Marma therapy is an energetic form of healing practiced in Ayurveda. The body consists of 107 marma points, where energy flows between the subtle body and the physical body. They are considered "doorways" between consciousness and matter, and through the use of gentle pressure + pranic healing (reiki), the doorways are cleared and allow for energy to flow freely.
These vital energy points were originally used in combat, with Kalaripayattu warriors striking certain marma points to cause injury or death to their opponents. “Marma” comes from the Sanskrit word “mru”, which means “to kill”. Likewise, those injured in battle would be taken to Marma masters (also known as an "Aasan" or a "Marmani") who knew the body's energetic system and could invoke healing through the use of marma therapy.
The body consists of 72,000 subtle pathways that carry prana (life-force energy); these are known as nadis. Just as our veins allow blood to flow through our bodies, the nadis allow energy to be carried through our beings. These nadis weave throughout the energetic body and connect the seven chakras, which are centers of stored prana. Marma points run along the nadis, through the chakras, and are where prana enters the physical body.
These marma points contain the three doshas: vata (air + ether), pitta (fire + water), kapha (earth +water). Everyone has a certain percentage of each dosha within them, and everyone is born in a state of balance. When prana flows freely there is health, when the flow is disrupted or becomes stagnant, the doshas accumulate and health deteriorates.
The marma points are found where tendons, bones, muscles, joints, veins, nerves, and other tissues meet. A marma point therapist will usually incorporate some gentle movement to the body to get the energy flowing, and then gently massage the marma points while practicing pranic healing - which is similar to reiki.
Marma therapy is something you could even apply to yourself if needed! Granted, you would not receive the same level of benefits as you would with a practitioner. Simply massage each marma point in a clockwise circular motion for up to five minutes. This is a perfect practice to incorporate when you have a headache, are feeling lethargic, or simply need a little boost. Incorporating the pranic healing will help you get in a meditative state and allow your beautiful body to receive your own tender touch.