Today was my first day of Marma Massage training. This form of massage is based in Ayurveda, focusing on energy points (there are 107!) in the body. Marma means "sensitive/vulnerable", and these marma accupoints are doorways between the body, mind and soul. Prana (our life-force energy) flows throughout our bodies, but sometimes it accumulates in certain areas and becomes stagnant. Marma therapy keeps these channels of energy open and flowing. These points throughout the body are very similar to the Chinese accupoints but they aren't quite the same. You can get a massage that will target the main Marma points, but this can also be used as a therapy, targeting specific points on the body for specific ailments and illness (ranging from headaches, to unexpressed sadness, to reaching higher states of consciousness). It is a POWERFUL AND AMAZING form of body/energy work, and I am so excited to be learning it! My teacher, Josef, is an American man who has been studying for over a decade with the world-reknown Dr.Vasant Lad in New Mexico. Josef studied Chinese medicine for a decade before getting into Ayurveda, so to say that the man "knows his shit" would be a royal understatement. We got two huge textbooks and we have a packed syllabus, with heaps of hands-on work. Today was day one, and I'm feeling great. This is going to be an AMAZING thing to incorporate into the Thai massage (and reiki! And crystal work!). I'm ready to be a serious healer! When we were learning about the marma points on the face I loved that Nasa Puta is the reason married women have their noses pierced here in India. Nasa Puta is located in the groove at the center of each nasal. There are many actions of stimulating this prana point, but one is stimulating the ovaries, which is why a married woman in India pierces their nose. Also, energetically gold and diamonds enforce this energy, which is why all of the women have gold noserings. Ayurveda is so embedded in this culture, the day to day, and I love it. For example in Ayurveda they preach about the importance of milk, but that it needs to be consumed warmed, and spiced (cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, cloves) for digestion...hence Masala Chai tea. They preach cooking your legumes with spices like turmeric, ginger, and cumin for digestion...hence curries. And now, the nose ring...because of prana points. Everything has a deep meaning here in India, nothing is 'just because', and that's the magic.