Article by Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ay) and Dr Manasa, B.A.M.S
Nabhi means umbilicus or navel region. It is an important structure from the embryological point of view. Through the umbilicus, umbilical cord connects the fetus to the mother. Blood vessels passing through the placenta and umbilical vessels nourish the child in the womb.
It is also said to be a place through which emotions of the mother are bartered with the child. According to Ayurveda it is the site of origin of Siras i.e. blood vessels, veins to be precise.
It is predominantly made up of Siras (veins) and is one of the delicate and vital points of the body.
पक्व आमाशययोः मध्ये सिरा प्रभवा, नाभिः तत्र अपि सध्यो मरणम्।(सु.शा.६)
Table of Contents
Nabhi or umbilicus is situated in between Pakwashaya (large intestine, colon) and Aamashaya (small intestine) in the abdominal area. It is predominantly made up of Siras (veins). Nabhi also gives origin to blood vessels mainly veins. Injury to the Nabhi Marma leads to immediate death. Nabhi is located in the Madhya Shareera (trunk, abdomen to be precise).
Categories in which the Nabhi Marma is included
- i) Madhya Shareera Gata Marma, Udara Gata Marma (Madhya Shareera = Middle portion of the body, trunk, Udara = abdomen)
- ii) Siraa Marma – Nabhi marma is predominantly made up of Sira i.e. veins, which form the structural component of this Marma. Therefore it is classified under Siraa Marma. The other elements namely Snayu (ligaments) and Mamsa (muscles) are also present but in a lesser proportion.
iii) Sadhyo Praanahara Marma – (Sadhyo – Immediate, Pranahara – life taking) Nabhi Marma possesses a threat to life immediately after getting injured.
Pramana (measurement of Nabhi Marma) –
Nabhi Marma occupies a space of 4 angula dimension (approximately equal to the horizontal dimension or breadth of middle segment of one’s own middle finger)
Effect of Injury
तत्र अपि सध्यो मरणम्।(सु.शा.६)
Injury of Nabhi Marma causes immediate death.
Causes for death:
Koshta abhighata – trauma to the important organs of the abdomen
Rakta srava – excessive bleeding due to the injury to the greater blood vessels of the abdomen
Modern Perspective (Practical anatomy) of Nabhi Marma
Structures falling in the area of Nabhi Marma –
- Navel region, umbilicus
- Rectus abdominis muscle
- Rectus sheath (envelope which covers the rectus abdominis muscle)
- Inferior epigastric artery
- Inferior epigastric vein
Though all the elements which comprise a marma i.e. snayu (ligaments), mamsa (muscles) asthi (bones) and sandhi (joints) are all present in the site of this Marma, it is predominant in the Sira or blood vessels vis-à-vis veins making up the Nabhi i.e. umbilicus, therefore it is a Sira Marma.
When Nabhi marma gets damaged, the effect of injury will chiefly involve the important veins located in the vicinity of Nabhi in comparison to the extent of damage caused to other tissues.
Just Before Finishing
Nabhi or Navel region is said to be the origin of Siras or veins in Ayurveda. Though we don’t see this practically when viewed through modern anatomical point of view, we can understand the concept by the virtue of embryological blood flow. The fetal circulation takes place through the umbilicus and the child gets the nutrition through the blood vessels carrying blood and nutrition from the mother to the child through the umbilical cord. Umbilical cord forms the link between the fetus and mother. From this point of view Ayurveda has said that it is the root of siras. Injury to Nabhi Marma can be inferred to cause an indirect damaging impact on the blood vessels vis-à-vis veins.
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