Back pain? Go for Marma therapy

Sciatica refers to back pain caused by a problem with the sciatic nerve. This is a large nerve that runs from the lower back down the back of each leg. Here, DrKarthik K Nandan, explains how this disorder can be treated through marmachikitsa.

Sciatica is a neuralgiaof the sciatic nerve which is characterized by pain radiating down through the buttocks and the back of thighs. The inflammation on the Sciatic nervearises from the lower lumbar and sacral region of the spines and passes down across the buttock down the back of leg and split into two branches just behind and ontop of the knee. Sciatica pain can be felt along or pair of the pathway of the nerve and feeling of numbness, Grdhrasi in Ayurveda, where in, the pain originating from the region of Kati (waist) gets referred or travels down to the Sakthi (Thighs), Janu (Knees), Gulpha (Ankles) and to the Pada (foot) gradually, causing much agony to the patient. The causes for the occurrence of sciatic pain are many. But the commonest causes are Lumbar Spondylitis or Spondylolisthesis, Lumbar Strain, Sacro ileitis etc.

The word Marma means a tender full vital point, which is a conjugation of muscle, nerve, joint, bone, tendon, artery and vein either in combination of two, three etc., or all the above structures. Sushruthacharya, defines Marma as “Marayanthi ithi marma” – which means, that certain vital anatomical locations in the body, when injured shall become painful and cause malfunctions of the local organs or even cause sudden death (marayanthi) of the individual.The following marmas are afflicted with the stagnation {Aavarana} of doshas in case of sciatica. Katikataruna – Nitamba – Kukundara – Lohitaksha ­– Urvi – Ani – Janu – Indrabasti – Gulpha – Kurcha – Talahrdaya – Ksipra. In my opinion, either all the marmas (very rare phenomenon) or a certain group of marmas (common phenomenon) are found to be involved.


Katikataruna marma: Present near the margins of pelvic bone
Nitamba marma: It is located on the 2 pelvic bones on either side.
Lohitaksha marma: Present near the crease of the thigh
Urvi marma: Present in the medial aspect of the thigh, nearly somewhere @ the mid of knee & groin
Ani marma: Lies above the janu marma on the medial side, falling near the medial border of Popliteal fossa.
Janu marma Present in b/w leg &thigh ie the knee joint
Indrabasti marma: Present in the posterior compartment of leg, somewhere near the mid-point of Janu & Gulpha
Gulpha marma: Better palpable on the medial and lateral aspects of the ankle joint
Kurcha marma: Situated in the dorsal aspect of the foot,
Talahrdaya marma : Center of the plantar side of the foot
Ksipra marma: Located between the hallux& 2nd toe.

The above mentioned marma points are stimulated by massage. Massaging will give the healing effects to specific areas of the mind-body system. Applying a steady pressure on the marma point with the pulp of the thumb or with the tip of fingers (nail should be cut) for approximately 1-2 minutes for each marma is most effective. Marmas are sensitive areas so one has to b very careful while massagingthese areas.


The stagnation of doshas around any 1,2 or almost all of the above marmas, in turn, get affected and block the flow of cosmic energy (Prana vayu) from Shat chakras to the destinated part (over here the leg). On manipulating the marma point, we are actually trying to displace or disperse the doshas, blocking the pathway of the cosmic energy. On having displaced either partially or completely, the symptoms start receding gradually or immediately. Based on the concept of energy, and as per my view, the energy actually starts flowing from Agna chakra(center of eyebrows) to Muladhara chakra (Sacral plexus) in downward direction (i.e. from an area of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration). For this reason, manipulation of proximal marmas followed by other marmas in the downward direction reaching the distally affected marma. When done in the above manner the patient gets a faster relief from the pain. Whereas, if distal marmas are manipulated first, followed by the marmas present proximally ending in Katikataruna, it is observed that{a}either the pain gets relieved very slowly {b} the pain gets localized in any of the marmas present in the middle, causing severe agony to the patient. On having displaced either partially or completely, the symptoms (Sciatic pain) start receding gradually or immediately respectively

The above said marma points should be manipulated by a technically sound physician, who has mastered the knowledge of the anatomical position of the structures involved, who has the ability to implicate and analyze the pathophysiology of the diseased portion of the body. Such a person is blessed to be alive so as to give relief to patients suffering from Sciatica.

DrKarthik K NandanBAMS MS, MSc Yoga

+919961419947, +919400111989

Assistant Professor

Dhanvantari Ayurveda Medical College



Healthcare Consultant

Sarathy Ayurveda Hospital


Chief Consultant

Ortho Healing Clinic.

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