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Know about the important of varma therapy, how its taking care of the vital points in the body

All the benefits of yoga, pranayama, and meditation can be 100% achieved by Siddha Varma therapy. The only difference is that yoga, pranayama, and meditation are self-practiced or self-stimulation methods, whereas Varma kalai involves the manipulation of Varma points by the physician to the patient. Here, there are some advantages, especially for children, bedridden patients, unconscious patients, uncooperative patients, physically or mentally challenged patients, or psychiatric patients who cannot perform or cooperate with yoga or meditation. In such cases, Varma therapy can provide the expected effect.

Additionally, there are many methods to manipulate these Varma points. It's not always the physician's fingers; many types of small wooden devices, ancient devices, and seeds are used. Various seeds of different sizes and shapes are placed on the Varma points to apply pressure. Even copper coins are used; they are placed on the Varma points, and plaster or bandages are applied to provide pressure. Patients are also advised to apply pressure themselves frequently for pain management. Similarly, coconut shell-based rings are used to manipulate Varma points. Apart from physical stimulation, other forms of stimulation are available, such as heat stimulation. Herbal packs or roots, such as turmeric root, are used to convey heat to the Varma points. Metal rods heated with fire are also used to apply heat to the Varma points. Heat application using hot stones is another method used in Varmam treatment. Cupping therapy, similar to traditional Chinese medicine, is also practiced in Siddha Varma therapy, using either glass or stainless steel cups. Heat is applied inside the cups, creating a negative pressure that pulls the skin and muscles, stimulating the Varma points. Oils are also used to stimulate Varma points. Ennai thalam involves applying medicated oil to the Varma points and allowing it to stagnate for a period. Similarly, Sanagam involves oil stagnation, while Dhaarai involves continuously stimulating Varma points by dropping oil or other medicated liquids. These therapies are not internal medicine; they are only applied externally.

Additionally, bundle heat application involves applying herbal packs dipped in heated oil to the affected area. Other external therapies include applying herbal paste or bandages to the affected area. Varmaasanam involves performing specific asanas while Varma is applied to the points. Varma meditation involves focusing on specific Varma points during meditation. Niti vaangal, similar to chiropractic practice, is also performed, involving aligning or manipulating each joint for preventive care and pain management. Other techniques include hypnotic and nokku varmam, where specific Varma points are stimulated. The stimulation of Varma points can vary depending on the disease, ranging from stimulating five to twenty points. Techniques for stimulating multiple points are similar to creating a pully kolam, where dots are connected to form a pattern.The same methodology applies in Varma therapy.

If you want to stimulate 20 points on the head, you cannot stimulate them one by one. Connecting them one by one will give a specific Verma massage, which is called Verma thadaval. There are different applications of Verma thadaval to stimulate Verma points on the scalp or head. Some people go from up to down, then down to up, or left to right, right to left. Like in the pully column, where different pictures are obtained by connecting different points, the Varma thadaval also produces unique results. We use this thadaval for our patients based on necessity.

Another application is sarvanga thadaval, where all Verma points from head to toe are stimulated in a continuous massage fashion. This massage lasts around one and a half hours and is useful for rejuvenation or wellness centers to ensure energy flows through all channels correctly. Additionally, steam therapy and nasal drops are practiced in Siddha Varma therapy. These are all external therapies; no oral medications are involved. With these treatments alone, a lot of clinical management and wellness training can be done.

Apart from India, Varma therapy is also approved in Malaysia. The Malaysian government has released a book on this therapy, which is freely available for download on their website. Despite the wealth of knowledge and practice, there has been no attempt to popularize and globalize this knowledge or train many people. To address this, the GCMSR NGO collaborated with Manipal University and established the Division of Siddha, offering courses on Siddha Varma therapy. These courses include a postgraduate certificate course in Siddha Varma therapy, an introductory certificate course, an elective course on traditional Siddha medicine, and a PhD and postdoctoral fellowship. The first step towards this initiative started in 2017 at a Fetna meeting in Minneapolis, where the idea of a Siddha chair was discussed. Dr. Janaki Raman and his wife, Mallika Janakiraman, played significant roles in supporting this initiative.

The postgraduate certificate course is open to healthcare professionals who have completed their undergraduate studies in medicine, dental, or allied sciences from recognized institutions. It is a six-month or one-year course focusing on practical training and covers more than 40 conditions. Upon completion, students can integrate Siddha Varmam therapy into their practice and establish Varma therapy treatment centers. The course also includes training in Siddha external therapies, such as leech therapy.

This year, due to high demand, Manipal University is offering the same course in hybrid mode, lasting one year. The hybrid mode includes live online classes every Wednesday and practical sessions at Manipal University every alternate month. There is also a compulsory one-week internship at Manipal Hospital. The fees for the course are Rs. 60,000 for Indian nationals and USD $1,600 for NRIs. The last date to apply for both full-time and hybrid modes is February 20, 2024. The courses aim to provide comprehensive training in Siddha Varma therapy and contribute to its global recognition.

Level up other courses like the introductory certificate course in Siddha Varmam Therapy for local people and local students. For local students, it will be an evening course, and for those outside the area, they will need to come here for one full month. During this time, they will attend theory and practical sessions, as well as small practical sessions and hospital observations. Anyone from the public can participate in this course, but it is only for self-practice, not for commercial practice. The fees for Indian general category participants is only 15,000 rupees, while for NRIs it is $400. For admission, you have to contact me, and we will provide the schedules.

For Manipal University students, this course is offered as an elective course for three credits as part of their curriculum. Students from abroad are also learning through this course, indirectly promoting globalization. Another course is the elective course, a one-month, three-credit course for medical students from America and Canada. Dr. Sridharan from Morehouse School of Medicine is coordinating this initiative, and interested students should contact him directly for admission. The students will receive credits from MSM. Other online courses and CMEs are in progress, providing opportunities for medical students and others in the USA and Canada to take elective courses and gain credits to enhance their careers. Contact details for Dr. Sridharan will be provided to those interested.

Moving on to goals in the pipeline, besides the ones discussed, we plan to establish international collaborations with medical institutions abroad, complementary and alternative medicine institutions, and joint courses or research. We also aim to start joint PhD programs for global recognition of traditional medicine, and Manipal is open to such initiatives. Additionally, we plan to introduce online or certificate courses for the public on Siddha dietetics, preventive care, women's and child health, and more. An annual scientific conference and workshops are also on the agenda to disseminate knowledge among healthcare providers.

Manipal is also considering senior resident and fellowship programs for Siddha and allopathic doctors and healthcare providers to receive training in Siddha medicine. Short courses on spoken and written Tamil are planned to cater to those interested in Siddha literature. We also aim to collect and publish manuscripts, translations, and other works under one umbrella, making them easily accessible. These initiatives require support, not just financially but also through contributions such as supporting PhD students' research, helping start short courses, establishing a Siddha museum and library, and building a full-fledged model Siddha hospital with inpatient facilities. Manipal is committed to integrative healthcare, and in the near future, we aim to have a Siddha and Integrative Medical College offering integrative treatment to patients. Manipal's chair aims to preserve our ancient health system, decode it scientifically, and pass it on to the next generation.

GCSMR undertakes several initiatives connected to Siddha and Varma education and its propagation across the world so that the whole of humanity can benefit with the ancient medicinal system prescribed by Tamil Siddhars. Your donation will help in spreading the education of Siddha and Varma practices.