I know, I know… these posts are supposed to be about Thai Yoga Massage but I just said Marma Points. I can hear you yogis saying it now, “What?! Aren’t Marma Points an Ayurvedic concept?” Well, yes, it is. It is from my own familiarity with Yoga and Ayurveda that I call these points Marma. Once you learn it one way, with crazy names, it’s hard to look at it any other way 🙂 But to my defense, these points are not vastly whether they be called Marma Points, Acupressure Points (from Chinese medicine) or Jap Sen (the Northern Thai name). And, as we well know, there was alot of exchange between these cultures in forming what we know as Thai Yoga Massage. Eventually, I am sure I will have the crazy Thai names down, but for now I share with you the Sanskrit names derived from Ayurveda.
When working with Marma Points, use your thumbing technique (using the pad of your thumb to create the pressure). However, instead of applying rhythmic pressure as usual, either hold static pressure or use a small circular motion over the Marma. Marma Points on the head do not usually require a great deal of pressure, so let these points be soothing as you end your massage. Marmas can be worked in any order and can be worked before or after Sen Kalathari (or other Sen lines) on the head.
Working Marma Points on the Neck and Head
*Scroll down for descriptions of each Marma Point.
- Located on either side of the nose below the cheekbones.
- Benefits: Relieves sinus congestion and “opens” sinuses.
- Located at the lateral corners of the eyes.
- Benefits: Relieves headaches and sinus pressure.
- Cautions: Never put pressure on the eyeballs. This point is located lateral to the eyes, not on the eyes.
- Located in the “dip” above the center of each eyebrow.
- Benefits: Relaxes eye tension.
- Located between the eyebrows. Also known as the “third eye”.
- Benefits: Calms the senses and the mind, and stimulates the pituitary gland.
- Located on either side of the spine at the base of the skull.
- Benefits: Helps relieve headaches and neck tension, and increases circulation to the brain.
- Located at the center of the top of the skull.
- Benefits: Promotes more restful sleep, regulates the nervous system, stimulates the pineal gland, and facilitates transcendence.
–> Great Prep Poses/Counterposes: Everyone has that one place that really helps them let go and relax into a massage. For many people, this place is the head. In which case, definitely start your massage working these Marma Points on the head. Really though, it’s a great place to start and/or end (or both!) for just about anyone. So, all poses become great prep poses and counterposes :-). For a quick, but deeply relaxing massage, combine Marma Points Head Massage with Foot Massage (Internal/External Rotation, Sole-to-Belly Hip Rotations, Sole-to-Sole) and Hand Massage (Palm Opener).
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