Pressing the body spots during massage and acupuncture becomes popular subject in the field of non-tradition methods of treatment. In Ayurveda these spots are called marmas what means vulnerable or sensible areas. Such spots can have specific use for diagnosing and healing or they can be used for improvement of general health condition and growth people’s longevity.
Marmas connect with nadi (thin nerves) and chakras (energetic centers) of subtle body and mind. Theу manages interactions and also energy&information interchange between physical and subtle (pranic) bodies. This means that marmas are important for healing both subtle and physical bodies.
Marmas doctrine, or Marma Vidya offer therapeutic methodology of Marma Sastra which is the base of health, sickness, daily life and spiritual practice. Marmatherapy, or Marma Chikitsa is important principle which is capable to influent on the whole range of diseases. There are described in ayurvedic texts numerous and various marmas and also their specific influences on body features and on intelligence.
Size of marmas spots can be different: from very small to very big, from specific spots on hands and legs to considerable areas of human body like heart or umbilical area.
Being manipulated in right way marmas are capable to make changes in organic function and also in body’s structure. Because of skilful manipulation with marmas the whole stream of physical and mental energy which became weak or lost the right way, can be consciously increased.
Marmas are general subject of three great manuscripts belonged to Aurveda’s recognized authority: Charaka, Sushruta and Vagbhatta. Also marmas are the part of highest “sacred physiology” which divides human body into areas in correspondence with channels of subtle energies and energetic spots. As Earth has sacred lands and energetic streams in accordance with sacred geography , the same way Body has its own sacred spots and channels because of which the connection between Earth and great Space is building.
There are several classical definitions of different marmas in Ayurveda:
1. Charaka defines marmas as areas in which all muscles, veins, ligaments, bones and joints meet. This definition shows that marmas are important connection centers or point of intersection in physical body.
2. According to Vagbhatta, marmas are areas in which important nerves comes together with structures which are concerned with them, for example, muscles or tendons.
3. In Sushruta’s opinion, marmas are such spots where three doshas (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) are present side by side with their subtle forms (prana, Tedjas, Odjos) and also with three gunas (sattva, rajas, tamas).
4. According to Dalhana, marma can lead to death if it will be damaged.
5. Marmas are the sport where body and mind join, that’s why we can feel the pain touching marmas.
Marmas classify in correspondence with their dominating physical components:
• Marmas, based on muscles (Mamsa Marmas)
• Marmas, based on vessels (Sira Marmas)
• Marmas, based on ligament (Snayu Marmas)
• Marmas, based on bones (Asthi Marmas)
• Marmas, based on joints (Sandhi Marmas).
Marmas also subdivide into five types according to degree of vulnerability:
1. Sadya Pranahara – marmas which provoke instantaneous death
2. Kalantara Pranahara – marmas which can become a reason of slow death
3. Vishalyaghna – marmas which can be mortal in case of penetrating wound
4. Vaikalyakara – marmas which provokes immobility, disability
5. Rudjahara – marmas which provokes painful sensations
Marmas are the key centers on all levels of practical yoga from asans, breathing practice pranayana to immersion in deep meditation Dhyanam. Marmas are also useful in martial art Kalaripayattu, where emphasis makes on the greatest power and precision with which sensible spots of enemy can be striked.
Existence of such vital spots is an evidence than body is not only a physical mass but also is a subtle (compound) energetic field with force points by means of which physical, psychical and energetic processes can be controlled.
Apart from this a great number of Marma Sastras written by Rish Aguslya, Shaivic Siddhas and yogees, show path to enormous treasure on Marma knowledge.