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Foreword by Atreya Smith v Preface vii Part I Introduction to Marmas: Energy Points of

Foreword by Atreya Smith

v

Preface

vii

Part I Introduction to Marmas:

Energy Points of Yoga and

Ayurveda

1

Chapter 1 Marmas: Energy

Points of Yoga and Ayurveda

3

Chapter 2 The Ayurvedic System of

Healing and Marma Therapy Marmas: Their Nature and Classification

Chapter 3

Chapter 4 Marmas and the Practice of Yoga

11
11

27

41
41

Chapter 5

The Many Methods of Marma Therapy 1:

Chapter 5 The Many Methods of Marma Therapy 1:

Chapter 6

Massage, Aroma Therapy and Pranic Healing The Many Methods of Marma Therapy 2:

Massage, Aroma Therapy and Pranic Healing The Many Methods of Marma Therapy 2:

63

Herbal Methods

 

75

Part II Table of Marmas and Their Treatment

83

Chapter 7

Overview of Table of Marmas and Marma Therapy

85

Chapter 8

Marmas on the Arms and Hands

 

95

Chapter 9

Marmas on the Legs and Feet

119
119

Chapter 10

Marmas on the Abdomen and Chest

143

Chapter 11

Marmas

on the Back and Hips

161

Chapter 12

Marmas on the Head and Neck

 

177

Part III Supplemental Material and Appendices Appendix 1 Use of Instruments to Treat Marmas: Blood-letting,

20 9

Appendix 2

to Treat Marmas: Blood-letting, 20 9 Appendix 2 Acupuncture, Agni-karma and Kshara-karma Marmapuncture,

Acupuncture, Agni-karma and Kshara-karma

Marmapuncture,

Ayurvedic Acupuncture

211
211
 

by Dr. Frank Ros

215

Appendix

3 Names and Classification of Marmas

223

Appendix

4 Sanskrit Ayurvedic Terms

229

Appendix 5 Ayurvedic Herbs and Oils

233

Appendix 6 Bibliography

241
241

Index

243

Resources

251

The subject of pranic energy as a biological force is well documented in Ayurveda, but

The subject of pranic energy as a biological force is well documented in Ayurveda, but until now, poorly understood in the West. Prana as the posi- tive energy of the vata dosha is the primary source of physical and energetic health. Ayurvedic medicine has a wonderful therapeutic system to work directly on this bio-energetic principle that is called Marma therapy. Prana as the source of the tridosha is the single most important factor in health and therapeutic treatment. All Ayurvedic therapies work on the prana of the patient in some manner, striving to stabilize and harmonize its functions, primarily through the three doshas, vata, pitta and kapha. Marma therapy is the most direct method of harmonizing prana in the physical body (Sthula sharira) of another person. It can also aid in the study of yoga practices such as pranayama and asana, which are chiefly concerned with increasing and regulating pranic function through the nadis or channels of the subtle body. Marma therapy supplements and supports all Ayurvedic therapies, increasing their effectiveness and ability to awaken the healing power of the body. Prana as the source of mental function and perception allows us to think and perceive. It allows us to interact with the five senses, body and physical universe. The higher forms of Yoga are concerned with the devel- opment of prana on this level, the subtle body (Sukshma sharira), which governs the mind and senses. The advanced aspects of Ayurveda can assist to harmonize prana here and aid in all forms of personal development and spiritual unfoldment. Marma therapy plays a key role in bridging the physical and subtle bodies of yogic science. Therefore, a working knowl- edge of Marma therapy is an important assistance on all yogic paths. Thus, Marma therapy is a multidimensional approach to health that includes the physical, energetic and mental sheaths (Annamaya, Pranamaya and Manomaya Koshas) that in turn have an effect on the souls apparent jour- ney home. Marma therapy is used as a part of most Ayurvedic treatments and is of primary importance in self-care and self-healing. Indian doctors prescribe it as a matter of course for patients who are also taking herbal or other Ayurvedic medicines. Yet, Marma therapy is used alone to treat a variety of disorders ranging from paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and form a corner

paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and
paralyses to psychosomatic disorders. The uses of Marma therapy are almost unlimited for health care and

vi

Ayurveda

and

Marma

Therapy

stone of classical Ayurvedic medicine. For the first time we are presented with a clear book on the subject from three world famous authors, lecturers and doctors. Ayurveda and Marma Therapy is an updated and revised edition first published in India. The present edition goes far beyond the old and adds much practical infor- mation for the Western therapist of massage and acupressure. A number of misconceptions and confusions are cleared up in this edition to form a clear, practical therapeutic guide for the Westerner. In short, the present edition of this landmark work has little to do with the original and is much improved. The main confusion regarding Marma therapy in the West is the con- cept of 107 fixed points on the physical anatomy. In reality the Ayurvedic vision of marma points is flexible and adapted to the individual, as are all Ayurvedic therapies. The marma points can differ from one individual to another and require a certain sensitivity on the part of the therapist to find the area of pranic congestion. In practice we find a variety of differences manifesting according to the prakriti (constitution) and vikriti (temporary state) of the person. Applying the information in this book too rigidly would be a disservice and would ignore the main vision of Ayurveda as an individualized medicine. There are also a number of minor marma points that are not classified under the primary 107 points. Additionally, the ancient restriction on the use of Marma therapy by unqualified persons shows the need of respect and sensitivity when working on these dynamic points of energy. Further- more, there are regional differences on marma location in India. What we may learn in Western India can be different from Northern or Southern India. There are also different approaches from different doctors or practi- tioners. While this may seem confusing to the beginner it actually adds to the richness of the tradition and forces the practitioner to use his or her intelligence when applying the marma system to a patient. After all, the main purpose of Ayurveda is for us to become more intelligent. Ayurveda and Marma Therapy assists everyone in this endeavor with clear, profound knowledge.

everyone in this endeavor with clear, profound knowledge. Atreya Smith Author of Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage;
everyone in this endeavor with clear, profound knowledge. Atreya Smith Author of Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage;
everyone in this endeavor with clear, profound knowledge. Atreya Smith Author of Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage;

Atreya

Smith

this endeavor with clear, profound knowledge. Atreya Smith Author of Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage; Perfect Balance,
this endeavor with clear, profound knowledge. Atreya Smith Author of Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage; Perfect Balance,

Author of Secrets of Ayurvedic Massage; Perfect Balance, Ayurvedic Nutrition; and di- rector of the European Institute of Vedic Studies in France.

The science of Yoga, which has become very popular all over the world in recent
The science of Yoga, which has become very popular all over the world in recent

The science of Yoga, which has become very popular all over the world in recent decades, is intimately connected to Ayurveda as its corresponding system of natural medicine. As Yoga and Ayurveda become better known, more interest is developing in their specific healing modalities as well. A new Yoga and Ayurveda therapy is arising, integrating their renewed mu- tual application using yogic tools like asana according to Ayurvedic guide- lines as well as applying Ayurvedic therapies to aid in yogic healing. The use of pressure points, called marmas in Sanskrit, is an important part of this Yoga/Ayurveda interface. Marmas are a common topic in clas- sical Ayurvedic texts and are referred to in modern books as well. They are also frequently mentioned in yogic teachings. But up to this present vol- ume— Ayurveda and Marma Therapy —there is no single book that at- tempts to make this subject easily accessible and readable in the West. This book is meant to help fill in that gap. Ayurveda and Marma Therapy has three authors: Dr. David Frawley (Pandit Vamadeva Shastri) of the US A along with Dr. Subhash Ranade and Dr. Avinash Lele both of Pune, India. Dr. Frawley is one of the leading western Ayurvedic experts, having authored half a dozen books on the subject as well as developed extensive course material for Ayurvedic pro- grams. He has taken the main lead in shaping the book. Dr. Ranade is one of the most important Indian Ayurvedic doctors teaching in the western world as well as in India. He has written many books, including textbooks used in Ayurvedic colleges. Dr. Ranade and Dr. Frawley co-authored the book Ayurveda: Nature's Medicine. Dr. Lele, a colleague of Dr. Ranade, is another important Ayurvedic doctor who has specialized in marma therapy. He is trained in traditional Ayurvedic methods of surgery, which carefully considers the use of marmas. Dr. Ranade and Dr. Lele have col- laborated on several Ayurvedic books published in India. Dr. Frawley wrote the greater portion of the material in the book, in- cluding the explanations of Ayurvedic principles and treatments in the first section, as well as most of the information on the treatment of marmas in the Table of Marmas in the second section. He specifically developed the material explaining the use of marmas relative to the practice of Yoga and meditation, including their treatment with gem and color therapy, drawing on various yogic teachings and other related Vedic sciences. Dr. Ranade

treatment with gem and color therapy, drawing on various yogic teachings and other related Vedic sciences.
treatment with gem and color therapy, drawing on various yogic teachings and other related Vedic sciences.
treatment with gem and color therapy, drawing on various yogic teachings and other related Vedic sciences.

VIII Ayurveda and Marma Therapy

and Dr. Lele provided the illustrations and most of the information on the description of marma points, as well as the initial outline of the book. The book aims both at identifying marmas and indicating the appropri- ate methods to treat them effectively. Such methods include massage with special oils, herbs and aromas as well as acupressure, acupuncture and various herbal remedies. While classical Ayurvedic herbs and massage oils are presented for those who have access to these, we have also offered commonly available herbs and oils so that any interested reader can begin to use marma therapy for self-care purposes. The treatment of marmas with aroma therapy, which is quick and easy to do, has been a major topic. We would like to offer a special thanks to Dr. Frank Ros, author of The Lost Secrets of Ayurvedic Acupuncture for his chapter on 'Marmapuncture', explaining Ayurvedic acupuncture in detail. Dr. Ros is perhaps the western world's foremost expert on this important topic. We would like to emphasize that this book is not meant to present the last word on the number of marmas, their location or their manner of treatment. The book emphasizes the main classical Ayurvedic marmas, which are 107 in number, but many other such sensitive points can also be used. While it introduces various methods of treating marmas, particularly oil massage and aroma therapy, such methods can be delineated in greater detail and adapted relative to various treatment strategies and a compre- hensive Ayurvedic therapy. The book is a good place to start working with marmas, but still only an introduction to this profound topic. It should be supplemented by a further study of Ayurveda for its full application and integration with the entire range of Ayurvedic modalities. We have not dealt a great deal with how Ayurvedic marma therapy interfaces with the many forms of bodywork and massage that are prac- ticed today. That is another vast field for research which, hopefully, other therapists will take up in time. We have included several references in the bibliography for those who wish to take up related forms of Ayurvedic healing, energy healing or bodywork. We welcome any feedback from our readers, in order to improve any future editions of this book in light of their suggestions. Ayurveda remains a vast ocean and we are still but getting acquainted with its waves and currents. May we gain the power to sail into its endless horizons and enter new universes of healing and self-transformation!

and enter new universes of healing and self-transformation! Dr. David Frawley, MAY 2002 Dr. Subhash Ranade
and enter new universes of healing and self-transformation! Dr. David Frawley, MAY 2002 Dr. Subhash Ranade

Dr.

David Frawley,

MAY 2002

Dr.

Subhash Ranade & Dr. Avinash Lele