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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 36  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 113-114  

Science of Marma (in Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment)

Prof. and Head, Department of Dravyaguna, I.P.G.T. and R.A., Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India

Date of Web Publication4-Nov-2015

Correspondence Address:
K Nishteswar
Prof. and Head, Department of Dravyaguna, I.P.G.T. and R.A., Gujarat Ayurved University, Jamnagar, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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How to cite this article:
Nishteswar K. Science of Marma (in Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment). AYU 2015;36:113-4

How to cite this URL:
Nishteswar K. Science of Marma (in Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment). AYU [serial online] 2015 [cited 2023 Jun 9];36:113-4. Available from: https://www.ayujournal.org/text.asp?2015/36/1/113/169001

Authors : Dr. S. H. Acharya

Edition : Second Edition (2014)

Publisher : Charaka - Home of Ayurveda, Jamnagar, India

Pages : 182

ISBN 13 : 978-0-9800029-2-8

ISBN 10 : 0-9800029-2-3

The book under review "Science of Marma (in Ayurvedic diagnosis and treatment)" is thefirst monograph on the subject of Marma written by a renowned scholar – physician Dr. S. H. Acharya. Varmakala is a technique often used in martial arts of South India, now remaining with certain families as a traditional practice. Some of the Ayurvedic physicians are applying this art in therapeutics under the name Marma Chikitsa. The reviewer has observed one such unbelievable effect of Marma Chikitsa demonstrated by Dr. Dharmalingam, a reputed physician of South India who controlled the tremors of the patient suffering from  Parkinsonism More Details completely by a sheer pressure on the forearm and the effect remained for 3 weeks. A careful review of Ayurvedic doctrines clearly indicates that the components namely Dosha, Dhatu, Mala, Agni, and Srotas often referred as Samprapati Ghatakas (components of the pathogenesis) are given prime importance in the treatment of any disease, in general, while the concept of Marma is included in the prognostic evaluation of a disease. Sushruta defines Marma as a conglomeration of structures like Mamsa, Sira, Snayu, Asthi, and Sandhi. The author has furnished etymological derivation of the word Marma (p. 44) which also indicates the chances of death after infliction of it. The subject on Marma was well explained in terms of Prana and alsofrom medical and surgical perspectives.

In the context of Ayurveda, the Dhatu is interpreted as a substance which supports the Sharira (body), Manasa (psyche or mind), and Prana (elan vital or life). Sharira Vayu in its fivefold division such as Prana, Udana, Vyana, Samana, and Apana is a force rather than a corporeal substance. In Upanishads, Agni is spoken of as Prana. The concept of Agni in Ayurveda is given utmost importance as life or otherwise depends surely on it. The author has explained in a lucid way the concept of Prana and the directional movement of Prana with a beautiful illustration (page 22). The description of Nadivijnana delineated in Ayurvedic classics is too sketchy, and its applicability as a diagnostic tool wasfirst attempted by Sarangadhara, probably adopted from the mystic lore of Siddha system. Nadi is the pathway of Prana and the author explained well about Nabhi Kurma with an illustration. Discussing about acupuncture, the author opines that, "It is detrimental to puncture or hurt the Marma points." He made a very pertinent observation that the attention paid to certain Marma in relation to disease during the Panchakarma treatment should help in the good recovery of the patient. The subject of Chakra is alien to Ayurveda and more preferred in the spiritual sphere. The concept of awakening Kunadalini is to energize the mind, and the knowledge of Shatachakras may play a vital role in the management of the psychosomatic diseases.

In this book, the information about Marma described in Ayurvedic literature was extensively dealt from modern anatomical perspectives along with the demonstrative illustrations of certain Marmas such as Kshipra, Talahridaya, Kurcha, Janu, Indrabasti (hands and legs), Parshvasandhi, Amsa, Amsaphalaka, Manya, Krikataka, Shakha, Sthapani, Shringataka, and Adhipati Marmas. A bird's eye view of Chakras found on the anterior surface and posterior surface are well depicted for a better comprehension. It can be considered as the unique feature of this book. Historical review about Marma with regard to martial arts and warfare is very informative. The author concluded Marma as Prana and explained it with the elements of Agni, Soma, and Vayu with physical matrix belonging Dhatu and Upadhatu which serve as a suitable platform for it.

The surgical importance of Marma, as delineated in Sushrutasamhita, was presented in various tabular forms.

Evidence-based clinical Marma-related data was produced on certain conditions like lumbar pain, radiating leg pain, lumbago, rheumatoid arthritis, Ama, knee joint pain, cervical spondylosis, headache, etc. The role of Marma in preventive and promotive health measures was nicely presented and specifically highlighted the application of Abhyanga with oil on Marma areas. The author stated that "Nabhi believed to possess unseen effects over systemic stability and vitality of the body." In compendia of medieval India, there are recipes recorded to apply medicated juices on Nabhi to manage diarrhea. This is an important procedure, definitely deserves the scientific validation. Line of treatment for Trimarmas that is Shiras, Hridaya, and Vasti were described with mere emphasis on Shirorogas and tension headaches. Research findings with Nasya Karma were incorporated. Drug delivered at the nasal mucus membrane produces a systemic effect and in one of the notable researches it was demonstrated that application of Devadali juice as Nasya produced a remarkable reduction in the elevated serum bilirubin level in the case of viral hepatitis. Some useful medicines in Panchakarma procedures along with therapies were furnished for the guidelines to the general practitioners. To facilitate the easy understanding to foreign students, the author has provided technical word assistance at the end of the book. So far no scientist attempted to present the subject of Marma with authentic Sanskrit aphorisms, illustrations with practical demonstration, and evidence-based data as it was presented in this Monograph. It can be called "Marma Samhita" as such expositions are not found in existing Ayurvedic Samhitas. The colored photos of relevant medicinal plants useful in therapies enriched the content of the book. The author would have furnished the references about the clinical studies and bibliography to make the information more authentic. The information is a useful addition to the existing knowledge in the twenty-first century and the author deserves all Kudos and appreciations for this maiden attempt. In years to come, if newer finding of Marma Chikitsa are added and edited, it becomes a standard reference book of Marma Chikitsa for the students, researchers, and practitioners of Ayurveda.


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