‘Varma kalai’ is a Tamil word meaning “art of vital points”.
Varmam indicates the therapeutic stimulation of specific points where the pranic energy is concentrated. Varmam therapy is a drugless, non-invasive, simple therapy used in pain management. The therapy time is less and if given regularly it gives long lasting results.
‘Varmam’ is the branch of Siddha system of medicine which involves a special kind of therapy based on vital points called varma points present in the body. Though it is closely related to the ancient Dravidian martial art ‘varma kalai’, it was developed and used by Siddhars as a healing science. This healing application called ‘Varma Vaidhiya’ is used to treat patients suffering from paralysis, nervous disorder, spondylitis and other Joint disorders.
According to varma theory, there are points in the body which are vital energy (Prana vayu) storing points through which vital energy is transmitted to various parts of the body and all the functions of the body are mediated. Totally 108 varma nilaigal (points) are defined and these are used to stimulate energy, heal disease or stimulate the immune mechanism. Siddha texts like ‘Varma kannadi’ and ‘Varma suthiram’ have described about these 108 vital points.
|Part of Human Body
|From head to neck
|From neck to navel
|From navel to arm
Varmams have been classified based on the type of pressure or the nature of source by which injury is caused.
In Varma literature the following classes of varmams are mentioned.
- Padu varmam (varmam due to injury)
- Thodu varmam (by touch)
- Thattu varmam (by blows)
- Thaduvu varmam (by massage)
- Nakku varmam (by lick)
- Nokku varmam (by stare)
The widely used ones are the 12 Paduvarmams and 96 Thoduvarmams as there is less consistency with the other categories because of the way of application and the deeper knowledge needed to apply them. In these categories the Nokku varmam is rarely seen practiced, as those masters who were able to do this are almost extinct.
To stimulate the varma points, pressure should be applied in these points at a particular and given strength as mentioned in Varma literature. However, the same points if wrongly activated may cause pathological changes or diseases and may even result in death. Trauma or injury to tissue or organs around these vital points is harmful and causes diseases which are mentioned in Varma Literature. The practice and method of pressing the varmam points need a great expertise and even a slight deviation may cause adverse results or danger. Among the 108, 12 are major points which control the functions of the vital organs of the body.