Ayurveda, Marma Points, and the Personal Practices of Doctors + Healers: Cate Stillman with Roman Sieler
Scientism has taken over medicine to the point where most of us aren’t even aware of it. When seeking research and validation, we must keep in mind that what we currently refer to as science is the study of disease, not human optimization. People that study consciousness look at physiology from a practical standpoint to see what it can do. There are studies in allopathic medicine that focus on chronic disease, but not in a way that tries to look at the big picture of how humans can be healthy. But rather on how they can produce highly specialized, highly individualized medications to combat the consequences of chronic inflammation.
Roman Sieler is a medical anthropologist, wrote a book on marma points, and studied with a yoga sitting Master. Being accepted as a student by a noted guru of the Siddha tradition, Roman was afforded the unique chance to explore a topic shrouded in mystery: the vital spots known as marma in the ayurvedic tradition and as varmam spots among Siddha physicians of South India.
What you’ll get out of tuning in:
- Relevance of Ayurveda and other “alternative” healthcare methods today: ancient solutions to modern challenges?
- Siddha medicine: still flying under the radar, but waiting to be discovered?
- Mercury and other controversial therapeutic agents of Indian medicines
- Global spread and relevance of medical emancipation: people taking their health into their own hands
- What drew Roman to study Indian medicine?
- What did Roman notice about the accumulation of practices over time?
- What is the effect of breathing through the mouth in yoga?
- How did the guru reveal the discovery of the Marmas?
- How did Indian astrologers have such insightful knowledge about Star alignments and astrological kinds of confluences?
- How does a person’s body have to be able to do certain things to practice medicine?
- Where is Roman going next, and why?
- Journey Into The Power Of Personal Thrive – Enroll now in Cate’s Living Ayurveda Class
- Roman Sieler’s Book: Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India
- Roman Sieler’s Article: Intertwined
- Roman Sieler’s Article: Patient Agency Revisited: “Healing the Hidden” in South India
- Cate talks about the subtler channels of the body
- Cate tells about what’s happening in allopathic medicine
- Cate shares about Body Thrive
- Marma points (13:47-14:43)
- The relation of the brain to the Ajna Chakra and Sahasrara (17:48-19:30)
- Other ways that you can feel Prana (22:14-23:56)
- Strengthening Practices (28:01-31:14)
- “Life is about being well or unwell. And most of the time, we struggle between these polls. Different cultures deal with these issues in different ways. And that is very intriguing.”
- “If you’re in the mama practice, you have to look after your own body, you have to look after your own marma points and your planning system because this product system is what allows you to establish a connection to the patient and the patient is not just a number, a name on paper, or a symptom, but the patient is also pranic system.”
- “I feel that what is close to my heart is empowering patients. Let’s empower people to their own lives, health, and disease to be clever enough to lead lives that lead not to that drastic, severe diseases and lifestyle problems.”
Guest Bio: Roman Sieler
Roman has a PhD in medical anthropology. This is probably the logical outcome of the fact that he has always been fascinated by different cultures, especially India, and its diverse heritage of history and knowledge and issues related to health and well-being. After some experience in development cooperation in health, Roman has been employed as a lecturer and researcher at different institutions in Germany and India. As part of this, he conducted in-depth and long-term research on Indian medicine: Ayurveda and the lesser-known Siddha and Unani medicines.
Being accepted as a student by a noted guru of the Siddha tradition, Roman was afforded the unique chance to explore a topic shrouded in mystery: the vital spots. Known as marma in the ayurvedic tradition and as varmam spots among Siddha physicians of South India, these spots are vital body centers through which life force, known as prana, flows. Crucial to life, any impairment to the integrity of the prana system and vital spots is likely to result in far-reaching consequences on all levels of physical and psycho-spiritual health. By manually manipulating these vital spots, physicians may address an equally wide-ranging set of ailments. Especially in South India, however, related skills moreover bleed into martial arts practices, as these spots can heal and harm. For this reason, practice and transmission of the vital spot knowledge are usually kept under tight wraps and is not normally revealed to outsiders. Roman’s book “Lethal Spots, Vital Secrets: Medicine and Martial Arts in South India” (Oxford University Press, 2015) reflects this and analyzes secrecy and health as related aspects.
Wishing to be more actively engaged in health and the topics he is enthusiastic about, Roman is currently enrolled in an alternative and complementary healthcare course, aspiring to become a naturopathic practitioner.
Studying health vs. disease
- What does he use.
- What practices does he do
- What were the biggest
In any case, we should refrain from interpreting healing practices in too narrow a definition and from avoiding problematic, western dichotomies, such as ‘science’ vs. ‘arts’, or even ‘healing’ vs. ‘fighting’, both in South Asia and in Asia in general.