Marma chikilsa in Kerala is centuries old. Marma is "Vital spots" and Chikilsa means "Treatment". It emerged as a treatment system for warriors or soldiers who fought in wars and conflicts and suffered physical injuries. Several treatment techniques were used for treating different kinds of injuries like wound, fractures etc. Siddha system of treatment giving emphasis to marma chikilsa. Marma Chikilsa is mainly performed by specialists who knows well about the vital (marma) spots on human body. There are total 108 Marma points in the body in which 64 are considered as deadly points. These points could be used to heel or to harm. If these points are pierced hard, it could result in trauma or even death. A Kalari masseur uses the Marma points to heal. Kalari marma treatment is as sophisticated as the uzhichil treatment of Ayurveda.
The marma points are of great importance to a person’s body, mind and spirit. The word 'marma' was used for the first time in Atharva Veda (ancient Indian scripture). Marma points are positions on the body where muscles, veins, arteries, nerves, tendon, bones and joints meet. They may also be described as the junctions where Vayu, Pitta and Kapha meet; where Sattwa, Rajas and Tamas meet; these are the points that could be used to heal or harm. While a healer uses these points to heal, for a warrior the very same spots could be used to harm.