I have just heard that our beloved Marma therapy trainer, Dr Ernst Schrott, has just passed away peacefully. I wrote the following some weeks ago:
Every now and then you meet someone who has been sprinkled with fairy dust, and you can’t quite understand how they can be living both on some kind of a celestial plane and at the same time here on earth. This is how I felt when I came across my Sukshma Marma Therapy teacher, Dr Ernst Schrott.
I had just gone on my first course to learn about Marma Therapy, in Watford, just half an hour from Heathrow airport where I had landed on a plane from Delhi a couple of hours before the course started. In the seminar room where the course was about to begin was a group of slightly nervous students, who did not know what to expect.
In walked a warm and friendly man who explained that Sukshma (the word means ‘gentle’) Marma Therapy was simple, natural, easy to learn and very effective. He explained what the Marmas were and how we should treat them. And then… he offered to demonstrate the technique and asked for a volunteer.
A lady put up her hand and explained that she had been involved in three road traffic accidents some years ago, which had resulted in whiplash injuries and she had very limited movement in her neck, experienced back pain and pain in the shoulders. Ernst invited her to come to the front and, while at the same time explaining what he was doing to all the students and also speaking to the patient to ask how she felt as the treatment proceeded, did very simple movements using aromatherapy blends on the Marma points of her back, arms and neck.
After 20 minutes’ treatment, with no fuss, no drama, she was able to move her head to the left and right, forward and backward, and the pains had gone. A miracle had just taken place in front of my eyes – I was hooked!
These little miracles happened during most of the courses – another one took place at the end of a course, when one of the hotel staff had been asked to come in and take a group photo. The best position to take the photo would have been standing on a chair, but she didn’t want to do that because she had fallen from a chair and hurt her back some months previously.
After the group photo, Ernst asked her about her back – she had fallen and had experienced back pain for months. Her GP had referred her to hospital for scans, but the scans did not show anything specific. She had been given some exercises and some pain medication, and that was it. Her back hurt every day.
Ernst reassured her, took some oil and did a couple of circles over two key Marmas in the back and – something relaxed in that area and she said the pain had gone. We spoke to her later that afternoon and she had no pain. Amazing.
A third example was a friend of mine, now in his late 60s, who had been a keen tennis player in his youth but, in his 20s, had a frozen shoulder first on one side and then on the other. For decades he had been unable to lift his arms above his shoulders. Ernst did a few little touches here and there and suddenly he was able to lift his arms much higher. He did in fact go for a couple of days to Ernst’s practice in Germany for additional treatments and then we saw him again, and this time he was able to lift his left arm vertically above his head, and the right arm about 30 degrees off vertical (Ernst joked that this was not a good look in Germany…)
These three examples are all musculoskeletal issues, but Ernst was also able to help with many other conditions, including deep-rooted emotional trauma, and these sessions, in addition to being extraordinary, were some of the most moving.
In addition to his skills with Marma Therapy, Dr Ernst Schrott was also a brilliant pulse diagnostician – this is a skill called Nadi Vigyan in Ayurveda, and involves placing three fingers (index, middle and ring fingers) on a patient’s wrist and feeling the different values and levels of the pulse in a systematic and at the same time intuitive way to provide a complete diagnosis, including such details as which tooth had an infection or where in the spine there was a blockage.
Ernst had studied with India’s leading expert in this field, Dr Triguna, who used to see several hundred patients a day using this diagnostic technique.
Dr Schrott had studied medicine, then complementary medicines such as acupuncture, and then, working with another well-known Indian doctor, Dr Ramanuja Raju, had developed Marma Therapy, which he initially called Sukshma (Sanskrit for ‘gentle’) Marma Therapy and was later incorporated into Maharishi Ayurveda.
He wrote the brilliant Marma Therapy handbook: ‘The Healing Power of Ayurvedic Vital Point Massage’. It was my privilege to work with him on the translation of this book from German into English. Connecting by Skype, we went through every sentence in that book together several times over a period of a year. He always made sure the text conveyed the exact meaning.
Dr Ernst Schrott also wrote many books on Ayurveda and is currently in the process of completing and publishing a digital encyclopaedia of some 800 medicinal plants used in Ayurveda, giving their Sanskrit, Latin, English, Malayalan and German names, photos of the plants, indications for their use, which of the 1400 traditional formulations in the Ayurvedic Formulary they are used in, details of scientific research on the effects of the plants, and much more besides.
Whenever I speak to someone who attended Dr Schrott’s courses, the conversation always goes: weren’t we lucky to have been to his courses – the atmosphere created on those courses was just heavenly.
And this was his gift to us and the world: using the techniques and approach he taught us, Marma therapists are able to bring about amazing improvements in their clients while at the same time giving them a taste of heaven. As a client wrote to me last week: ‘I did just want to say a massive thank you for my time in Heaven yesterday – I am still revelling in it’.
Postscript: last Friday I was thinking of a subject for the next Meditators’ meeting, and nothing came to me. Eventually I looked at Dr Tony Nader’s website, and decided to refer to his talk on the theme: ‘How to deal with loss’. I didn’t understand at the time why I had chosen this subject, I thought it would be relevant for other people. I didn’t know it was for me and all those who knew Dr Ernst Schrott.