Varmam is a Tamil term for the Indian knowledge of vital points. It originated in the south of the vindhyas . It consists of a traditional massage, alternative internal medicines, traditional yoga and martial arts in which the body’s pressure points (varma or marma) are manipulated to heal or cause harm. The healing application called vaidhiya murai is used in siddha medicine (siddha vaidyam) to treat patients from ENT-related problems, paralysis, hemiplegia, nervous disorder, sciatica, spondylitis, phlegm, stroke, arthritis and other conditions. Its combat application is known as varma adi murai or marma adi meaning “pressure-point striking”, and can be done either empty-handed or with a blunt weapon such as a stick or staff. Usually taught as an advanced stage of Indian fighting systems, strikes are targeted at the nerves, veins, tendons, soft tissues or ligaments, organs and bone joints.

There are 108 primary Varmam points in the human body out of which 96 are part of Thodu varmam and balance 12 points are classified as Padu Varmam. Thoduvarmam points are the life center points in the human body that can be disturbed by touching and hitting.Paduvarmam points are the life center points in human body that can be disturbed by hitting.


The word Varmam denotes ‘energy in the body’. It can also be called ‘life energy’. The places where this energy resides in the body are called varmam points. The basic objective of the varmam system of medicine is to stimulate these points to cure diseases. Varmam healing system is a energy-based healing method that focusses on pressure points to let wellness practitioners:

 Complete a full detox of negative energy within the body, allowing for blockages to be removed to promote self-recovery. Activate the innate-ability of the patients to rejuvenate, reenergize and revitalize. Instantly reduce symptoms of a wide range of ailments to induce the body’s potential for self-recovery. Balance blood flow throughout the body using Varma Massage.

Hundreds of Life-centers of the human body lie dormant within bones, nerves, veins, muscles, joints and inner organs and they are found either deep or at the surface of the body.

Vital Life-centers (Padu Varmam) are dominant on bones and joints; Medium Life-centers (Thodu Varmam) on nerves; Striking Life-centers (Thattu Varmam) on Veins; Inner Life-centers on muscles and Chronic life-centers on blood-clots, formed due to impacts on the body.

As the flow of electricity is controlled by switches, the flow of life in the human body is controlled at the nerve-centers. When these are traumatized by a hit or a cut either directly or indirectly then the impact is felt across the body and it manifests as a disease . Further this is manifested by symptoms like fainting, fits, sprain, swelling, bleeding, shivering, fractures, dislocations (or) even death.

India’s ancient Sages called Siddhars have used  Tri-doshas to define(which are 3 humors of the body) conditions the health of the humans. Vata, Pitta and Kapha act in the proportion of 4:2:1. Vata (wind) dominates at bones and joints; Pitta (heat) at muscles and Kapha at nerves. Variations in any one of doshas leads to diseases.

Varmam Advanced Massage Thokkanam

The term Thokkanam is a combination of two words ‘Thokku’, meaning skin and ‘anam’ meaning support or tone or heat. Thokkanam is one of the 32 external remedies in Siddha system. It is a structured massage technique mainly used in treatment of chronic rheumatic (vaatham) ailments.  Thokkanam focuses on treating diseases caused by aggravation of vatham. According to humoral theory of Siddha, Vatham is the active force responsible for the physiological functioning of Neuro muscular as well as musculo skeletal systems. In Neuro muscular disorders vaayu or vatham is affected leading to wasting of muscles. So by rejuvenating the depleted vaayus through Thokkanam it is easier to treat the patient and prevent disability if intervened earlier.

According to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) Consumer Survey, 67 percent of individuals surveyed claim their primary reason for receiving a massage in the previous 12 months was medical (41 percent) or stress (26 percent) related.A growing body of research supports the health benefits of massage therapy for conditions such as stress, fibromyalgia, low-back pain and more.

Benefits of Thokkanam

Once considered an alternative or fringe approach, Varmam massage therapy is now much more mainstream and growing in popularity. This form of therapy involves hands-on techniques to increase circulation, relieve tension, reduce stress, relieve anxiety, improve sleep, and to promote relaxation throughout the entire body, as well as many other benefits.

Anbu Healing