Kalari Chikilsa – one of the traditional forms of medicine of the Asian subcontinent

Since ancient times, various types of healing systems existed in the Asian Subcontinent. Regarded as alternative therapies in the modern age, the physical therapies, served the mankind to live healthy and happy. Kalari Chikilsa is one of the traditional forms of medicine of the Asian subcontinent. It is a form of physical therapy and a blend of martial arts, Ayurveda and Siddha medicine. Based on the historical references, Kalari Chikilsa has its origin in South India, aged more than 3000 years. In olden days, this therapy is called as Kalarippayat.

Kalarichikilsa is one of the branches of the martial arts Kalari. Kalari Chikitsa, Kalary therapy, marma chikilsa and simply Kalari also indicates this alternative medicine.

Kalari Chikilsa is influenced by Ayurveda and strongly focuses on orthopedics. Sports injuries, sprains, fracture, disc prolapse, arthritis, degeneration of bone, neuro-muscular disorders, musco-skeletal disorders, spinal cord disorders, and chronic bone injuries are treated.

How Kalari Chikilsa Works? 

Kalari therapy is about invoking the vital points called as Marmas in the body. A human body has 107 vital points. Having thorough knowledge about these vital points forms strong foundation to make this therapy very effective.

The basic principle of Kalari is all about stimulating and energizing the vital points. According to the Kalari Chikilsa, if one or more vital points are damaged or weakened, it leads to diseases. The therapy involves identifying the weak points and stimulating them to restore the health.

For instance, if you suffer from low back pain or sciatica, the vital points corresponding to the parts that are affected are stimulated. It reduces the inflammation, pain and strengthen the nerves and muscles.

So, this is not a therapy that works on symptoms, rather addresses the in-depth root that caused the disease.

Different Parts of Kalari Chikilsa 

Kalari therapy has various stages. Following are the various treatment methods employed in Kalari therapy.

Kalari Orthopedics

This is the core part of this therapy. It aims at setting the dislocated, fractured and injured bones intact and cures the neurological problems. Various plants, herbs, bark of trees, roots, etc are made into a paste using oil, ghee or buttermilk. The choice of medicinal ingredients used to make the paste is determined by the condition to be treated. The paste is applied on the damaged part to set the bone or damaged nerves.


It is nothing but Ayurvedic massage performed using medicated oils infused with healing herbs. The massage stimulates the circulatory system, strengthen the muscles and energize the nervous system in the body.


Kizhi refers to a poultice made of herbs and leaves from medicinal plants. The poultice is dipped in hot medicated oil or ghee and applied on the painful areas. The combination of the herbs, oil and plants are determined based on the individual’s needs and diseases addressed. This therapy lubricates the weak joints and bones.

Who can benefit the most from Kalari Therapy? 

Those who suffer from bone, muscles and nervous problems can make the most of Kalari Chikilsa.

  • Those who frequently travels or drive for long hours
  • Those who sit for hours, most of the day (obviously, everyone who has a computer before them)
  • Sportsmen and athletes
  • Those who are stressed (stress affects the neck, shoulder and spine)
  • Artists, musicians, painters, writers, etc (who works for several hours a day with hands )

Kalari Chikilsa rejuvenates the whole body and soothes the mind. All treatment plans are derived based on the health condition, body constitution and requirement of the individuals


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