Marma Chikitsa is an Ayurvedic massage therapy used on on key points of the body's subtle energy channels. The techniques preceded the very similar Chinese and Japanese techniques of Reflexology, Acupressure and Shiatsu. Marma Chikitsa is written in the ancient 5000 year old Vedic Sanskrit scriptures of India and has developed and used today in Ayurvedic centres worldwide. Marma Points are the body's subtle energy points, or power points (like electric switches or dimmers) that lie on your body's electric energy channels. Through manipulating them, we can direct our prana (energy) that is vital to health, well-being and personal transformation. It is a sacred art form, and Steve often dedicates the treatment to the Hindu Gods Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu, with a sandalwood paste honouring on your forehead.
The human body's 108 classical marma points in location, properties and usage, are connected to the 7 major chakras and 14 nadis of Yoga (also widely focussed on in Tantra, Reiki and wider Ayurvedic healing) and can be used for balancing both the body and mind. Just as the Earth has its own sacred sites and energy currents (eg Glastonbury, Somerset, UK is one of these sacred sites), the body has its own special sacred points. The sacred geography of our own body attunes itself to both the Earth and the greater cosmos. It is one form of Ayurvedic practice that sits alongide many other Ayurvedic techniques to restore the flow of prana. It is often practised in Ayurvedic centres in India alongside pranayama (breathwork), panchakarma (detoxification), meditation, mantras, yantras, herbal tinctures and oleation massage, to rebalance prakruti (your Ayurvedic constitution). The flow of prana through through chakras, nadis and marma points is the key for all these Yogic healing methods.
Fingers or palms of hands are used to stimulate them, depending on their size. Mardana is the term used for acupressure techniques used on Marmas. Breathwork, mantras (meditative sounds) and yantras (metal plates of geometric designs), colours, sacred stones and gemstones (mani chikitsa) may also be used during treatment, to widen the therapy from pure massage. The massage may be clockwise or anticlockwise to turn up or turn down the flow of prana at the marma point, to aid detoxification and tonification, and rebalance certain systems such as digestion, excretion, nervous ailments, mental health and respiration.
There are 3 main marma areas - the head, heart and lower abdomen - though marmas also reach down the arms to the fingers and down the legs to the soles of the feet. Each marma can relate to joints, ligaments, bone, muscle and energetic channels. Sets of marmas relate to the doshas of Kapha (the head), Pitta (the heart), and Vata (the lower abdomen), and to physiological and spiritual energy of the body.
A consultation is required beforehand to assess your Ayurvedic dosha, prakruti (constitution) and conditions to be treated. A more thorough Chakra Balancing Consultation or Ayurvedic Consultation is recommended before you begin Marma Chikitsa. Steve is qualified by the Ayurveda Retreat in UK after extensive work in Ayurvedic centres in India and Sri Lanka. Namaste!