Ayurveda is a traditional Indian alternative medicine system that has a long, rich history of use. Under Ayurvedic medicine, it’s believed that the five elements of the world have a huge impact on a person’s health.

Marma points are specific anatomical locations in your body through which the energy of these elements is believed to flow. Marma points therapy is the practice of stimulating these spots through gentle massage therapy.

In this article, we explore where the marma points are located, what marma points therapy is, and the potential benefits of marma points massage therapy.

Ayurvedic medicine — and ideas about the existence of life energy and marma points — has been around since roughly 2 B.C.

In Ayurvedic medicine, marma points are anatomical locations in your body where a concentration of life energy exists. Marma points are said to contain the three doshas:

  • vata (air and space)
  • kapha (earth and water)
  • pitta (fire and water)

These doshas are believed to be linked to your physical and emotional well-being.

Like traditional Chinese acupuncture, Ayurvedic medicine believes that stimulation of the marma points can improve your physical and mental health.

It’s also believed that injury to the marma points can result in negative health effects in the body and in some cases, further injury and even death.

It’s said that there are 107 marma points in various locations around the human body:

  • 11 marma points in your limbs
  • 26 marma points in your trunk
  • 37 marma points in your head and neck region
  • 33 marma points located elsewhere in your body

Ayurvedic medicine proposes marma points therapy as a method of changing or improving your biochemistry.

It’s believed to release stagnant energy and stimulate your internal organs, hormones, and other chemicals to help meet the needs of your body.

Marma points therapy is done by gently stimulating the marma points around your body through massage therapy.

Generally, this is performed by a trained massage therapist who has experience with Ayurvedic medicine. These massage therapists have extensive knowledge of the locations and functions of the various marma points.

Aromatic massage oils, sometimes infused with herbs, are typically used to increase the benefits of the massage.

There isn’t much scientific research available on the benefits of marma points therapy, and the few studies that do exist are relatively small.

For example, one study from 2011 investigated the impact of the kurpara (elbow joint) marma as a vaikalyakara marma.

Vaikalyakara marma are marma points believed to have negative effects on your health when injured. Of the 80 participants in the study, those who experienced injury to the kurpara marma also reported significant damage to the rest of their arm, as well as a slew of other side effects.

Another small study from 2006 investigated the benefits of marma points therapy for stroke patients. In this study, standard post-stroke care was compared with the same care plus marma points therapy.

The researchers found that while the marma massage therapy was well tolerated, it didn’t necessarily produce a significant difference in recovery scores for participants.

More research is needed to determine the exact benefits of marma points therapy.

Marma points massage therapy can be both relaxing and invigorating. It can not only help loosen your muscles and tissues, but it’s also thought to help promote the proper flow of energy around your body.

The good news is that you don’t have to be a certified massage therapist to give yourself a marma points massage. Here’s how you can massage your own marma points without a professional:

  1. Use the tips of your fingers to gently but firmly stimulate each marma point listed below.
  2. Massage each point in a clockwise circular motion for up to 5 minutes.
  3. Optionally, use herb-infused massage oils during your massage.

Below, you’ll find some of the more notable marma points that you can easily stimulate using the massage technique above.

Marma pointLocationBelieved to affect
Sthapani marmacenter of foreheadmind, brain, and nerves
Phana marmaeither side of the nose at the base of the nostrilssinuses, ears, sense of smell, and stress levels
Shringataka marmacenter of the chineyes, ears, nose, tongue, and various nerves
Talhridayam marmacenter of the palm of each handlungs
Manibandha marmacenter of the spot where your inner wrist meets the palm of each handbody stiffness
Nabhi marmacenter of the navelsmall intestines
Janu marmalower inner point at the bottom of each kneecapheart, liver, and spleen
Indravasti marmacenter of each calf muscledigestion and the small intestine
Kurcha marmacenter of the ball of each foot, between the first and second toesvision
Talhridayam marmacenter of the sole of each footlungs (similar to the talhridayam marma points on the hands)

Marma points therapy is a traditional Ayurvedic massage technique that’s believed to help sustain the flow of energy throughout your body.

There are 107 marma points located around your body. Stimulation of these points is said to affect everything from the health of your organs to the production of hormones and more.

If you’re ready to explore the potential benefits of marma points therapy, reach out to a certified Ayurvedic massage therapist to learn more.