THOKKANAM (therapeutic herbal massage)

The art of thokkanam is tailored to each individual, based on their body constitution (prakruthi). It is usually synchronized with stimulation of varma points, to obtain tremendous results. Massage therapy is a pioneer in treating stress, pain and many major ailments.


Massage Therapy is defined as a passive exercise, involving the use of medicated oils to rejuvenate the body cells. On scientific inclination, massage therapy increases the lymphatic flow, eliminating the toxic substances which cause ill health.

Siddha theory states that Massage(Thokkanam) strengthens blood circulation, facilitates lymphatic drainage, improves skin tone, promotes the vitality and relaxes the body on the whole. It balances vali, which is often alleviated in neuromuscular disorders.

Massage therapy is performed with hands in nine different types of manipulation pertaining to theraiyar concept.


  • Tapping (thattal)
  • Pressing (azhuthal)
  • Traction (ezhuthal)
  • Grasping (pidithal)
  • Shaking (asaithal)
  • Twisting (murukkal)
  • Supination (malathuthal)
  • Tying (kaikattal)
  • Tightening (erukkal)

The art of thokkanam is tailored to each individual based on their body constitution (prakruthi).It is usually synchronized with varma points, to obtain tremendous results.

Massage therapy is a pioneer in treating stress, pain and many major ailments.


1. Its an ideal therapy for muscular sprains, low back ache, spastic conditions, frozen shoulder and nerve disorders.
2. It stretches the soft tissues by moving joints through passive range of movements.
3. • It tones up the body and relaxes the mind thus providing relief form stress and anxiety disorders.


Certain key points in the body where life energy is concentrated(Vaasi ) is called Varma points.
According to siddha medicine there are 108 vulnerable points in human body through which, Prana flows in a channeled way. Any trauma to these vital points may cause loss of consciousness or convulsions or even death. But gentle vibration or pressure applied in these points relieve the obstruction of the energy flow. Varmam is performed either by applying gentle pressure or massaging over the varma points with medicated oils.

Therapeutic classification of varma

  • Thodu varmam (varma stimulated by touch)
  • Padu varmam (varmam injured accidentally)
  • Thatu varmam (varmam caused intutionally)
  • Nokku varmam (a type of hypnosis)

Thattu varmam is used in combat operation called kalari, an excellent martial art of south india.


Panchakarma literally means five actions. It is a cleansing procedure and a wonderful rejuvenation therapy, assuming increasing importance in recent days.


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