An ancient Vedic acupressure treatment that aims to balance the mind, body, and spirit through pressure directed at marmas (energy points on the surface of the body.) It is an important first step in the healing process and serves as a gateway to some of the deeper healing Ayurvedic treatments, preparing the body for release.
In Ayurveda there are 16 major functional bodily channels — 3 for receiving (air, food, and water), 3 for eliminating (sweat, urine, and feces), 7 that correspond to the 7 major tissues, 2 that are specific to women (relating to lactation and menstruation), and 1 for the mind. Each functional channel has a root, pathway, and opening.
The channel of the mind is primarily rooted in the heart, its pathway is the entire person, and its openings are at the 117 major marmani!
This means we can directly impact neurochemistry by applying pressure to these points on the surface of the body. Many of the marmani are located at the intersections of nerves, arteries, and veins, and there is a significant degree of correspondence between the location of marmani and acupuncture points (however healing human touch is used in place of needles).
By applying pressure to a marma point, a practitioner can dissolve ama (physical, mental, and emotional stagnation), reestablish the flow of prana, and kindle the agni (intelligence and metabolism) of an underlying organ. The therapeutic effects of this practice can be immediate and build with repetition. Interestingly, marma points can get tender when there is ama clogging the free flow of prana through the associated organs. Thereby, marma point pressure can also serve a diagnostic role.
Ayurvedic literature also describes the potential for one to experience divine bliss through marma. Prana flows from the practitioner to the receiver, and as per Dr. Lad, “through marma therapy, new pathways are opened within the mind channel which allow the particular mind to transcend its conditioned state and expand into the universal mind.” The experience depends on the intent of the practitioner, the openness of the receiver, and the clarity of pranic flow.
It can impart the relaxation of a massage and the bliss of meditative trance.
I often note a transformation in my client’s face from before to after the session, as the lines of tension on the facelift and are replaced by the glow of peace and presence.