marma– 3
- Vaikalyakara (disabling) marma-44
- Rujakara (painful) marma– 8
Fundamentals of Marma Science
The human being is a finite creature in an infinite cosmos. According to Vedanta principle the absolute cosmos is conceptually limitless. It can be marked as infinite-eternal, eternal-infinite and cannot be assessed in external and absolute. In fact, as per the quotation ‘yat pinde tat brahmande’ all properties of the absolute cosmos are inherent in this human body. One aspect of these inherent powers of self-healing is demonstrated by our rishis as Marma Science.
In Susruta Samhita it is apparent that the knowledge of anatomy and physiology is essential for the exact study of surgical problems by Ayurvedic surgeons. It is important to know that injuries on certain parts of the human body need more consideration. Such parts are known as marmasthana. It is also important to note that those vaidyas who are expert in the anatomy and physiology of the different human organs will never commit mistakes in the management of diseases due to ignorance. Susruta mentioned the condition of attaining the position of visharada only after one attains thorough knowledge of the human body anatomy.
The term marma is derived from the Sanskrit dhatu ‘mri’— marma, that means which causes death or disability. The literary meaning of marma is shape, element, life spot, conjugation of different body structures, essence and vital part. According to Ayurvedic definition, the points which are very vulnerable to injuries and may lead to complications or death are considered as marmas. It is apparent that there are certain important vital points (places) in the human body, which have hidden, secret and significant energy.
In Ayurveda the concept of marma has a vital role. Diseases affecting these vital parts have a bad prognosis. Certainly we can say that the diseases or lesions away from the marmas can be treated easily. Marma are the seat of soma, vayu, teja, sattva, rajas, tama and jivatma. When these places, that is, the marma points, get injured there can be a fatal response. Keeping this concept in mind one should try to apply marma chikitsa to provide the cure fordifferent body ailments.
Ayurveda Marma therapy is for balancing the prana energy & removing the blockage of energy in your body. Marma therapy is a ancient Indian practice which focuses on the manipulation of subtle energy (prana) in the body for the purposes of supporting the healing process. Marma therapy is based on the utilization of vital points in the body which are considered to be access points to body, mind, and consciousness.