Basic Level Marma Training Course 22-28 November 2010

Though treatment through Marma therapy has been carried on effectively for many years through Dr SK Joshi and his associates , training has been informal, individualised and in apprentice mode. To spread the practice of Marma science it was considered important also to have a formalized group training, despite the several precautions to be taken in imparting training, mainly its misuse by commercially oriented practitioners and the in-built dangers of a potent tool being wrongly applied.

The first Mrityunjay Mission formal Basic Level training course was held from November 22 to 28, 2010, in Haridwar. There were 29 trainees, mainly not drawn from a professional medical background. There were, among the trainees, volunteer therapists, relatives of patients undergoing Marma therapy, Yoga and Ayurveda students from Gurukul Kangri University, Patanjali Yogpeeth and Shanti Kunj, Haridwar, and a group of students of astrology (there being a close link between Indian astrology and Vedic medical sciences).

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The course consisted of 2 days of theory, 3 days of practicals with introductory lectures, a day of assessment and feedback and a valediction day. Lectures combined with audio-visual presentation and models, covered the background of Vedic Medical Sciences, the medical ethical codes stated therein, Anatomy and Physiology (according to both western and Vedic sciences), the theory of Prana (life force) in Ayurveda, precautions in the use of Marma therapy and the preparation of the therapist through Mantra and Yoga, the inherence of Marma in Yogic practice and the relationship between the two.

The location of the Marma points in the human body was presented, according to the texts. However, in the practical training, only the points for common diseases were dealt with, and certainly points that could be dangerous were avoided. 35 out of 107 points in the body were taught to trainees. A table was given indicating what points were applicable particularly to diseases like urinary disease, diabetes, hyper cholesterol, gout, hypertension, epilepsy, acidity and stomach ache, sciatica, cervical spondylosis, frozen shoulder, painful knee joints and osteo-arthritis. Self-Marma technique, for daily practice of re-energising and prophylaxis, formed part of the practicals.

Courseware was distributed to trainees consisting of the in-course lectures augmented by visual sheets of Marma techniques for self- therapy as well as therapy for patients. There was also a standing exhibition showing charts of Marma points and treatment through them, their location and technique of stimulation. There was also exhibited a Marma bed (nadi shaiyya ) embedded with sea shells, stimulating marma points for general patients, as well as a plaster bed model (Marma shaiyya) with protrusions made for individual patient requirements. The exhibition carried press stories of various Marma Chikitsa camps of Mrityunjay Mission. Several patients were brought in as demonstration cases.

Swami Advaitananda, Trustee and Treasurer, Shivananadashram, Rishikesh, and himself a recipient of Marma therapy, inaugurated the training course. Speakers and honoured guests at the inaugural function included Prof Vishnu Dutt Rakesh, (former Director, Vaidic Shodh Sansthan), Prof Mahavir Aggarwal (Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Gurukul Kangri University and Vice-Chairman, Uttarakhand Sanskrit Academy).The objectives and activities of Mrityunjay Mission and objectives of the training course were presented by Mrityunjay Mission Members Shrimati Akhila Ghosh, Dr Mridul Joshi, Shri Avik Ghosh and Dr KK Pandey.

The course was directed by Dr SK Joshi, President, Mrityunjay Mission, who gave the body of the lectures. Each days session began with recitation of the Mrityunjay Mantra and prayers for universal welfare. Members and associates of Mrityunjay Mission participated in organizing, managing and conducting the course. There were guest lecturers each day,–Prof VK Sharma, Dr DD Upreti, Prof Ishwar Bharadwaj, Prof Yogesh Mishra, Prof BD Joshi – and their lectures covered Anatomy and Physiology, Herbal Medicine, Yoga, and Marma Science.

The Valediction was performed by Prof Swantantra Kumar, (Vice Chancellor, Gurukul Kangri University).Present along with him were-Dr Karmayogi (Registrar, Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya), Prof Mahavir Aggarwal, Prof BD Joshi, Dr Gyanendra Pandey (Govt Ayurvedic College, Jamnagar). The Valediction was also graced by the Venerable Presence of Shri Swami Hari Shankar Giri, of the institution on whose premises the course was held, namely the Vishwa Kalyan Sadhanayatan. At the valediction, certificates of participation were distributed to the trainees.

The feedback from our training course was that the trainees had a sense of satisfaction at the knowledge gained by them and the skills acquired such that they could practice therapy on themselves and offer it as a service among members of their family and community and others. They were interested in furthering their knowledge through advanced courses and wanted a networking among participants. The spirit of service and discipline was absorbed by the participants along with a renewal of interest and knowledge of our own Vedic heritage of medical science. Marma therapy was a permanent take-home gift to be used and spread as a very effective measure for relief and cure in many cases of disease and suffering.

One of the major outcomes of this training course was the welcome announcement by Gurukul Kangri University Vice-Chancellor and the Registrar of Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya -, 2 major institutions,- that they will introduce Marma course in their regular teaching programme.

In fact, the initial exposure of 5 days to the Gurukul Kangri faculty and students took place between 31st January and 4th February.

 

Second Training (April 2011) Programme on Marma Science and Therapy

April 2011 Training Programme

A training workshop was held by Mrityunjay Mission on Marma Science and Therapy in Haridwar from 24th to 28th April 2011. It was mainly residential with some local participants. Registered participants were 26 while many other participants were also present for some sessions. They included a mix of doctors, medical students, Yoga students and lay persons.

Interesting Concepts on Marma Science Presented at the Inaugural and Valedictory Functions

  • At these functions speakers included importants political personages, doctors, Vedic scholars and leading Sannyasis of the region.
  • Divinity or Universal Energy was intimately connected with health and was specifically invoked in Indian scriptures as the Destroyer of disease and Giver of good health.
  • Prana was generally equated with air or ether but actually this was the Universal Life Force. This resided in our individual self as well and Marma points were the sub-stations in our body of this Prana. When stimulated appropriately, they cured disease.
  • Linked with these ideas was the other important point made of selfless service, not corrupted by commercial or other gains, as necessary for successful Marma Chikitsa.
  • Despite the initial difficulties that it will face, Mrityunjay Mission will establish Marma Therapy as the therapy of the future, it was asserted.

The training course could broadly be divided into teaching, practical training and confidence-building.

The Teaching

This included lectures and demonstrations and covered the following areas:

  • Historical background of Marma including Vedic Medical Sciences.
  • Anatomy and Physiology and Location of Marma Points in the Body, and their therapeutic relevance to parts of the body and diseases.
  • The relationship between Yogic practices and stimulation of Marma points was exposed. This included the effect of the above on health as well as spiritual gain.
  • A routine of certain Yogic practices, Self-Marma practice and recitation of Mrityunjay Mantra was taught to the participants, to be practiced daily by them as a means of improving their capacity as a Marma Chikitsak.
  • Precautions to be followed in administering Marma Chikitsa were also dealt with extensively.

Practical Training

The method of stimulation for about 50 Marma points, out of 107, were taught practically with volunteers or participants taking turns as patients. The diseases these points covered were common diseases including

  • Spondylosis
  • Hypertension
  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Painful knees/osteo arthritis
  • Sciatica
  • Paralysis
  • Epilepsy
  • Hysteria
  • Rheumatism
  • Migraine
  • Diabetes
  • Urinary disorders
  • Diseases of lings, kidneys, spinal chord and vertebral column.

Tables relating diseases to points were made available as well visual materials showing the method of stimulation of the points.

Confidence Building

Patients already under treatment were called to the venue of the training course and Marma treatment was given to them by Dr Sunil Joshi and his assistants in the presence and participation of the trainees. The trainees were thus exposed to

the treatment procedure and response of patients suffering from

  • cerebral palsy,
  • multiple sclerosis,
  • paralysis,
  • osteo-arthritis, painful knee joints,
  • diabetes and other metabolic disorders.
  • epileptic seizures and its sudden management by Marma therapy.
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Asana (Postures) and Effect on Marma

The word asana can be commonly translated as posture. Its literal meaning is the seat or posture adopted during meditation, which promote the mental concentration. As a rule a healthy mind lives in a healthy body, and these postures give a positive effect on health and may cure a number of diseases.

As you know we adopt some postures for different routine or specific works. As for cycle or motorcycle driving we have to adopt a specific posture, or office work or computer work needs sitting posture on a chair, in the same way, during self-marma therapy we have to adopt specific postures to derive maximum benefit from the technique.

How do yogic postures and pranayama affect the body and mind? What is the scientific explanation of it? How one can reenergize the body and mind by adopting some specific postures for a few minutes? These are few questions, which come in the mind of a yoga student or practitioner.

In reply to these questions it is very important to understand the importance of marma points. These marma have control on different body functions and any trauma to these parts may give rise to many complications. By yogic postures and pranayama, by their stretch, pressure, vibration and rhythmic movement, the activity of marma get affected. It also affects the functioning of the organ related to the particular marma. It is apparent that the yogic postures and pranayama affects the body and mind by the stimulation of marma. All the yogic postures in which the body is moved forward and backward affect the marma of abdomen, chest and back. These marma can be energized by regular practice of yoga and pranayama.

One can achieve the same benefits of exercises with the selfmarma therapy. As we know that exercise is necessary for the body strength and normal body functioning, we can say that self-marma therapy is a short cut key to the yoga, pranayama and other physical exercises.

The important yogic postures and pranayama are discussed with their effects.

Lotus Pose (Padmasana):-

In this posture the base of the legs looks like a lotus. So it is known as Padmasana. Tomake the proper lotus pose sit on the floor with crossed legs. Raise the left foot up onto right thigh, as near to the anterior part of right hip joint as possible; place right foot on the left thigh, near to the anterior part of the left hip joint. During this posture the knee should be placed on the surface and the soles should be in upward direction. Keep the head, neck, and spine in a straight line; hands should rest on knees. This is the best pose for meditation. During this pose breathe naturally. Women are suggested to reverse the legs, placing the left foot on top.

Benefits:- Regular practice of Lotus pose calms the mind and pushes the prana into

sushumna. The position of the crossed legs holds the spine in its natural curve; allows the vital organs to fall into correct position; gives rest to the heart; and makes hips, knees and ankles flexible. Regular practice of padmasana improves the psychosomatic functions. It purifies the whole nervous system of the body by the energy accumulated at muladhara chakra. When the whole nervous system gets purified it is helpful to keep the body Healthy physically and mentally. So this posture is useful in many psychosomatic disorders and helps in a number of sexual ailments.

In this posture both heels are paced over the vitapa marma. During lotus pose continuous pressure over vitapa marma is helpful in inguinal hernia, hydrocele, varicocele and it improves the function of the urogenital system. When a person practices the aswini mudra during lotus pose it stimulates the central nervous system and it cures haemorrhoids, prolapsed rectum, prolapsed uterus, benign prostatic hyperplasia and atony bladder. For self-marma therapy it is the most suitable pose for the stimulation of marma of lower extremity especially kshipra, tala hridaya, kurca and kurcasira. This postures stimulates the marma of lower extremity especially gulpha(ankle joint) and janu (knee joint).

It is the most popular pose of yogis. Regular practice of adept’s pose provides many

physical and spiritual gains. After sitting on crossed leg posture place left heel under the

testicles and lift the right heel resting on the genitalia and over the left heel. Head, neck and spine should be in a straight line. There should be no extra pressure on the genitalia and testicles. Women should place left heel in front of anus, right heel on top of left. Keep head, neck, and spine in a straight line and breathe naturally.

Benefits:- Adept’s pose purifies the nervous system. It helps in maintaining celibacy or continence. It pushes vital energy, prana, into susumna. In this posture the heels provide pressure on guda and vasti marma and it is helpful to eradicate the diseases of anorectal region and urogenital system. It is very useful in atony bladder, retention of urine, urinary incontinence, benign prostatic hyperplasia and anorectal disease. After the age of 45 years every person should practice adepts pose regularly to avoid the urogenital problems. This pose is highly recommended for meditation.

Cow’s Head Pose (Gomukhasana) :-

To adopt Cow’s Head pose sit with right leg folded over left; as a result the right knee will be above the left knee. Try to bring the feet towards the back, resting at the side of the hips. Raise right arm overhead and bend the elbow so that the hand hangs down at the back. Place left hand behind back and take hold of right hand. Breathe in slowly and extend by pulling up with right arm and down with left arm. Hold the breath during pose, keeping spine, neck and head in straight line, right arm up and held down with left arm. Breathe out slowly, reversing legs and arms. Repeat the pose on the other side in the same manner. Persons who cannot clasp the hands may bring together the upper hand and lower hand as much as possible

Benefits: – Regular practices of Cow’s Head pose strengthens the spine. It aids in celibacy, helps remove muscular pains in the back and shoulders, cures abdominal weaknesses, andalleviates indigestion and insomnia. In this pose, marmas of the back, thorax and abdomen, and upper and lower extremities get affected.

Shoulder Stand Pose (Sarvangasana): -

To adopt this pose lie flat on the back with arms parallel to body. Raise legs slowly untilthey make a right angle with the body trunk. Then with the arms flat on the floor raise the body straight up on shoulders with the head and shoulders resting on the ground, balance on the shoulders and breathe naturally. One can support the back with the hands during this pose

Benefits: – it strengthens the entire body. It regulates the functions of thyroid and parathyroid glands. It improves the metabolic activities of the body and the function of endocrine system, cardiovascular system, respiratory system and nervous system. One can get all benefits of headstand pose. In this pose the blood circulation increases in chest, neck and brain. In this posture amsa, amsa phalaka, vrihati, parsvasandhi, hridaya, stanamula, stanarohita, apalapa, all marms of neck and head get affected.

Plough Pose (Halasana):-

In continuation of the Shoulder Stand pose, lower the legs over the head keeping knees and arms straight. Touch the floor with the toes. After a few seconds inhale slowly and return back to shoulderstand pose. In the same way ear-knee pose (karnapidasana) can be adopted by bending legs and bringing knees forward and towards the ears. Hold the breath out in the pose; then inhale slowly and return to shoulder stand and inhale slowly, then exhale into the ear-knee pose. The plough pose is complementary to the bow pose.

Benefits: -In addition it tones spinal nerves, muscles of the back, and the sympathetic nervous system. Makes the spine flexible, prevents laziness, and relieves constipation. In this posture amsa, amsa phalaka, vrihati, parsvasandhi, hridaya, stanamula, stanarohita, apalapa, all marmas of neck and head get affected. Krikatika marma is very much affected during the flexion of neck over the chin.

Wind-Releasing Pose (Pavanmuktasana):-

To adopt this pose lie on the back, inhale slowly and fold the left knee onto the chest, pulling it firm by clasping the hands around it, trying to touch head to knee, keeping the right leg straight. Hold the breath during pose; subsequently exhale while lowering leg and head. Repeat with right leg; and then with both legs together.

Benefits: – Releases abdominal flatulence, improves indigestion, and reduces abdominal fat. It gives positive effect on the inflammatory lesions of large intestine and other abdominal organs. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma get affected.

Fish Pose (Matsyasana):-

To adopt this pose lie on the back with arms at the sides; then, by pushing down on the floor with the elbows, inhale slowly and curve the back so that the top of the head rests on the floor. Try to raise the chest as high as achievable. Place hands on chest, palms together, with fingers pointing towards chin. Hold breath in pose; then exhale slowly and return to starting position. The Fish pose is a counter pose for the Shoulder stand, and is complementary to the Rabbit Pose (sasakasana).

Benefits: - Regular practice of the Fish pose expands the chest, strengthens the lungs, and brings oxygenated blood to the thyroid and parathyroid glands. It is useful for asthma and bronchitis. In this posture kakshadhara, vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma get affected. It also affects the krikatika, adhipati and simanta marmas.

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana):-

To adopt this pose lie face down on the floor. Place palms on floor at the side of shoulders. Inhale and slowly raise head and chest, arching the neck in hyper extension looking up and back. Hold breath during pose; subsequently exhale and come down slowly. This pose is complementary to the back-stretching exercises.

Benefit: – Regular practice of Cobra pose makes the spine stretchy; relieves gastro-intestinal disorders; expands the chest, in this manner strengthening the lungs and heart; awakens kundalini. The cobra pose is recommended for women after childbirth because it strengthens the reproductive organs and other organs of thorax and abdomen. In this posture kakshadhara, vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi, thorax marma and marma of lower extremity get affected.

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana):

To adopt this pose lie face down on the floor. Bend the knees, try to reach back and hold the ankles with hands. Inhale and try to lift head, chest, and thighs as high as possible, stretching the body into a bow shape. Try to keep the head back. Hold breath during pose; subsequently exhale slowly releasing legs and coming down. The Bow pose is opposite to the Plough pose.

Benefits: – Regular practice of the Bow pose strengthens the spine, intestines, liver, and kidneys; improves digestion; reduces fat; and makes the body flexible. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of lower extremity get affected.

Wheel Pose (Chakrasana):-

To adopt this pose lie on the back, put the hands beside the ears, palms down and fingers pointing towards the feet. Try to bend the knees and pull the feet close to the hips. Subsequently inhale slowly and raise body up and try to balance on hands and feet. Hold breath during pose; afterwards exhale at the same time as lowering the body back to floor.

Benefits: – Regular practice of Wheel pose affects the whole body, especially the spine; strengthens the upper and lower extremities. It gives vitality, strength, energy and sensation of lightness. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Half Spinal Twist Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana):-

To adopt this pose sit with right heel folded at the side of the left hip. Try to raise the left knee, cross left foot over the folded right leg. Put left foot flat on floor beside the right thigh. Try to bring right upper arm around to the outside of left knee and grab left foot with right hand. Bend left arm behind back, inhale, and twist spine and head to the left, looking back over the left shoulder as far as possible. (Straighten spine, neck, and head by stretching torso upward before twisting.) Hold breath during pose; afterwards exhale and untwist slowly. Reverse legs and arms and repeat.

Benefits: – Regular practice of Half Spinal Twist pose gives strength, flexibility to the body and oxygenated blood supply to the spine and abdominal organs. It increases appetite, metabolic process and digestion. Retards aging; tones the nervous system; and strengthens the reproductive glands. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Yogamudrasana:-

Sit in Lotus pose. Cross arms behind the back and grab the left big toe with the left hand, and the right big toe with right hand, or simply grip left wrist with right hand behind the back. Inhale deeply, then exhale and slowly bend forward, resting forehead on the floor. Hold breath out in pose; then inhale and sit up. When used as a meditation posture, breathe naturally and concentrate on ajna chakra.

Benefits: – It intensifies the benefits of Lotus pose. It also increases memory and gastric fire; strengthens the spine, waist, lungs, heart, and abdomen. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Nobility Pose (Bhadrasana):-

Sit on the floor. Bring soles of feet together, clasp hands around feet, and pull heels in as close to the body as possible. Inhale slowly and press knees down towards the floor, keeping spine, neck, and head in a straight line. Hold breath in pose. Concentrate on ajna chakra. Exhale slowly and release. In a variation hands are placed on the knees, pressing them down gently. The Nobility pose can be used as a meditation pose, breathing naturally.

Benefits: – Relieves urinary disorders and sciatic pain; keeps the kidneys, prostate, bladder, and ovaries functioning properly; strengthens the reproductive glands and aids in celibacy.Recommended for women, as it helps regulate the menstrual cycle; also recommended during pregnancy. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi. guda and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Frog Pose (Mandukasana):-

To adopt this pose sit in Thunderbolt pose and close the hands by putting thumbs inside. Now place both the closed hands around the umbilicus and try to bend forward, exhaling breath and keeping sight forward. Keeping this pose for a while come back to the Thunderbolt pose. This can be repeated three to five times.

Benefits: – during this pose there is direct pressure on abdominal organs. It improves the function of the pancreas. It increases the amount of insulin and improves the quality of gastric and liver juices. It is good for abdominal ailments. It improves the function of heart and lungs. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Peacock Pose (Mayurasana):-

Kneeling on the floor, with arms resting in front of the body on the palms, inhale and bring head off the floor by shifting the body slightly towards the feet. Then raise the legs by shifting body forward again. Hold breath while balancing on the hands; then exhale slowly lowering head and feet. Either return to kneeling position or relax in the Reverse Relaxation Pose. (Uttana Shavasana).

Benefits:- Increases digestive fire, alleviating indigestion and constipation; is helpful for diabetes, haemorrhoids, and inflammation of the intestines or liver; stimulates circulation of blood in the abdomen; tones the lungs; rouses kundalini; and strengthens the wrists, arms, and abdominal muscles. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Thunderbolt Pose (Vajrasana):-

Kneel and sit on calves, knees together. Place hands on knees, keeping arms and back straight. Either close the eyes, or focus on the tip of the nose. Breathe slowly and deeply. This pose can be used for meditation. This is the one asana that may be practiced directly after eating.

Benefits: – Calms the mind; aids digestion. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affect.

Lying Thunderbolt Pose (Supt vajrasana):-

To adopt this pose sit in Thunderbolt pose and try to lie on the back. In this posture bot thighs should be placed together. Hands should be kept on thighs. During the reversal of pose take the support of elbows and hands.

Benefits: – Regular practice of Lying Thunderbolt pose gives stretch on lower abdominal part and lower extremity. It stimulates the function of large intestine and regulates the bowel. It is useful in hemorrhoids, constipation and the diseases of urogenital system. In this posture vitapa, lohitaksha, vasti and nabhi and thorax marma and marma of back and both extremities get affected.

Relaxation Pose (Shavasana):-

To adopt this pose lie flat on the back like a corpse, keeping arms at the sides and head rolled slightly to one side. Close eyes and relax; breathing should be natural. The mind should be calm and thoughtless. Practice the Relaxation pose after each series, or after several strenuous poses, for fifteen to twenty seconds. At the end of asana practice, do this pose for five to ten minutes. It is also recommended to practice this after pranayama and meditation.

Benefits: – The Relaxation pose facilitates blood circulation; it relieves fatigue and reduces stress and depression. Practice of Relaxation pose gives soothing effect on total body marma.

Conclusion about Marma and Yoga

In concluding this section on Yoga and Marma, we can therefore see the close and astounding inter-relationship between the two practices, the practice of Marma being inherent in the Yogic postures. In all the higher yogic practices as well, like the various pranayama and mudras, as well as concentration / meditation on the chakras, various marma points get affected and stimulated. Thus, it can be remarked, extending this perception, that self-marma therapy in itself can be considered as a Yogic practice.

 

Marma Therapy and Yogic Practices

Man is the best creature of God. The human body is made up of the five basic elements and soul. In spite of this quality the human body is the subject of all activities (Dharma artha kama and moksha). In Charaka Samhita this sada dhatu purusa is known as cikitsya purusa.

The human body is constituted by different systems: all these systems work together regularly without any hindrance. The human body is made up of seven basic dhatus i.e. rasa, rakta, mansa, meda, asthi, majja and sukra. A number of changes occur in the human

body during the whole life span, the homeostasis of doshas is known as health; imbalance in the doshic state may lead to the disease:shariram vyadhi mandira means the body is the seat of diseases.

The aim of Ayurveda is to preserve the health of a healthy individual and to cure the diseases of a diseased person. There is a major role of marma therapy and yoga along with Ayurveda to fulfill the above-mentioned goal. The whole world is requiring marma therapy and yoga as a weapon to combat the diseases of modern life. Marma therapy and yoga is practiced by many people for achieving the healthy state of life. A number of incurable diseases are treated with marma therapy and yogic practices.

In the present era we suffer from a number of ailments. The main cause of such sufferings is stress generated by competitiveness, changing lifestyle and behavior. As a result the human being suffers from physical and mental illness. Adhyatmic, adhibhautik, and adhidaivik are three types of sufferings; these sufferings can be treated with mantras, marma therapy and yoga and Ayurveda collectively.

Under the present circumstances many people have come to realize the importance of marma therapy and yoga as practical methods of improving the states of bodily health and the quality of life. Marma therapy and yoga is used for achieving the equilibrium, harmony, and balance in day-to-day life. Various means of yoga may be grouped under asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, bandhas, mudras and dhyana.

Directly and indirectly all yogic practices affect the marmas. In the rest of this chapter, and the next we are elaborating with examples.

According to Charaka Samhita persons living near to nature remained away from diseases. Changing lifestyle and food habits are responsible for the manifestation of different physical and mental ailments. For achieving positive health it is necessary to lead life according to the natural laws. Early rising and proper sleep is necessary for good health. Consumption of natural food and plenty of water makes a difference. The body is a replica of the universe, changes in the universe affects the body. In this reference it is important to know that the change in the time (age, diurnal variation and season), place may affect the human body. Simultaneously the body activities, mental work up, feelings and speech affect the body itself.

Marma therapy and yoga are important to cure the disease and enhance the health status of the body. Nowadays asanas are much popularized in the society for health promotion. It improves the health and tones up the body musculature. These practices affect the body physiology. In the higher stages of yoga the practice of asana, mudra, pranayama, bandha are supportive to higher spiritual activities. Marma therapy and yogic postures, as well as marma stimulation inherent in them, have great impact on nervous system, musculoskeletal system, endocrine glands, respiratory system and organs of abdomen, heart and circulatory system. These marma practices and yogic exercises are developed by ancient rishis by observing Nature.

Effect of self- marma therapy and yogic practices on digestive system: -

Digestive power of the body improves by regular self-marma therapy and yogic practices. The essential substances are supplied to the body regularly by absorbing these substances through absorption of the food material by the intestine. Metabolism of food takes place

in the liver. Excessive available nutrients are deposited in different parts of the body. During necessity the body itself utilizes these nutrients.

The following effects are seen on the digestive system by marma therapy and yogic practices:

  1. It maintains the digestive power healthier by stimulating all organs of Gastro Intestine Tract.
  2. It improves the digestive function of the body.
  3. Increases the appetite by proper digestion of food.
  4. Improves the function of intestine, so the intestine takes out the harmful substances properly.
  5. Improves the peristaltic movement of Gastro Intestine Tract and relieves constipation, loss of appetite and hyperacidity.
  6. By proper digestion of food the body gets proper nutrients and it also improves the working capacity of the body.

Important organs of the digestive system

  1. Tongue
  2. Salivary glands
  3. Oesophagus
  4. Stomach
  5. Duodenum
  6. Small Intestine
  7. Appendix
  8. Large Intestine
  9. Rectum
  10. Liver
  11. Pancreas

Main Diseases of the Digestive System: -

  1. Hyperacidity
  2. Gastric ulcer
  3. Gastritis
  4. Stomach Cancer
  5. Duodenal ulcer
  6. Enteritis
  7. Colitis
  8. Appendicitis
  9. Ulcerative colitis
  10. Jaundice
  11. Pancreatitis
  12. Cholecystitis
  13. Cholelithiasis
  14. Constipation

Useful in digestive system diseases: -

  1. Asana: – Vajrasana, supta vajrasana, ardhamatsyendrasana, paschimottana -sana. mayurasana, pavanmuktasana. katichakrasana, sarpasana. dhanurasana, sarvangasana, trikonasana, akarnadhanurasana, surya-namaskara.
  2. Pranayama: – Nadi Shodhana, bhastrika.
  3. Bandha: – Moola bandha, uddiyana bandha, etc.
  4. Mudra: – Ashwini mudra, tadagi mudra, maha mudra etc
  5. Kriya:- Kunjala, vasti, sankhaprakshalana, Nauli, vastradhauti, agnisara etc.
  6. Dhyana
  7. Marma therapy:- Guda, nabhi, kurpara and indravasti.

Contra-indication of yogic practices in different digestive disorders: -

  1. In the following condition yogic practices specially sadakriyas should not be practised.
  2. In acute and infective stage of any diseases i.e. acute appendicitis, gastric ulcer, ulcerative colitis, cholecystitis, jaundice etc.
  3. Any condition when blood is coming out from mouth or anus.
  4. In acute phase of any disease sadakriya may produce many complications.

Limited use of other harmless yogic postures, pranayana, mudra and dhyana should be done with other curative procedures.

But there is no contra-indication of marma therapy in the abovementioned conditions. In these conditions marma therapy does not hurt the site of lesion. It gives positive effect on the affected site. One can perform marma therapy at any stage of disease.

Effect of self-marma therapy and yogic practices on blood circulatory system-

During yogic practices heart and circulatory system play an important role. It is a well known fact that any work is not possible without energy. Oxygen and nutrients are generated in the muscles during yogic practices. So at the time of yogic practices the heart rate and arterial blood circulation also increases. By this process blood pressure also increases. Due to increased blood circulation the lungsalso work rapidly Body temperature increases due to different biochemical reactions in the muscles. Increased body temperature due to exercise is maintainted by sweat glands; they produce more sweat. Many excretory substances are also excreted through the sweat. Following effects take place on the circulatory system, during yogic practices

1. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices may produce some changes in the body. The working capacity of the heart improves by regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices. The heart pumps good amount of pure blood into the circulation so the oxygen and other nutrients are readily available for better physiological activities of the body.

2. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices may lead to bradycardia. It provides better effect on the heart and the circulatory system. It improves the working capacity of the heart. During hard work the circulatory system gives better performance.

3. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices may lead to a number of biochemical changes in the blood. It increases the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. Excretory metabolites and substances are taken away rapidly. So the concentration of excretory metabolites remains in lower level. Blood cholesterol decreases and the chances of heart attack are few in this condition.

4. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices may prevent the heart diseases. Patients of heart diseases may prefer high yogic practices like Kundalini jagaran and achieving Samadhi. By these practices the heart becomes healthier and strong.

5. By regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices the blood cells count increases. So the blood carrying capacity, diseaseresistant capacity and immunity improves.

The general body build and outlook become healthy. There is marked improvement in body resistance power.

Important organs of blood circulatory (cardio vascular) system: -

  1. Arteries
  2. Veins
  3. Heart

Important diseases of blood circulatory (cardio vascular) system:-

  1. Hypertension
  2. Congenital heart diseases
  3. Cardiac vascular diseases
  4. Coronary artery diseases
  5. Pericarditis

Useful in blood circulatory (cardio vascular) diseases: -

  1. Asana:- Sheershasana, sarvangasana, shavasana, naukasana, halasana, karnapidasana etc.
  2. Pranayama:- Bhastrika pranayama, nadi shodhana pranayama, anuloma-viloma pranayama, etc.
  3. Mudra:- Tnmani mudra, shambhavi mudra etc.
  4. Bandha:- Uddiyana bandha, mula bandha etc.
  5. Satakriya:- Agnisara, vastra dhauti, kunjala etc.
  6. Dhyana
  7. Marma therapy:- Talahridaya, nabhi, hridaya.

Contra-indication of yogic practices in different blood circutatory/ cardio-vascular diseases:-

  1. In the following conditions yogic practices should not be done
  2. Congenital heart diseases.
  3. Cardiac failure
  4. Acute pericarditis
  5. Infective diseases of heart and blood vessels.

But there is no any contra-indication of marma therapy in abovementioned conditions. In these conditions marma therapy does not hurt the site of lesion. It gives positive effect on the affected site. One can perform the marma therapy at any stage of disease.

Effect of self- marma therapy and yogic practices on respiratory system:

Every physical activity needs energy. Oxygen is necessary for the energy generation from the food material. Any exercise or hard work needs more oxygen, and for better oxygenation lung functions get affected. During yogic practices the respiration rate gets increased. In the lung, exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place at the cellular level in a better way. Oxygen absorption increases and removal of carbon dioxide becomes more pronounced. During this exchange energy is generated so the body temperature and respiratory rate may be raised.

Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices may affect the body and mind. The following effects are noted on the respiratory system during yogic practices.

1. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices enhances the working capacity of the respiratory system especially the lungs and bronchial tree. Initially there is marked increase in the respiration rate during exercise but in the long run the respiratory rate does not get much affected even after vigorous yogic practice.

2. By regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices lung capacity increases. Vital capacity and tidal volume gets positive response.

3. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices improve the function of the muscles supporting the respiration.

4. Due to regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices especially pranayama oxygen consumption gets lower, so the respiration rate gets more slowed down. One can perform all vigorous activities without increasing the respiratory rate.

Important organs of respiratory system: -

  1. Nose
  2. Trachea
  3. Lungs
  4. Thoracic muscles
  5. Diaphragm

Important diseases of respiratory system: -

  1. Rhinitis
  2. Cough
  3. Bronchitis
  4. Pneumonitis
  5. Tuberculosis
  6. Bronchial Asthma

Useful in diseases of respiratory system:-

  1. Asana: – Yoga mudra, singhasana, akarna dhanurasana, shavasana, paschimottanasana, pavanmuktasana, naukasana, sarvangasana, halasana, karnapidasana etc.
  2. Pranayama: – Nadi shodhan pranayam, bhastrika pranayama, suryabhedan pranayana etc.
  3. Satakriya: – Jalaneti, sutra-neti, kapala-bhati, kunjal-kriya,vastra-dhauti, nauli etc.
  4. Bandha: – Uddiyana bandha, jalandhara bandha etc.
  5. Mudra: – Viparita karani, mahamudra.
  6. Dhyana
  7. Marma therapy: - Marma of head and neck and thorax.

Contra-indication of yogic practices in different respiratory diseases:-

In following diseases yogic practice should not be done

  1. Acute infective diseases of respiratory system.
  2. Acute pneumonitis.
  3. Haemoptysis.
  4. Tuberculosis and complications.
  5. Epistaxis.
  6. Acute Rhinitis & Sinusitis.

But there is no any contra-indication of marma therapy in abovementioned conditions. In these conditions marma therapy does not hurt the site of lesion. It gives positive effect on the affected site. One can perform marma therapy at any stage of disease.

Effect of self-marma therapy and yogic practices on excretory system:-

Skin, kidneys and large intestine are the main excretory organs of the human body. Regular self- marma therapy and yogic practices give positive impact on these organs. Self- marma therapy and yogic practices affect these organs in the following ways

1. During exercise the heart rate and pulmonary function improve. They work more efficiently. Consumption of oxygen increases and more carbon dioxide gets excreted. This removes a number of body ailments.

2. Sweat glands in the skin produces more sweat and due to excessive perspiration more metabolites are excreted throughthe sweat glands. It keeps the blood pure.

3. During self- marma therapy and yogic practices due to increased blood circulation in the brain, heart, kidneys and liver, the working capacity of these organs increases. The body

becomes healthier. The kidneys play an important role in urine formation and excretion of metabolites through urine. Kidneys are the main blood filters. The liver plays an important role in the digestion of foot. Bile formation takes place in the liver. From the liver bile comes into the gall bladder, shrinks, and the whole bile comes into the duodenum. Bile is important

for the digestion of fat in many ways. But it contains many other metabolites, pigments, salts and excretory substances that also reach in the intestine and is evacuated through the facial material and urine.

4. By regular self-marma therapy and yogic practices the working capacity of the organs of digestive system improves. Smooth muscles of gastro intestinal tract become stronger

and digestion power improves. Excretion of excretory substances takes place in a better way. Yogic practices play an important role to improve the functioning of all excretory organs.

Important organs of urine excretory system: -

  1. Kidneys
  2. Ureters
  3. Urinary bladder
  4. Urethra

Important diseases of urine excretory system: -

  1. Nephritis
  2. Ureteritis
  3. Cystitis
  4. Urolithiasis
  5. Haematuria
  6. Oilgouria and anuria
  7. Prostatic enlargement

Useful yogic practices in urine excretory system: -

  1. Asana: – Ardhamatsyendrasana, matsyendrasana, ustrasana, trikonasana, paschimottanasana, naukasana, pavanmuktasana, supta-katichakrasana, kati chakrasana, bhuganagasana, mayurasana, dhanurasana, halasana, bhunamanasana, hastapadangysthasana, surya namaskara etc.
  2. Pranayama: – Nadishodhana pranayana, bhastrika pranayana etc.
  3. Bandha: – Mula bandha, uddiyana
  4. Mudra: – Ashwinimudra, tagadimudra, mahamudra, bajrali mudra etc.
  5. Kriya: – Vasti, nauli, sankha prakshalana, agnisarakriya, kunjala etc.
  6. Dhyana
  7. Marma therapy: – Parsvasandhi, guda, vasti, nabhi and marmas of lower extremity.

Contra-indication of yogic practices in different diseases of urine excretory system: -

In the following urine excretory system diseases yogic practices should not be done.

  1. Acute uraemia/ azotemia
  2. Urolithiasis
  3. Hematuria
  4. Acute urinary tract infection
  5. Malignant growth of urinary system.

But there is no any contra-indication of marma therapy in abovementioned conditions. In these conditions marma therapy does not hurt the site of lesion. It gives positive effect on the affected site. One can perform the marma therapy at any stage of disease.

Effect of marma therapy and yogic practices on endocrine and exocrine glands: -

There are two types of glands

  1. Endocrine gland
  2. Exocrine gland

Those glands are endocrine which are ductless. Secretion of these glands directly enters into the blood circulation.

Pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid thymus and adrenals are the main endocrine glands. Pancreas, ovary and testicle are combined glands. Some of these secretes enzymes, ova and sperms are transported into intestine, uterus and urethra. Salivary glands, sweat glands and glands situated in the stomach and intestine secrete their secretions.

In reference to sweat glands, any exercise increases the excessive sweating. Yogic practices increase the blood circulation of the glands. Due to increased blood circulation, the function of these glands improves. So the body immunity and secretion of these glands affect

the function of many organs.

By regular yogic practices the function of these glands can be affected. In the healthy individual yogic practices may activate the function of these glands. Health promotion is possible by activating the endocrine and exocrine glands.

I- Regular yogic practices and marma therapy improve the function of glands.

II- Glands secrete good amount of hormone.

III- The quality and composition of hormones becomes more balanced.

IV It improves the body immunity and decaying/ageing process can be delayed.

Important Glands are-

  1. Pituitary gland
  2. Thyroid gland
  3. Parathyroid gland
  4. Thymus gland
  5. Pancreas gland
  6. Adrenal glands

Important diseases of endocrine glands:

  1. Thyroid swelling
  2. Diabetes
  3. Infertility
  4. Congenital brain and anatomical deformities.

Useful yogic practices in different endocrine gland diseases: -

  1. Asana: – Siddhasana, matsyendrasana, yoga mudra, mayurasana, shirshasana, paschimottanasana, pavan muktasana, suptakatichakrasana, trikonasana etc.
  2. Pranayama: – Nadi shodhana, bhastrika, bhramari, surya bhedi, dhaauani yukta pranava uchcharana(Japa) etc.
  3. Bandha: – Mula bandha, uddiyana bandha, jalandhara bandha, etc.
  4. Mudra: – Khechari mudra, shambhavi mudra, ashwini mudra etc.
  5. Kriya: – Jalaneti, sutra neti, kunjala, vasti, trataka etc.
  6. Dhyana
  7. Marma therapy: – Marmas of neck and head, and marmas related to particular endocrine gland.

Contra-indication of yogic practices in different diseases of endocrine system: -

In the following endocrine system diseases yogic practices should not be done.

  1. Acute haemorrhagic conditions of endocrine system.
  2. Traumatic lesions of endocrine system.
  3. Acute endocrine infection.
  4. Malignant growth of endocrine system.

But there is no any contra-indication of marma therapy in abovementioned conditions. In these conditions marma therapy does not hurt the site of lesion. It gives positive effect on the affected site. One can perform the marma therapy at any stage of disease.

 

Introducing Marma Science

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 gain and these days Yoga is a tool for health promotion, in the same way, the implementation of Marma therapy may help in different medical and surgical lesions and to combat most of the diseases from which man suffers.

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 confidently say yes, and with the knowledge of Marma, one can achieve it. According to Ayurvedic texts the Marmas are the points, when injured, may be life-threatening. Marmas are not superficial landmarks on the body surface but these are deep seated important physio-anatomical structures. When stimulated appropriately, they can preserve health and cure disease.

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. Ancient Rishis, the experts of Marma knowledge, developed the Marma science and therapy for suffereing humanity, and for those people who are engaged in the activities of service to humanity and are seekers of achieving the highest state of consciousness. However, it gradually became a hidden science and only the kings and warriors knew it. Why did it become a hidden science?

To reply this question, it is important to know what Marma is . Accoding to medical definition, the specific part of the body, which are very vulnerable to trauma, is known as Marma. Any trauma to these places mat lead to death and many other complications regarding the physiological and anatomical functions. These places are know as vital points and are the source of energy, and by stimulating them, there can be many physical and spiritual gains. So these places should be preserved and not be exposed to any trauma. Therefore the Marma science was obscured and hidden for a long period of thousands of and know only to kings and warriors years.

In the present times, with due precaution, this hidden treasure of Vedic surgical skill can help greatly to relieve the suffering of humanity. However, till date, the knowledge of Marma science is not well-known to the practioners of Ayurveda so this science has not flourished like the other specialities of Ayurveda.

Persons engaged in higher spiritual practices cannot practice Yoga, pranayama, and other physical practices to keep their body fit due to their specific lifestyle. They can, however, attain the same result and enjoy a similar outcome with Marma therapy, which enables them to attain physical well,being, mental calmness and spiritual gains and self-realisation.Ancient Rishis had devoped this knowledge and it is inherent even in many day to day spiritual practices and given as instruction in religious texts.

Conventional religious practices in daily life related with marma science

A number of traditional religious rituals and practices are common in the life of an Indian. Many day-to-day works affect the marmas.

  1. Special type of footwear (khadau) gives pressure on kshipra marma situated between the big toe and second toe of foot. It gives positive effect on the mental status of a person. It directly affects the excitatory activity of mind. It also cools the mind, prevents indulgence in sexual act and helps in celibacy. Persons involved in spiritual practices uses such type of footwear.
  2. Application of different kind of substances such as sandalwood paste on forehead, middle of the eyebrows, neck and other vital points situated all over the body.
  3. Application of sindur on the middle of the head.
  4. Keeping the hair tuft over the top of the head.
  5. Application of tilaka on forehead between eyebrows.
  6. Regular consideration and palpation or touch of marmas with the chanting of mantras during the religious activities.
  7. Application of pious threads around the right ear during the evacuation of urine and stool.
  8. In Muslim community, adaptation of specific posture during prayer, five times a day.
  9. Clapping during satsanga and offering prayer.

In ancient times, in the Vedic tradition, it was mandatory and part and parcel of daily spiritual, religious practices and rituals to concentrate or remember and touch/press these marma points regularly. During the Rudrabhisheka (offering to Lord Shiva) marmachchhadana was mandatory prior to the main offering. In offerings to different gods and goddesses this is present in the form of karanyasa and anganyasa. In these references general terms are used for marma points, as sites in the bodywhere Marma points are inherent, like Nabhi(umblicus), Hridaya(heart), etc.

Regular self-marma practice offers long life by keeping away from the developmental changes, old age, decay, disease and death. With self-marma practice, vital energy reaches in every part of the body uninterruptedly. Therefore one can get absolute consciousness with the help of regular self-marma practice.

Some important facts about Marma, in brief

1. Marma Science has mention in ancient texts like the Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, Puranas and Samhitas including the Sushruta Samhita. In these texts are incorporated the knowledge of Marma Science which in fact existed even before these texts, and which had origin in a timeless period. It is a system which is existing in the human body from the time of evolution of the human being and was not devised/invented by anyone. It exists in Nature.
Whereas Marma Science pertaining to martial arts wounding, prevention, protection and healing of battle wound was preserved to a very small extent, its curative aspect was almost lost. Some people in South India had a very limited and perhaps distorted knowledge of it.
In the present times, its curative aspect has been explored, exposed and experimented with successfully through academic and practical research in Mrityunjay Mission, through the pioneering effort of Dr Sunil Kumar Joshi, who has conducted research nd treatment through Marma Science and Therapy since 1991.

2. The basis of Marma Science is 107 vital points in the body, which are locatable in anatomically defined sites. They are therefore accurate and results potent. They are also locatable through measurement of one’s own body parts as well as through and in spontaneous human postures.
3 The points for various diseases are different in Marma Science and Therapy from acupressure. They are not the same points.Through Marma therapy some of the diseases can be handled are as follows:

  • All kinds of vata disorders
  • Arthritis
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Congenital brain / nerve lesions
  • Diabetes
  • Epilepsy
  • Eye and ear nerve problems
  • Migraine
  • Orthopaedic diseases
  • Pains in various parts of the body
  • Paralysis
  • Polio
  • Sciatica, backache, painful knee diseases
  • Spinal / vertebral diseases, prolapses inter-vertebral disc / slipped disc
  • Spondylosis
  • Traumatic nerve lesions, vascular, skeletal lesions

4. The methods of Marma Therapy resort to simple finger pressure or vibration and do not use instruments, like in acupressure or acupuncture. It is a non-invasive method, unlike acupuncture.

5. Stimulation of Marma points is inherent in Yogasanas, Mudras and PranayamaSimilar stimulation can be done directly through regular self-marma therapy, like Yogic practice, for maintenance and promotion of health at all levels physical, mental and spiritual.

6. The application and results of Marma Therapy are fairly comprehensive and long duration, but often results are immediate as well as permanent. Marma Therapy is accurately targeted with a definite premise, and does not rely on multiple points/sets of points for a particular disease.

Marma and Acupressure

Some Points

1. Marma Science has mention in ancient texts like the Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, Puranas and Samhitas including the Sushruta Samhita. In these texts are incorporated the knowledge of Marma Science which in fact existed even before these texts, and which had origin in a timeless period. It is a system which is existing in the human body from the time of evolution of the human being and was not devised/invented by anyone. It exists in Nature.
Whereas Marma Science pertaining to martial arts wounding, prevention, protection and healing of battle wound was preserved to a very small extent, its curative aspect was almost lost. Some people in South India had a very limited and perhaps distorted knowledge of it.

Acupressure is a Far Eastern practice and perhaps spread from India, but its original basis was lost. It has been in existence since 2 or 3 thousand years, since the time of the Buddha.

2. The basis of Marma Science is 107 vital points in the body, which are locatable in anatomically defined sites. They are therefore accurate and results potent. They are also locatable through and in different spontaneous human postures and by measurement of ones own body parts.

Acupressure is based on meridians (routes of psychic energy) which are assessed differently by different persons and the cumulative resultant was developed as acupressure and other Oriental medical practices like shiatsu, moxibustion, kampo,, tsubo and anma.

3. The points for various diseases are different in Marma Science and Therapy from acupressure. They are not the same points.

4. The methods of Marma Therapy resort to simple finger pressure or vibration and do not use instruments, like in acupressure or acupuncture. It is a non-invasive method, unlike acupuncture.

5. Stimulation of Marma points is inherent in Yogasanas, Mudras and Pranayama. Similar stimulation can be done directly through regular self-marma therapy, like Yogic practice, for maintenance and promotion of health at all levels physical, mental and spiritual.

6. The application and results of Marma Therapy are fairly comprehensive and long duration, but often results are immediate as well as permanent. We cannot compare the results of Marma Science with other Oriental Science because Marma Therapy is more accurately targeted with a definite premise, and does not rely on multiple points/sets of points for a particular disease.

Marma Points Are Inherent in Human Postures

In this universe a number of species of animals and plants are in existence, along with the human being. According to Indian mythology, eighty four lakh species are in existence in this world. The soul then comes into the human being crossing all these species.

All species have their own identity and some specific property/value along with their posture. In yogic texts, forty eight lakh postures are enumerated, but with the descriptive importance only eighty four postures are discussed. Among them, in the light of practice and response, all these postures are not in use. Only some important ones are practiced regularly. Usually these postures are concerned with Hatha yoga asanas. It is apparent that these postures are popular for the prevention of disease, has therapeutic means in different diseases and for gaining energy.

Among these postures, only a few are related with the human being. A number of unusual animal-like postures are forcefully adopted. With these exercises it is accepted that we are gaining some special response for extraordinary purpose.

There is a strange fact to be noted here. Among all yogasanas, there are only three postures related to the human being: Garbhasana, Sukhasana and Shavasana. These relate to human life. But so many other asanas take their name from animals, plants and other forms of life. For example, Mayurasana, Shalabhasana, Kurmasana, Bhujangasana etc.

But does a lion adopt a tortoise posture or a snake adopt a peacocks posture for any benefit? So, why do we adopt postures based on other forms of life, overlooking human postures? The amazing fact is that in our ordinary human postures several marma points are inherent and get stimulated and give us great benefit.

As you know we adopt some postures for different routine or specific works. As for the cycle or motorcycle driving we have to adopt specific posture, official work or computer work needs sitting posture on chair, in the same way the human being adopts a number of poses during day-to- day life. A number of postures are adopted in sitting, standing and sleeping activities and these postures are very useful in all respects of life, because they are unconsciously and spontaneously stimulating marma points.

Many of these human postures are spontaneous and based on urges arising in the body and mind just as passing stools and urine. But if we acknowledge, recognize and implement/practise these urges of spontaneous human postures, which are the need of the body at that particular time, then we derive still greater benefit.

Now let us see some of these postures which we unthinkingly assume in day-to-day life and we were never aware that they serve us by stimulating our vital or marma points.

Missing PhotoSmash gallery: 4

Reporting on the conference

A two-day conference on Marma Science and Marma Therapy was organized by Mrityunjay Mission on 8-9 Novemebr 2009 at the Sadhanayatan Ashram, Kankhal, Haridwar. Shri 108 Swami Vishwadevananda presided over the function and Shri Keshav Desiraju, Principal Secretary (Health) Government of Uttarakhand inaugurated the conference. Swami Kalyanananda, Professor Swatantra Kumar, VC, Gurukul Kangri University and Professor Mahavir Aggarwal, Vice Chairman, Uttarakhand Sanskrit Academy were Guests of Honour at the inaugural session and Dr Mira Swami, Director, Department of Integrated Medicine, HIHT presided over the valedictory function.

In a sense, it was a different kind of conference, which was not just some academicians taking a break from their daily routine and having the pleasure of exchange of words and social interaction. There were two things. One, a lot of feeling, because of the patients present. The medical community realized, that there was a treasure of medical knowledge that could be tapped and has been developed for treatment that was not hitherto available. Also there were present many eminent or responsible citizens. We are so used to illness and suffering around us that we mostly get immune to it and ignore it. This kind of exposure awakened some to these harsh realities and that some useful contributions can be made by this Marma therapy.

There were three presentations on Marma science and its fundamentals, its use in different diseases and its relationship with Yoga and its practice in combination with it for therapy. Dr Sunil Joshi and his students made these presentations.

Marma Therapy can treat a range of diseases including orthopaedic and neurological disorders, diabetes, anxiety, abdominal discomfort and backache, spondylosis and cerebral palsy, and also avert the need for various kinds of surgery.

On the second day, Dr Joshi gave a surprise presentation on the marma points that get activated during the various normal human postures and this was quite fascinating. But this was followed up by demonstrations to students while actually giving treatment to patients who were present, as well as demonstrations by the Doctor and students for daily self marma practice for upkeep of health. What was even more useful and touching were the actual presentations by patients, from all over the country, patients of spondylosis, accident cases where hip replacement was averted, cerebral palsy several childrenand one very touching case of a 20 year old girl who could not stand but now is walking.

There was a question-answer session at the end and this girl sent in a request to be announced on the microphone that she wished many of the students present would take up marma therapy so that more people like her could be benefited.

In fact one of the concrete results of the conference is that Mrityunjay Mission will now turn its attention towards training more doctors in marma therapy so that many more patients can be benefited.

Technique of self-marma therapy

Preparation for self-marma therapy for prophylaxis or for reenergizing the vitality: -

Marma therapy is an uncomplicated and easy-to-learn technique of regaining the vital energy.

1. Posture: - For successful practice of self-marma therapy, posture is important. The practitioner must remain steady, quiet and mentally alert during this practice. A sitting posture is most convenient for the practitioners. Usually one should assume a posture of cross-legged position, keeping the spine erect. Keep the hands on the knees in upward position or one can adopt the jnana mudra.

The most common postures for the practice of self-marma therapy are-

  1. Simple cross-legged posture
    (Sukhasana)
  2. Lotus posture
    (Padmasana)
  3. Half lotus posture
    (Ardha padmasana)
  4. Diamond posture
    (Vajrasana)
  5. Sitting posture on chair
  6. Standing posture

In exceptional circumstance, lying down position (recumbent posture) may also be adopted.

However the lotus posture is the best pose. But the practitioner can adopt any one of these postures during the self-marma therapy practice. If one cannot adopt some specific posture he can do practices in any posture any time and anywhere. During the practice one should try to keep the vertebral column erect and achieve the relaxation of the body musculature. In sitting and standing postures keep the neck and spine in straight line without stiffness or tilting towards any direction. In standing posture, the feet should be parallel to each other. The arms should hang down loosely from the shoulder joints near to the body with open palms facing inwards with straightened fingers.

Pre therapy exercises: – It comprises the following steps: -

  1. Total relaxation of body.
  2. Deep breathing exercise.
  3. Perception of body as whole.
  4. Perception of psychic centers.
  5. Perception of marma points.
  6. Gentle massage with thumb and fingers over the marma points.

Then comes the actual therapy consisting of application of pressure with thumb or fingers over the marma points.

  • After adopting the proper posture keep the eyes closed gently and exhale forcefully. Then inhale deeply for 5-10 times in rhythmic pattern.
  • Try to relax the whole body musculature. Relax the body and mind to remove physical and mental tension.
  • Concentrate your mind on marma points respectively. Initially concentrate your mind on guda (anal region), nabhi (umbilicus), hridaya (heart), kantha (junction of thorax and neck), bhrumadhya (middle of the eyes) and top of the head.
  • Start pressing the marma in the lower and upper extremities from centre to periphery.
  • For a male start from the right side, in the case of a female start from the left side of the body.

 

Self-marma therapy on the upper extremity: – Press this vital point with the middle finger for 5-10 times. Below the shoulder two marmas, ani and urvi are also pressed in the same manner with the fingers of the other hand. Another important marmapoint is at the elbow joint; try to press the lateral and medial aspect gently. This point is known as  Usually these points are very painful and initially one can feel severe pain at this site. But the pain decreases after two or three days spontaneously.

Indravasti marma is situated in the middle of the forearm. Manibandha marma (wrist joint) is an important vital point. It is also pressed with the grip of index finger and thumb of another hand. For kshipra marma stretch out the thumb at 90 degree angle and find out the mid point at the base of the thumb. Kshipra marma is situated at the junction of thumb and index finger. Both the marma can be pressed with the help of index finger and thumb of other hand.  For tala hridaya marma, in the open palm, flex the middle finger and try to touch the area above the thenear eminence; the depressed area in the line of the middle finger above thenear eminence is talahridaya marma. This marma also can be pressed with the help of index finger and thumb of other hand.

Self-marma therapy on the lower extremity: - Sitting in the cross legged position one can press the marmas of the lower extremity. In this posture the marmas of the foot i.e. tala hridaya and kshipra can be treated properly.  The area between the big toe and the second toe at the base of the big toe is assessed as kshipra marma. The position of the talahridaya can be checked from the sketch. Adopt the thunder bolt pose or lying thunder bolt pose for the stimulation of marmas of the lower extremity.

Self-marma therapy on the back: -Any posture in which hyper flexion and hyper extension is attained can stimulate the marma of the back. In the upper extremity, place the hand on the opposite shoulder respectively, near the neck. At the position where the tip of middle finger rests on the shoulder, there is amsa marma. For stimulating the amsa marma sit in sukhasana or on a chair, and keeping the upper arm parallel to the thorax place the hand on the opposite shoulder easily, near the lateral side of neck and press the point where the tip of the middle finger rests. This position indicates the location of the amsa marma.

Sub scapular vessels (brihati marma) can be stimulated by keeping the arms across the back of the opposite side just behind the nipple. Renal angles can be stimulated by keeping the hands on the iliac crest. During this pose the thumb is placed on parsva sandhi marma.

Self-marma therapy on the head and neck: - For stimulation of vital points of the head and neck different pranayama and blowing of oral cavity is important. For the vidhura marma put the hand over the head towards the ear of the opposite side, where the tip of the middle finger reaches easily. This is the vidhura marma on either side.

Different marmas of the face and head can be stimulated by giving pressure, very gently, with the help of the finger tip over the particular marma. These points can be consulted from the sketch.

Time taken for self-marma therapy: – This self-marma therapy is the shortest way of keeping the entire human system healthy and fit. At any time, at any place and in any pose one can stimulate the marmas of upper and lower extremities as well as the marmas of other parts of the body. It takes maximum five to ten minutes to complete the self-marma therapy.

Marma Science and Therapy can be presented as a super healing science or spiritual healing technique. Usually self marma therapy should be done two times a day, in the morning and evening, (5-6 A.M and 5-6 PM). In spite of this instruction it can be practised any time, anywhere, in any condition or posture, but if it is performed in relaxed state, the results are more promising and fruitful. As we know, according to the old Indian or Vedic ritnals the trikal sandhya is indicated. One has to perform worship of the Almighty, three times (morning, noon and evening) a day. According to Muslim religion five times Namaz (prayer) is mandatory. So self- marma therapy can be done three to five times a day also according to the severity of disease and need.

Regular self-marma practice offers long life by keeping away the effects of developmental changes, like old age, decay, disease and death. With self-marma practice, vital energy reaches every part of the body uninterruptedly. Regular practice of self-marma therapy makes a great contribution in the effort to attain supreme consciousness.

Seminars and Conferences

A two-day conference on Marma Science and Marma Therapy was organized by Mrityunjay Mission on 8-9 Novemebr 2009 at the Sadhanayatan Ashram, Kankhal, Haridwar. In a sense, it was a different kind of conference, which was not just some academicians taking a break from their daily routine and having the pleasure of exchange of words and social interaction. There were two things. One, a lot of feeling, because of the patients present. The medical community realized, that there was a treasure of medical knowledge that could be tapped and has been developed for treatment that was not hitherto available. Also there were present many eminent or responsible citizens. We are so used to illness and suffering around us that we mostly get immune to it and ignore it. This kind of exposure awakened some to these harsh realities and that some useful contributions can be made by this Marma therapy.

There were three presentations on Marma science and its fundamentals, its use in different diseases and its relationship with Yoga and its practice in combination with it for therapy.

Marma Therapy can treat a range of diseases including orthopaedic and neurological disorders, diabetes, anxiety, abdominal discomfort and backache, spondylosis and cerebral palsy, and also avert the need for various kinds of surgery.

On the second day, Dr Joshi gave a fascinating presentation on the marma points that get activated during the various normal human postures.This was followed by demonstrations to students while actually giving treatment to patients who were present, as well as demonstrations by the Doctor and students for daily self marma practice for upkeep of health. What was even more useful and moving were the actual presentations by patients, from all over the country, patients of spondylosis, accident cases where hip replacement was averted, cerebral palsy several children and one very touching case of a 20 year old girl who could not stand but now is walking.

There was a question-answer session at the end and this girl sent in a request to be announced on the microphone that she wished many of the students present would take up marma therapy so that more people like her could be benefited.

In fact one of the concrete results of the conference is that Mrityunjay Mission will now turn its attention towards training more doctors in marma therapy so that many more patients can be benefited.