Trichy: From October this year, six government hospitals in four districts – Trichy, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Karur – will offer varma therapy for patients at the AYUSH block in the respective hospitals.
Six AYUSH medical officers, one each from the six hospitals, apart from one from MGM government hospital, are currently undergoing a four-month varma training programme at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial (MGM) government hospital. The programme was launched by Trichy collector K Rajamani in June and will conclude by the end of September. Training will be given on Tuesdays and Fridays.
Currently, for the four districts, only MGM government hospital has varma therapy facility. According to AYUSH officials, around 100 people approach MGM government hospital for varma therapy daily while only 50 to 60 are being given treatment owing to space and staff crunch. The treatment is provided from Tuesday to Friday every week.
Dr S Kamaraj, district siddha medical officer for Trichy, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Karur said that despite good demand providing varma therapy at MGM government hospital was proving to be an ordeal. “On an average, around 1,400 patients from the four districts come for varma treatment per month and just one room to provide treatment. With just one specialist doctor and three therapists, treatment is being provided to 1,000 patients. This is why we decided to expand the treatment in other government hospitals,” Kamaraj told TOI.
He added that after completion of the training programme subsequent batches from other hospitals would be selected and a similar programme would be continued. “A lot of patients for varma treatment are from rural areas and that is why we wish to expand treatment in other government hospitals and primary health centres,” Kamaraj said.
The government hospitals that would start offering varma therapy include Karur GH and Manmangalam GH in Karur district, Karai GH and Perambalur GH in Perambalur district, Kulithalai GH in Trichy district and Meensurutty GH in Ariyalur district.
Speaking about varma therapy, AYUSH medical officer and varma specialist Dr Merlin Dora said that the therapy is a very effective form of additional treatment for pain management. “A lot of patients with pain/aches have been cured effectively through varma therapy at MGM government hospital so far. But varma therapy should only be done by professionals, else it wouldn’t be effective or sometimes even cause harm to patients,” she added.
What is varma therapy?
According to varma therapy specialist Dr Merlin Dora, varma therapy, derived from Varma Kalai, is based on providing relief by stimulating pressure points (varmam) in the body.
Each therapy session lasts for almost 15 minutes and the treatment is spread across a maximum of 10 sessions.
A method called ‘thodu varmam’ is performed on patients with acute pain, while ‘padu varmam’ is provided for patients with chronic pains.