Massage is a practice by which we get a instant remedy for an ailment of simple or serious condition. Massage can be done by using hands or handy machines. Varma massage is a practice by which we can rescue people frome various ailments of trauma or injuries which is fresh or old by manipulating or rubbing varma points. In Varma massage practices we used to apply various steps according to the necessity. The common practices are rubbing, stroking, clinching, kneading, twisting, locking, pressing, pulling, stretching, shaking or jerking etc.,. The practice of massaging is popular in many countries like Sweeden, Thailand, China, India etc.,. In Indian system of medicine varma massage techniques plays an important role. Various massaging oils are also used according to the nature of the ailment.

1. 1.History of Varmam

Varma medical practice is considered to be the fundamental practice of the two ancient medical practices ie, the Indian system of medicine and the Chinese system of medicine. According to old varma literatures and messages aquired from the varma Asans it is said that Lord Shiva is the father of Varma. And it is from him the knowledge of varma is given to Parvathi and from her to Nandhi and from Nandhi to Lord Muruga. In Dhakshinamoorthy Kavium in its stansa number 778,779,780 it is said that Lord muruga taught varmam to Agasthiar who is considered to be the prime Siddhar of the siddha system of medicine. The area of his schooling was said to be veli – malai which is a part of Pothigai in Western Ghats. The Muruga temple in that area is an evidence for that.

When we talk of its age, it is as old as the Tamil language, which is as old as that of the stone – age. It can also be called as Tamil Traditional medicine. Tamilians used varmam as a martial art as well as a medical system. Before the introduction of the herbal medicine, it is the Varma practice used as a remedy using the fingers for the ailments of the human beings. So it is very clear to calculate that this is of the oldest system on the basis of its age too.

In a human body, in certain places in a particular time or in all time; with a specific force if an injury occurs, problems such as disability, disease or even death will be resulted. This process is called as Varmam.

Using these specific points of the human body, we can rescue people from diseases, unconciousness and strengthen them. This curing technique is known as Varma treatment.

‘Ullapadi nootrettu thalam chavahum
Unarvaki aththalankal uyirumahum
Kallamutta aththalankal piniyumahum
Kalankamattal aththalankal suhamekanum

Ullunarvai aththalankal vasiyetra
Uttathinal aththalankal uruthi cherum
Pulladipol aththalankal kandavarhal
Puhalarhal ellorum puviyilullorke”.

(Varma Odivu murivu Chara Soothiram – 1200)

According to many of the varma literatures there are 108 varma places in a human body. These varma places are the root cause for a human to be alive, to die, to fall ill or to be healed.

1.1.1. History of the growth of varmam in Kanyakumari District :

A copper plate discovered from Parthivakesapuram, near Munchirai deliver a news that, Kokarunanthadakkan (AD 857-885), a king of Aai kulam ,who ruled over Parthivakesavapuram, created a town by name Parthivapuram where, he built a temple and an university and taught Varmam as well as other martial arts and developed them.

Today also, the Varma Therapists of Kanyakumari District , is protecting this art by Guru – Deciple method and also in traditional methods. Moreover, they are preserving and protecting the palm leaf manuscripts by copying and converting them as hand written books.

1.1.2. Varmam in china

Bohar one among the eighteen siddhars went to China, after learning Varma from Tamil Nadu. Bohar was called as Bo-Yang in China.

“Thenpaha pazhanivittu chinathesam
Theeviramai chentrom parulakilyame”.
(Chandra Rehai)

He Lived for 500 years in China and returned to Pothikaimalai, where he lived for four hundred years more.

“Cheerudane varudamainooru cheenathuttu
Chirapudane aandu naanooru pothikai nintrom”.
(Chandra Rehai)

Bohar learnt the art of attacking the enemies using varma points to kill them as well as to make them unconcious. He fought against and defeated several persons in China.

“Chakuthalum illamal samarthaithanum
Chancharithe vilaipenanku samarentrare
Amaithiyintri yarasarellam ayirkondenmel
Arparithu porpurivar avaraiyellam

Namanulahirketti nalam peruhi vazha
Nammavarhal chirakka uyven nannalentrar”.
(Chandra Rehai)
During that five hundred years time when Bohar stayed in China, there may be a chance to make deciples and to teach them Varmam and that in due course might have been converted to ‘Acupuncture’. The basic relation ships between Acupuncture and Varma techniques is an evidence for this

Varmam is an important field in the Indian system of medicine like the Acupuncture in China medicine. The Varma technique has lost its familiarity, because it was kept in secret. But, we should keep in mind that the Indian system of medicine cannot attain its fulfillment without Varmam.

No: Indian System Chinese system

1. Herbals, Chemicals, Herbals, Chemicals ,
2. Animals medicine Animals medicines
3. Yoga medicine Chuttikai medicine
4. Varma medicine Acupunture medicine
5. Surgical medicine Surgical medicine

In 5th Century (A.D. 479-543) a Buddhist Monk by name Bothi Darmar went to China from Kancheepuram.There he stayed at the foot of a hill by name Sungshan and introduced an self defencing art by name Shaolin.

Kung-Fu”. He intoduced “Chan” Schools, which taught the peculiar meditational methods. Therefore, he was recognized as an important leader in Philosophy and Spiritual principles. “Kalari fight” is the premier of “Shaolin-kung Fu. He was called as “Daruma” in China. In the Temple of Shaolin in China his picture was drawn with foot notes at the bottom.

1.1.3. Varmam and other Related systems

Varmam is a basic medical practice which has been deviated in various fields of medicine such as siddha, ayurveda, naturopathi, acupuncture, acupressure etc. In ayurveda and siddha it is widely used along with its massage techniques. Ayurveda practitioners practice this technique as pancha karma, which is very famous as kerela pancha karma. Varmam and Siddha Medicine:

Varmam is the basic of siddha medicine because thri dosha is rectified only with the help of varma. It is said that the1st siddhar Lord Shiva taught Varma to his son Murugan, Murgan to Saint Agasthia and Saint Agasthia in turn to his deciples. Saint Agasthia was the prime and pioneer of all siddhars. He was also called as “Kumbamuni”. Saint Agasthia and his deciple Theraiar also wrote several Varma books. Saint Agasthia stayed in Pothikai Ranges and developed Tamil language, Siddha medicine and Varma medicine.

There is a news that, ‘Bohar’ one of the Siddhars, made a statue for Lord Muruga, using “Nava pashana” (9 minerals) in Palni hills of Tamilnadu. He might have the chances to get the matters related to Varma, from Muruga. Because, some Varma books speaks about Bohar. Pullipani, a deciple of Bohar and Kallanginathar a teacher of Bohar also wrote Varma books. So it is clear that these siddhars are having close affinity with varmam because it is a basic study of Siddha medicine. Varmam and Ayurvedha:

In Ayurveda literatures also there are some preliminary notes on varmam. Ayurveda denoted varmam as “Marmam”. In “Astanka Hiruthaya”a book of Ayurveda denotes that in a human body there lies 107 Marma points .Marmam mentioned in Ayurvada, speaks about the importance of trauma of the human body. It did not mention the methods of treatment using Marma places where as Varma system of medicine explains clearly and elaborately about the Varma methods of treatment. Varmam and Acupuncture :

Acupuncture is a technique used very prominently in Chinese system of medicine. In this system also they prick at points with the help of needles to cure diseases. This also might have been

from varma techniques because there are evidences to say that the old sages and siddhars used some instruments for their treatment techniques. The name of the varma literatures like Varma Oosimuham 1800, Varma Oosi Soothiram 140 etc., gives a thought that needles might have been in practice of varma treatment which might have been popularised as acupuncture in later days. Varmam and Yoga

According to Varma the blocking or releasing the Prana or the vital energy is the prime factor. In Yoga also Vasi is the prime factor.
Shiva in varma is replaced as Vasi and it is high lighted in yogic practices. Yogic practices deals mainly with breathing techniques which aims at pushing the diaphragm down to get more space for the prana to circulate. They have excluded many other systems within. But in Varma the whole body and all its systems are considered into account.

Thanks Dr. Kannan Rajaram – Kanyakumari