Kalari Chikitsa

Traditional Indian Sports Medicine

What is Kalari Chikitsa?

Kalari Chikitsa is an ancient system of musculoskeletal treatments. Originating in Kerala in Southern India, Kalari Chikitsa was developed to benefit the warriors of Kalaripayattu. The techniques that were used to treat the ancient warriors are also highly effective in the treatment of modern day aches, pains and injuries.

Kalari Chikitsa was used by the ancient warriors to:

  • Treat their injuries sustained during training or combat.
  • Treat the conditions that affected their performance ability.
  • Prevent injuries and prepare their bodies for training or combat.
  • Improve their skills by increasing strength and flexibility.

These treatments continue to be given in Kerala’s martial arts centres today. The Kalaripayattu master plays the dual role of a martial arts teacher and a healer. While still used to support the martial artist’s training, Kalari Chikitsa also helps a wider range of people, who come to see the master with their injuries and pain related conditions.

The wisdom of Kalari Chikitsa has been passed down through the generations, from master to student. The founder of Kalari Ayurveda Centre, Master Biju Nair is part of this lineage and provides these treatments in Brisbane.

What can Kalari Chikitsa help with?

Evolved over thousands of years, this traditional form of medicine has been used to prevent and treat the injuries and improve the fighting skills of Kerala’s Kalaripayattu warriors.

Nowadays, Kalari Chikitsa can be applied to help a wider range of people and is highly effective in:

  • The treatment of aches, pains, injuries and movement dysfunctions such as:
    • Sports injuries including martial arts, dance and yoga
    • Musculoskeletal injuries and imbalances
    • Acute and chronic pain
    • Muscle and joint pain and stiffness
    • Back, neck, shoulder and knee
    • pain
    • Frozen shoulder
    • Sciatica
    • Arthritis
    • Plantar fasciitis
    • Repetitive strain injuries
  • Reducing the risk of injuries
  • Enhancing physical performance
  • Increasing body flexibility, agility and strength
  • Preparing the body for strenuous exercise
  • Maintaining optimal health.

How does Kalari Chikitsa work?

Kalari Chikitsa is a complete system of traditional medicine. It includes a range of massage techniques, marma applications, herbal oils, herbal pastes and poultices. Herbal medicine and dietary restrictions are also prescribed when necessary.

With the array of methods available, treatments are customised to the individual, their condition and goals.

As a practical manual therapy, massage is a primary element of Kalari Chikitsa. The two types of massage are Kalari Marma Massage and Chavutti Thirummal.

Kalari Marma Massage

Kalari Marma Massage is an ancient south Indian warrior massage specially developed to treat and prevent injuries and pain related conditions.

Chavutti Thirummal

Chavutti Thirummal is an ancient south Indian warrior massage specially developed to increase flexibility, agility and strength.
To find out more about how Kalari Chikitsa can help you

More about Kalari Chikitsa

Kalari Chikitsa as a sports medicine

For the ancient warriors of Kerala, Kalari Chikitsa treatments were of primary importance to survival on the battlefield. Today, whilst no longer on the battlefield, the martial artists still use these treatments to support the strenuous daily training required to master their art.

Why traditional medicine making is part of Kalaripayattu training

Herbal medicine has always been a part of Kalaripayattu, the traditional martial art of Kerala. For a Kalaripayattu student, traditional medicine making is an integral element of their physical and mental training.

Marma in Kalari Chikitsa

At Kalari Ayurveda Centre, marma applications are an important part of our treatments for injuries and pain related conditions. Our method of marma applications comes from the martial arts tradition in Kerala, southern India.



Kalaripayattu develops the body and mind through a powerful flowing practice. It is a comprehensive system that was originally designed to create an expert warrior. Classes are available at our Brisbane school, Australian School of Kalaripayattu.
kalari ayurveda centre
Kalari Ayurveda Centre provides the traditional Indian healing systems of Ayurveda and Kalari Chikitsa with experience, expertise and an emphasis on tradition.




30-32 Nandala Drive,
Tanah Merah,
Queensland, Australia.

© 2013-2024 Kalari Ayurveda Centre and Australian School of Kalaripayattu  ABN 25 024 709 165

Website by Belinda Nair.