Most of us have seen Kung Fu Panda and have been mesmerized by Poo since then. In the movie during one of the battles with the villain, Tai Lung, all the furious five were overwhelmed and defeated by the infamous Nerve Attack, an extremely difficult technique. I bet ever one would have wished, only if I knew something like that!! But most of us discarded the thought considering that this art is neither practical nor possible and is just a fragment of imagination. Surprisingly it is as real as it can get and is still being practiced in parts of India.
Book called Sushruta Samhita, by Sushruta, the most detailed text on the human anatomy, medicine and lifestyle was written in 4th century BC and has a dedicated chapter on Marma Points or Pressure Points. It states that there are 107 pressure points located all over the body and have been classified into 5 different categories based on the different body tissues they deal with – Blood Vessels, Joints, Ligaments, Muscle and Bone. The knowledge and usage of these points was limited to Kings, Soldiers and vaid (ancient doctors). Due to continuous wars and the complexity of learning the art the number of the users came down drastically, bringing this art to the level of extinction. Luckily it survived the tests of time and is still being practiced in Kerala and is known as Varma kalai, an art which takes 12 years to be mastered and is extremely complex in nature as one wrong touch on some of these points can cause paralysis or even death.
But the art which was lost was another face of this dangerous art, the face of healing. Correct pressure on these points in various combinations can actually heal many ailments, nervous problems and provide relief in many diseases which are considered incurable by the modern science. Many of us are aware of the similar technique which deals with pressing point known as acupressure. But Marma Chikitsa, is a significantly difference in terms of location, technique and usage and better not to be confused with acupressure. Though, to an untrained person both the techniques might look extremely similar. There is a significant effort being made rite now to revive this art and is being practiced by extremely limited number of doctors and healers across the world. I have been associated with the practitioners of the same for now over 6 months and I am truly amazed by the wonders I have witnessed. It was a privilege to learn the art from one of the pioneers, Dr Sunil Joshi, founder Mritunjaya Mission, who has spent last 25 yeras of his life in studying and reviving this art and now is spreading his learning to the masses. Now Marma chiktsa has taken a completely different form from the ancient dangerous art and has been simplified to the level that most of the pressure points can be learnt, under proper guidance, and practiced by anyone at home. I really wish that people start learning and practicing the same for the benefit of others and for their own. In the way I have been doing it along with others.