No, I hadn’t ever heard of it, either. But my room-mate at the campus in India that I was visiting told me it was a gentle massage treatment with its roots in the age-old knowledge of Ayurveda, and I was intrigued. And I had been told – repeatedly – that ‘you have healing hands’ and then that ‘you have healing hands and you need to do something about it’ and then that ‘soon this is what you will be doing’ so this time I listened.
I e-mailed the course organiser in the UK and found out that there was usually only one introductory course per year, and it just so happened that the next course started in Watford the evening that my plane from India touched down in Heathrow, just a half-hour drive away.
On the first full day of the course the teacher, Dr Ernst Schrott, demonstrated the technique on a lady who had been involved in three (!) car accidents, leaving her with whiplash, pain in her neck and back, and she couldn’t lift her head or turn it to the left. Dr Schrott was very relaxed, talked to her and to us throughout the procedure and, without any pressure or painful manipulation, just with a gentle massage of special Marma points, resolved her issues over a period of some 20 minutes. At the end of that time, the pain had passed, and she could raise and lower her head and move it to the left and right. Her smile said it all. It was a spell-binding performance!
Dr Schrott insisted that, with practice, we would all be able to help patients in this way. Wow! And then the training started and, strangely enough, it wasn’t like learning something new, but more like remembering. We learned specific protocols: a wonderful head/face/neck treatment that enlivens the senses, helps with sinusitis, and at the same time is rejuvenating and profoundly relaxing; a back treatment that deals with so many back, neck and shoulder problems. Later we added delightful treatments for the hands and feet – as those who have had or who have practised reflexology know, points on the hands and feet are connected to all other areas of the body, so that a hand or foot treatment, in addition to being restful in itself, is like a whole-body treatment.
And we also learned about specific treatments for specific conditions.
When I got home, I couldn’t wait to try out the treatments – anyone who came through the door was fair game. Friends, dance partners, my mother’s carers, all were conscripted. I remember one time a salesman came and, even though I wasn’t going to buy his product (an electric wall-heater – his was over £1500 and I already had a simpler model from B&Q for £17.95!), he agreed to sit and have a five-minute ‘taster session’ at the end of which he just said ‘Wow’ and then asked if he was safe to drive, as he had gone so deep in that brief time. (I told him to walk around for five minutes or so before driving.)
At first I focused on the main treatments I had been taught: head/face/neck, back, hands and feet. These were such powerful treatments – one lady described it like this: ‘What you do is to connect the person to the deepest part of themselves, and then healing takes place to whatever extent and in whatever direction it can at that time’. That’s about the best description I’ve heard!
But then, once I was fully qualified and had begun to receive clients, I started adding specific points to help with specific conditions and, in many cases, the results were startlingly immediate: a lady with a persistent earache that wasn’t due to an infection – I treated one point next to her ear, this was in the middle of a networking meeting, the earache disappeared and didn’t return; a man with carpal tunnel syndrome – I treated the appropriate seven Marma and sub-Marma points over a period of 4-5 minutes and later found out that the pain had gone and hadn’t returned; a lady with back pain due to some heavy lifting – I did a short back treatment during a meeting and, at the end of the meeting, she reported that her back was much better. She then came for a full back treatment and, some weeks later, she said that her back hadn’t given her any more problems. Another lady with pain in her neck, a brief treatment seemed to resolve that, too. It’s extraordinary!
This is not to say that all problems are resolved so quickly – sometimes a course of treatment is needed, or other modalities need to be considered. But it’s amazing how often and how quickly improvements are felt.
So what is Sukshma Marma Therapy (now renamed Maharishi Marma Therapy) and how does it work? It’s a gentle massage, with aromatherapy oils, of vital points (Marmas) on the body. The Marmas are like switchboards between the physiology and consciousness. We treat the body but, because these points are connections, the effect of the treatment is felt even more on the level of consciousness – what this means in practice is that, very quickly after a treatment begins, you start to experience profound and blissful relaxation. The mind settles to a more expanded and pleasant state. The mind and body have natural healing capabilities and, when the mind and body are in a deep state of rest, healing takes place.
Clients describe it like this: (after 5-minute taster session) ‘I don’t want to come out. My body feels like it’s had a mini-holiday’; after a full treatment (back, head/face/neck, hands, feet, heart): ‘Wow, that is quite spectacular! Kind of half-meditative state all through. That’s amazing, Marek. I didn’t expect it to be so special. Now I just feel bliss’; also after a full treatment: ‘When I went home, for completely unknown reasons joy began upwelling in me. I started humming a tune and even began dancing around the room. (I cannot remember the last time I did this, if ever.)
For more information, visit www.marmatherapy.org, or ring or text Marek on 07946 386290. Marek Lorys is a qualified Sukshma Marma therapist and gives treatments in Newhaven, East Sussex.