The air was intense as the audience awaited in breathless anticipation. The young hefty guy struck the old man with all his might. The old man made a slight move , smooth like a snake, two old fingers twisted darting out and hitting the attackers arm in a flash. Lo! The offender was down writhing in pain with his right arm completely immobile. If you feel that this is from the Hollywood movie, ‘The Matrix’ then you are wrong. In south-Indian states of Tamilnadu and Kerala lives some martial art masters who can do these and much more. This is the ancients Siddhar art called ‘Varma Kalai’ or Art of the Vital points.
Varmam are vital points in the body that act as energy tranformers or batteries. They forms centres for boosting the vital prana flow through the intricate nadi system of the body. Nature by its design has protected these vital centres by placing them deep inside the body or by covering them with tissues inacessible to normal attempts of breach. The presence, location and action is totally unknown to the modern medicine. Today scientific evidence is growing on the presence of sub microscopic energy channels in the body, nadi’s, as described by the Siddhars, yet science is too young to comprehend the intricate nadi system that governs the non-physical system of energy flow, the foundation of vital pranic forces. The Siddhars long ago had discovered the presence of 72,000 nadis in the body and has described in detail the action and location of each of them. They have also described the location of 108 varmam or vital points that could heal or harm the human body when properly manipulated, through touch, pressure or striking, by an expert.
The history of varmam starts from Lord Shiva. It is said that a person who holds the knowledge of varmam has the knowledge to unlock what lord shiva himself has locked. Siddha palm leaf manuscripts holds that whoever holds this secret knowledge is bound by certain strict laws of conduct, including keeping away from, public demonstration, misusing for money, fame and vengeance and also, irresponsible dissemination of knowledge pertaining to varmam. Usually varmam is recommeded to be taught to students who have ptracticed martial arts for atleast 14 years plus and has demonstrated excellent skills, and great virtues. The only exemption in teaching remains for a true Siva yogi who may be taught over riding all these conditions.
Today this knowledge remains with very few serious practitioners in Tamilnadu and Kerala and they remain hidden from public, healing and helping people who approach them. These masters are beyond the lures of commericial gains and remain dedicated in serving people. It is fairly easy to see frauds practicing varmam for purely financial gains but they do more harm, to the patient and this divine art, than good.
Varmam is a holistic therapy on its own and tackles the body, mind and spirit. A varmam expert understands the underlying links between the body, prana and the mind. If one looks at the long list of things which varmam can do, one will be tottally mesmerised by the deep science and the indisputable healing it brings about. The human body can get into lot of accidents minor and major in its life time. Very rarely people are lucky enough to escape accidents in life. Varmams have been classified based on the type of pressure needed to injure (a) Paduvarmam (varmam due to injury), (b) Thodu varmam (by touch); Thattu varmam (by blows), Thaduvu varmam (by massage); Nakku varmam (by licking); and Nokku (by staring). The widely used and recognised ones are the 12 Paduvarmam’s and 96 Thoduvarmam’s as you would guess, there is less consistency with the other categories simply because of the way of application or the deeper knwoledge needed to apply them. In these categories the Nokku varmam is the most awe generating and is rarely seen practiced, as those masters who were able to do this are almost extinct.
A varmam that gets affected may respond by immediate effect if its concerning any serious channels of prana, as used in martials arts or sometimes will take some time to show its effect as in some injuries. Eventhough the phsyical damage may heal the underlying damage to the pranic flow will cause long term damages causing predominantly vata like diseases in the ensuing years, many symptoms popping out in 2 to 5 years. An examples is cervical spondylytics which is caused by aggravation of a varmam impact caused some years back. Even very few traditional medicine people know this and keep treating for vata, the current presenting nature, whereas the true cause is a varma damage. A varma expert can easily cure this by restoring the varmam and nullifying damages using varma therapy, including, manipulation, massage, internal and external medicine.
There are few experts in the south Indian states of Tamilnadu and Kerala who are doing excellent Varma therapy but not on a commercial scale. The knwoledge is vast and the true disciples few. The challenge is to present varmam in a way comprehensible to all. As a matter of fact, the Siddha wisdom was made for the human race and some initiatives needs to be in place to make them available for all who seeks to learn. The cost involved will remain immaterial as long as humanity needs it.
Siddha Applied Science Institute teaches varmam as a subject for its DASS students. SASI has launched an initiative to restore all varmam texts and translate them to english so that the whole world can benefit from it. DASS is the only course in this world that teaches applied varmam in various different aspects of wellness. A study done on impact of varmam on energy field using Gas Discharge Visualisation techniques reveals that a persons energy field can be drstaically infuleced by applying mere pressure on certain varma points.