by Jonathan Hinde, qualified Sukshma Marma Therapist and an Aromatherapist, based in Cambridge, UK.
There are, broadly speaking, two contrasting ways of viewing the body, and two correspondingly different approaches to healthcare: Modern western medicine has its emphasis on the purely physical; while the approach exhibited by oriental and traditional healthcare systems sees the physical symptoms as the ‘precipitated value of consciousness’ and seeks to engage with the subtle imbalances (which may be emotional, spiritual, etc) which have given rise to physical symptoms.
Ayurveda is said to be the oldest record of natural medicine and lays out a complete system already recorded in all its significant values. According to Ayurveda there are special ‘sensitive points on the body’ where there is the most direct correlation between consciousness and the physiology, and these are known as ‘marma points’.
Dr Ernst Schrott has spent many years researching the marma points through careful study of the ancient ayurvedic texts combined with many years of research, study, and practical experience, and has, in conjunction with Dr J Ramanuja Raju and Stefan Schrott, developed a complete system of treating the marma points, Sukshma Marma Therapy®.
In his book ‘Marma Therapy’ (Singing Dragon, 2015) this system is set out in a series of practical and easy to follow steps so than anyone can gain a full introduction to marma therapy and learn to unlock the secret power of the marma points for self- and partner treatment.
Sukshma means ‘gentle, subtle, delicate’, and a key feature of this system is that the treatment is gentle. Perhaps surprisingly, in this case gentle means powerful, significant and lasting, because it is in the subtlety of the treatment that it connects more directly with the source.
Sukshma Marma Therapy® is a very subtle treatment of the classical marma points (vital areas) and nadis (energy channels) in the body. We can think of these vital areas as the junction points where consciousness is most closely related to the body.
This therapy, which requires sensitivity, smart hands and proper training, works on the level of consciousness, and has specific and immediate balancing and healing effects for self-treatment and for treatment of others. It does not include any pressure on the points: even attention alone or a very subtle touch enlivens the inner intelligence located in the marmas and has immediate and extraordinary rebalancing, rejuvenating and healing effects.
What is Marma Therapy?
Marma Therapy is the art of treating very special vital points on the human body, and is one of the greatest healing secrets of Ayurveda. It can be used to detoxify the body, to strengthen and revitalize, for rejuvenation and relaxation, and to release blocked energy. Through these energy points we can stimulate the function of internal organs, strengthen self-healing power, and harmonize mind and body. Marma Therapy covers a wide spectrum of applications: from simple self-treatment to elaborate clinical therapy which requires vast medical experience and specially trained therapists. As an independent form of therapy it is practised almost exclusively in South India. But in fact almost all ayurvedic treatments include marmas as the key points of the body and mind: massage and oil applications, herbal and heat packs or cleansing treatments. Suksma Marma treatment requires only a few basic skills, some body sensation and above all, delight in touch, massage, and well-being.
Prana, the healing energy
Marma Therapy in its very own sense is treatment with your hands. This does not mean to say that we are miracle healers, because the healing power of hands is dormant in all of us! This subtle energy, flowing out of the palm and the fingers, is physiological, natural, yes, even vital. Without it, life would not exist. In Ayurveda, we call this special healing energy Prana. This Prana flows in all nadis, the finest energy channels in the body, and resides concentrated in its energy points, the Marmas. Our hands are full of such Marmas, large and small, that give us the sensitivity to feel the ability to feel mentally and physically, telling us in the way we move our hands and the way we touch. Prana in the hands allows us to give love. It is the power by which we naturally treat and also heal ourselves and others in everyday life.
Sensors for finer perception and power centers
Marmas are subtle, intelligent and very effective control points for body and mind. In these vital points arises condensed information of the organism, its organs and organic systems, but also contents of consciousness and emotions on the body surface. Marmas nonetheless only operate inside, they are our antennas to the outside, sensors for a more subtle perception. They let us sense or see the aura of a person. They anticipate the future and share it with us, maybe only as a vague, queasy feeling in the stomach, in the navel Marma, Nabhi, if something bad threatens, something that we cannot put into words, simply a subtle notion. Or they give us insight and foresight, a clear vision for the future. The Master Marma for this is the “third eye”, Sthapani, when it is fully developed. Marmas are the power centres of the body, comparable to the power places of earth at certain energetic interfaces of our planet.
In the Marmas the primordial sound of creation vibrate
Man, nature and cosmos are considered as a unit in Vedic Medicine. One can recognize the myriad interactions between individual and the environment. Diagnosis and therapy include therefore the living environment, social life, the forces of external nature, the influence of daytimes and seasons, and eventually even the cosmic influences of planets and galaxies. The Marmas are completely in the middle of these interactions. The phases of the moon alter the energy state of such marmas just like the tides. The planets of the solar system affect with their stellar qualities and present location the Main Marmas in the center of the body and strengthen or weaken their qualitites in a cyclic way. Marma Therapy is therefore one of the most intelligent alternative approaches of Vedic Medicine, but also the most delicate, because in the marmas we touch consciousness, Veda and the cosmos.
Marmas are the junctures between mind, body and consciousness. More than that: they are the seams of cosmos and individual, the cosmic control panels in the human organism. In them the primordial sounds of the Vedas are alive. Each Marma is like a special instrument with individual timbre in an orchestra that plays the symphony of life. Marmas communicate through a complex system of innumerable Nadis, literally sound channels. The ancient Vedic texts speak of 72,000 such energy channels, that emanate from the heart and contain the flow of Prana, the vital breath.
A clear, full colour illustrated guide to Marma therapy, explaining the theory, and with straightforward step-by-step instructions for this Ayurvedic form of massage.
Price: £17.99 / $27.95
“This wonderful book represents the product of 30 years work by some of the greatest minds in the field of mind-body and consciousness. They have revived the almost lost Ayurvedic knowledge of the therapeutic treatment of Marma points and made it accessible to anyone anywhere in the world. Marmas are the delicate, subtle points in the physiology where consciousness and matter are most intimately connected. By gentle touch the mind and body can be treated. I highly recommend this unique book to anyone who is interested in promoting life in the direction of perfect health”. – Dr Elizabeth L. Young, General Practitioner, London