Excerpts from Ayurveda and Marma Therapy by Dr.David Frawley, Dr.Subhash Ranade and Dr.Avinash Lele
- Ayurveda rests on the Samkhya philosophy which recognizes two ultimate principles of spirit and matter. Purusha is pure consciousness and prakriti is the nature or the principle of manifestation in time and space.
- In order to attain our higher self (Purusha) we need to first harmonize our embodiment (Prakriti).
- Relative to marmas as energy zones on the body, marmas are zones in the body where Purusha and Prakriti interface.
- The three doshas vata,pitta and kapha rule over our internal climate by their ever changing interactions of movement (vata), heat (pitta) and moisture (kapha).
- Vata is composed of air and ether.
- Vata’s subtle or master form is Prana or the life force, the prime vital energy behind all that we do.
- Vata’s main site is in the digestive system where it accumulates as waste gas. From there it gets transported by the circulatory system to weak sites in the body.
- Depending on site and function, vata is divided into subdoshas
- Prana Vayu: responsible for intake of nutrients that provide fuel for the body and mind, including food, water, air and impressions. Its main region is the head. Prana has special correspondence with nerves.
- Udana Vayu: responsible for the upward movement of energy as in exhalation, speech, will and effort. Its main region is neck. Udana has special correspondence with muscles.
- Vyana Vayu: responsible for the outward movement of energy as in the extension of limbs or arterial flow of blood. Its main region is chest, arms and hands and it is connected to the marmas there. Vyana has special correspondence with ligaments.
- Samana Vayu: responsible for inward movement of energy as in the contraction of limbs and venous flow of blood. It facilitates breaking down and digestion of food. Samana has special correspondence to fat tissue.
- Apana Vayu: responsible for downward movement as in the discharge of feces, urine or menstrual fluid. Its main region is lower abdomen, legs and feet. Apana has special correspondence with bones.
- Pitta is composed of fire and water elements.
- Pitta’s subtle or master form is tejas which provides positive warmth,radiance and insight.
- Pittas main site in the body in the small intestine where it accumulates in the form of acid and heat.
- Pitta is divided into 5 subdoshas:
- Sadhaka pitta: responsible for the digestion of nerve impulses by the brain. Marmas on the skull and brain generally relate to Sadhaka pitta.
- Alochaka pitta: responsible for digestion of light through eyes. Marmas on face and near the eyes relate to Alochaka pitta.
- Bhrajaka pitta: responsible for digestion of sunlight and warmth through the skin. Marmas related to bhrajaka are on the chest.
- Pachaka pitta: responsible for digestion of food through the digestive tract. Marmas in navel area relate to pachaka pitta.
- Ranjaka pitta: responsible for coloring of blood, the bile, the urine and feces and works mainly through liver.
- Kapha is composed of water and earth elements.
- Kapha’s subtle form is Ojas which is essence of all bodily tissues.
- Kaphas main site is stomach where it accumulates in form of mucus or phlegm.
- Kapha is subdivided into 5 subdoshas
- Tarpaka kapha: responsible for brain and nervois system. Marmas relate to region of head, skull, heart and spine.
- Bodhaka kapha: responsible for lubrication of tongue and sense organs. It reates to marmas in region of the head and face.
- Sleshaka kapha: responsible for lubrication of joints. It relates to marmas in joints and extremities.
- Kledaka kapha: responsible of digestive tract. It reates to marmas in the region of stomach.
- Avalambaka kapha: responsible for lubrication of the heart and lungs. It relates to marmas in chest region.
Just as doshas work together for creating health or disease, so do the subdoshas:
- Prana Vayu, Sadhaka pitta and Tarpakha Kapha relate to brain, spine and nervous system and the region of the head, along with the marmas in those areas.
- Udana Vayu, Alochaka pitta, Bodhaka Kapha relate to the senses, faces, mouth and neck along with the marmas in these areas.
- Samana Vayu, Pachaka pitta, Kledaka kapha relate to digestive system mainly to stomach, agni along the marmas in these areas.
- Vyana vayu, bhrajaka pitta and sleshaka kapha relate to the skin, joints, extremities and surface of the body, along with marmas in these areas.
- Apana vayu, Ranjaka pitta, Avalambaka kapha relate to internal organs of lower abdomen, middle abdomen and chest along with marmas in these areas.