Trichy: Government hospitals across Tamil Nadu could soon start providing varma therapy at their respective AYUSH wings as all the siddha practitioners are set to be provided training in this traditional Indian external therapy technique starting from January 9. The siddha practitioners would – batch-wise – be attending the three-day training programme, which would be provided at Government Siddha Medical College in Chennai. According to officials from the directorate of Indian medicine and homeopathy, the training programme has been initiated in order to promote varma therapy among the general public. They also claimed that for several illnesses and health issues, ideal treatment could be provided to people through varma therapy. “People have to know that there’s treatment without medication. Hence, we would be training all the siddha doctors so that they could perform this therapy for both inpatients and outpatients at their respective government hospitals,” a senior official said.
According to varma therapy specialists, the therapy which is derived from Varma Kalai, and is based on providing relief from pain or any other particular body issue by stimulating varmam (body’s pressure points). They said that for a person suffering from a particular body issue, the pressure points, which cause the issue, are identified and massage-type stimulation is done. Each therapy session lasts for almost 15 minutes and the treatment is given up to a maximum of 10 sessions. A method called ‘thodu varmam’ is done for patients with acute pain, while another method ‘padu varmam’ is provided for patients with chronic pains.
In Tamil Nadu, there are around 1,400 government siddha practitioners. Each batch for training would comprise of a total of 25 doctors and the programme is expected to cover all the 1,400 within the end of the year.
So far, only certain GHs have been providing the therapy, based on feasibility and the availability of an expert at their particular hospital. “So far, varma therapy is being provided in a full-fledged basis only at the AYUSH wings of government hospitals in Chennai, Trichy, Tirunelveli and a few other places. But wherever the treatment is provided, the demand has been really good,” Trichy district Siddha medical officer Dr S Kamaraj told TOI. Varma therapy is mainly provided for diseases and health issues like cervical spondylosis, lumbar spondylosis, osteoarthritis and diabetic retinopathy.
Varma is a part of syllabus in the bachelor of siddha medicine and surgery and varma as a postgraduate specialisation is available at Government Siddha Medical Colleges in Chennai and Palayamkottai.