Marma massage and detoxification: cleansing and rejuvenating the body in ayurveda

May 14, 2023 | Ayurveda


Marma point therapy or massage is an important element of the ancient life science Ayurveda. It is an ancient system of healing that is based upon finding balance between mind, body and soul, for wellbeing. According to the ancient teachings of Ayurveda, all elements are interconnected and need to be in balance for harmony.  Marma points are believed to be the foundation for therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture and reflexology.

What is marma massage?

In Sanskrit marma means hidden or secret and in ayurveda it refers to the vital energy points in the human body that can be treated to heal the system. By applying precise pressure and varying strokes, marma massage helps heal the body by clearing obstructions that prevent effective communication between the muscles, nerves and brain. When the path for communication is clear it allows the muscles, nerves and brain to once again work in harmony. A marma massage is also good for regeneration and cellular cleansing to promote increased circulation and movement of life fluids which help enhance the life force energy.

How does marma massage detox the body?

This distinct ayurvedic massage focuses on points to manipulate subtle energy or prana and also to relieve stiff muscles. There are believed to be 107 marma points each with a particular purpose with a specific massage requirement to stimulate circulation and there by detox the body. Depending on a person’s ayurvedic dosha type, different essential oils are used to remove blockages to give physical and psychological relief and relaxation. The massage works the sensitive energy points over parts of the body to open energy channels known as nadis. It is a revitalising experience that can be enjoyed by anyone as it also works as a preventive therapy and is recommended for those looking for a gentle healing treatment routine.

Detoxification in Ayurveda

The purpose of detox in ayurveda is to rid the body of ama or toxins, which are residue or by-products of an incomplete digestion process. An ayurvedic massage helps to release and cleanse blocked energy to re-establish a natural flow of energies. This removes toxins from the body and promote natural healing and wellbeing.

Benefits of using marma massages for detoxification?

By promoting the flow of healing energy throughout the body, marma massages provide many benefits including:

  • Relief from aches and pains
  • Enhances immunity
  • Increases energy levels
  • Improves digestion and elimination
  • Increases circulation and energy flow
  • Promotes deep and re-energising sleep
  • Clears emotional blocks
  • Removes toxins
  • Nourishing and rejuvenation of tissues
  • Relieves stress for balance between the mind, body and soul

What are marma points?

On a physical level marma points are the locations where tendons, bones, muscles, joints, veins, nerves and other tissues meet. When these points are stimulated it is believed to have beneficial effects on various parts of the body from healing organs to increasing the production of hormones. These marma points have been mapped out by ancient ayurvedic physicians. There are 107 points around the body of which a few of the main ones are mentioned below:

  • Talhridayam – centre of the palm of each hand
  • Phana – either side of the nose at the base of the nostrils
  • Shringataka – centre of the chin
  • Manibandha – the spot where your inner wrist meets the palm of each hand
  • Talhridayam – centre of the sole of each foot
  • Kurcha – centre of the ball of each foot, between the first and second toes
  • Indravasti – centre of each calf muscle
  • Janu – lower inner point at the bottom of each kneecap
  • Nabhi – centre of the navel

What happens during a marma massage?

Generally, to enjoy a proper detox the marma massage should be performed by a trained ayurvedic massage therapist. They have the knowledge and experience regarding the location of the points and what area of the body they benefit. Based on your dosha type, essential oils will be chosen so that you gain the maximum benefits from the experience. A gentle pressure or touch is placed on the relevant marma points to access the layer of energy within and to stimulate the points.

The one undergoing the therapy should ideally sit upright in a cross-legged position with hands placed on the knees. This will allow the practitioner to access the necessary points in a quiet and steady manner. The patient will be encouraged to take deep nourishing breaths and to remain calm throughout so that the maximum benefits can be gained through the marma therapy.

With proper guidance it is possible to enjoy self-marma massages with focus on main points that will help bring relief. Use the tips of your fingers and gently but firmly stimulate the points in a circulation motion for about 5 minutes. It can be a selfcare ritual that aids natural healing and wellbeing.

Factors that need to be considered before going for a marma massage

Marma massages are generally suitable for everyone looking for a natural detox and relief. However, before you try to do a marma massage on yourself, seek the advice of a professional practitioner. This will provide you with a proper guide as to the marma points, the benefits of stimulating the points and the safest and most effective way to do so. There is a technique to achieving results through a marma therapy massage and learning that technique will ensure that you always enjoy the benefits of the time you spend on your massage.

If you have a history of illnesses or are pregnant then again it is best to seek advice regarding massages of any form, including marma therapy. It may seem like a simple enough task to stimulate these energy points, but it would be a mistake to assume that just applying pressure will make a difference. Always seek a professional opinion when in doubt.


Based on a strong foundation of ayurvedic teachings marma massages are a wonderful way to detox and rid your body of toxins and other impurities. Whether you decide to learn the art yourself or to go to a practitioner, marma massages are a great form of selfcare when looking to experience a healthy and energised lifestyle full of vigour and vitality.