Kalari as a medicine - (Kalari Chikitsa)
Kalari Chikitsa is a system of medicine based on Ayurveda,
specializing in treatment of orthopedic disorders and neuromuscular problems
like back pain, spondylosis etc.
The practitioner or the Gurukkal does the treatments like
bone setting and massages using specially formulated oils and herbs, after
undertaking specialized studies in the science of Marmas (vital spots). The
knowledge about these Marmas plays a major role in the effective practice of
Kalari Chikitsa. The underlying principle of Kalari Chikitsa is that an
abnormality to any system of the human body such as nervous system,
musculo-skeletal system can happen only if anyone or more of the 107 vital
spots are bruised. The treatment is all about detecting the vital spots
affected and curing them to normalcy.
The fact that Kalari Chikitsa concentrates on treating the
affected vital spots by curing the root cause and not the symptoms, makes it
the most suitable method for the treatment of sprains, bruises, fractures and
dislocations. In Kalari Chikitsa, nothing hostile to the body is used and
nothing toxic is left behind, unlike allopathic treatment. This makes Kalari
Chikitsa free from side effects. Several cases where surgery is a must in
modern techniques of therapy can be cured by Kalari Chikitsa without the
surgical blade coming into play. Also, there have been so many cases in which
Kalarichikilsa has succeeded where modern therapy was helpless.
The different treatment methods used in Kalari Chikitsa are
1. Uzhichil - It is a complete system, which rejuvenates the
nervous and muscular systems of the body and stimulates the blood circulation.
Uzhichil is the systematic application of pressure on the muscles according to
their structure, at the same time stimulating the nervous stem and the
circulatory system. This is done by oiling and massaging the various parts of
the body. The practice helps in preparing a healthy body for Kalarippayattu
training. It can also enhance the general fitness of a common man. The oil used
for Uzhichil depends upon the Prakrutham or physical nature of the person. In
general cases, a specially prepared Mukkoott oil is used.
Uzhichil is of two types- one with the hands (Kaiuzhichil)
for children, old and people of light build and the other with the feet
(Chavuttiuzhichil) for young and healthy persons. Uzhichil is always done so as
to minimize the pressure on the heart and on the nerves to the heart, massaging
from the waist downwards and upwards to the upper part of the body. The
pressure and the force of massage is increased day by day till the 4th and then
reduced so as to reach the minimum again on the 7th day. The massage is also
done for the face and the head.
2. Kizhithirummu - In this method, specially prepared herbs
and leaves are bundled in a cloth bag, known as Kizhi. This Kizhi is dipped
into a Thailam (Medicated oil) the temperature of which is determined according
to the physique of the patient. The combination of the oil also changes
depending on the nature. The Kizhi is applied with certain pressure on the body
where there is pain and swelling. Kizhithirummu is very effective in treating
osteo and rheumatoid arthritis. This is also useful to treat age-old bruises
and disorders. Njavarakizhi, a particular type of Kizhi is used to stimulate
the nerves and to strengthen the muscles. Njavara, a kind of paddy having
medicinal properties is boiled in Kashayam (medicinal decoction) and the Kizhi
is made with this boiled Njavara. The Kizhi is dipped in a mixture of milk and
medicinal decoction and is applied all over the body.
3. Nasyam - It is a method of Kalari Chikitsa where the
medicated oils are administered through the nose. 'This treatment is effective
for sinusitis and other ENT infections.
Kalari and Orthopedics
Kalari has also developed a traditional orthopedic system,
which is popular all over the state especially for the setting of displaced or
fractured bones and neurological complaints. Here too traditional medical
preparations like the herbs, barks and leaves of plants locally available
constitute the major ingredients. These medicines are pulverized and made into
a paste by adding oil, ghee or white of an egg and put around the area of bone
setting. After placing the bones in correct position, twigs will be used as a
support to effect immobilization.
The common medicated oil used in Kalari therapy is Murivenna
(oil for wounds), which is a traditional folk preparation. An analysis of the
medicine used in the Kalari for bone setting and massage will show that the
Kalari master of the olden times were influenced by the folk medical knowledge,
Ayurveda and siddha medicine.
who need the kalari treatment or marma therapy
The different categories of people mentioned below can
benefit tremendously from Kalari Therapy -
Persons who drive vehicles on a regular basis.
Persons who are engaged in jobs that require minimal
movement. (Usually seated).
Persons engaged in adventure sports and games.
I.T. Professionals who are at the risk of constantly being
exposed to radiation from electronic gadgets and equipments.
Persons who travel extensively.
Persons suffering from mental and physical stress.
Kalari Therapy helps to check and set right damages,
injuries or health blocks that happen to the human body. Kalari Therapy makes
the body pliable and supple. It helps to reduce and curb all physical
discomfort that can affect the body.
Diseases that can be treated by Kalari Therapy
There are certain diseases that have the best treatments in
Kalari Therapy. Kalari Therapy is best suited for -
Arthritis (64 types)
Migraine (which is of 6 types)
Spinal chord disorder
Joint problems affecting knees, elbows, shoulders
Back pain, hip pain, menopause and postnatal discomforts in