What is Marma Therapy?

Marma therapy is an ancient Indian practice whose focus is 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 107 points in the body which are considered to be access points to body, mind and consciousness. Knowledge of Marma allows the practitioner to influence the flow of prana through both the gross and subtle bodies for the purposes of restoring health and peace of mind.

Marma therapy is the original point system of healing in the body. As it spread out of India it influenced the development of Chinese acupuncture and even Kung fu. Its origins are South India within a martial arts tradition known as Kalari Payatu. The art of Kalari was utilized to defend kingdoms during times when expertise in hand-to-hand combat was the mark of a great warrior. These ancient warriors needed to understand subtle energy and they used their knowledge to disable or kill an opponent. “Marma” comes from the Sanskrit “Mru”, which means “To Kill”.  The 107 marma points are categories in terms of their effect on the vitality of the body. Some points, when injured, simply hurt. Others, when injured, become life threatening. While warriors had knowledge of these points for the purposes of defending a kingdom, it was the job of the physicians to utilize these same points for healing. The Marma master, sometimes called an “Aasan” or a “Marmani”, would also tend to the wounded. The master had the knowledge both of how to cause injury as well as how to use the knowledge and awareness of prana for healing.  The “Aasan” was a rare master who could both kill and heal a person with a touch. (Definition courtesy of California College of Ayurveda website.)

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