Kayachikitsya Brief Introduction
Kayachikitsya is one of the eight branches of Ayurveda. This branch of Ayurveda deals with general medicine and general disease. It is the holistic approach to diseases and conditions rather than isolating the diseases and conditions as a separate unit. This form of chikitsya in Ayurveda uses a range of various techniques to cure the disease. The range of medications may include direct medicine, detoxification, lifestyle change, and so on.
The concept of Kayachikitsya
Ayurveda is dependent on the balance which it restores in our body through various procedures. One of the main causes of disbalance that causes various diseases in our body is due to the imbalance of fire element which in the Ayurvedic term we know as Agni. Agni is the element of the stomach and the disturbed Agni in the body is the cause for various diseases that are related to digestion, stomach, and other parts of the body.
Another name for Kaya is Agni and the Sanskrit meaning of chikitsya is medication. Together it becomes a fire medication, but it does not mean that in this medication fire is used to treat. No, in kayachikitsya various techniques and procedures are used to balance the fire element in the body.
The three Doshas
Three Doshas are present in our body. There are five elements in our body earth, water, fire, air, and space. Together they make the human body, and everything present in it. However, there is one little twist. They are indeed present in every human body, but the ratio and proportion of each element differ and are unique to that person. The proportion of the element in the body is known as Dosha.
There are three Dosha in total they are Vata, Pitta, and Khapa. They are also present in everybody and are in a unique amount. However, due to various reasons sometimes the amount of these Dosha changes than what should be. One increases and as a result, other decreases causing an imbalance in the body hence causing disease in the body.
Dosha and Kayachikitsya
When the Dosha inside the body becomes imbalanced various diseases occur inside the body. Kayachikitsya specializes in maintaining the amount of Doshas in the body. There are various rules, first examining the imbalance of which Doshas is creating problems in the body. Then there are various ways of decreasing the increased Dosha. Various detoxification methods are used to decrease the increased Dosha.
Charaka Samhita and Kayachikitsya
Chakra Samhita is the backbone of Kayachikitsya as it is one of the if not most important scripture written on Kayachikitsya. The book tells that the knowledge that the book possesses was first given by Atreya, and then later revised by Chakara. The knowledge of the book had been lost and only partial knowledge was present which was written by Drdha Bala to make the book whole again.
The scripture when translated converted into 8 books with 120 chapters. The books provide the detailed knowledge principle, procedure, identification of disease and cure that are present in Kayachikitsya.
The six stages of development of diseases according to Kayachikitsya:
This is the first step in the development of the disease according to kayachikitsya. According to Ayurveda, the disease develops in the body due to the imbalance of Doshas. In this stage, Doshas start to accumulate in various parts of the body where they should not accumulate.
This is the second stage of disease development according to Kayachikitsya. In this stage, nothing happens other than what was happening in the process of accumulation. In this also the Doshas keep on accumulation, but the course of accumulation goes so high that it gets to the abnormal level or spoiled level. We can simplify it like that, in the accumulation phase is the quantitative change in the Doshas while this stage is the qualitative change.
This is the stage where the Doshas that were collected in one place start to move to the various parts of the body. To this point, there was no significant symptom of the change of Dosha but from this point, little symptoms like pain in various body parts start to occur.
This is the point from which various symptoms of imbalanced Doshas start to occur. In this stage, Dosha now localizes the place where it should not be present. The Dosha that had been growing since the accumulation stage now starts to localize in a place which is not its own.
In this stage, the localized Dosha increases to the point where from the Dosha a disease manifests. When the disease manifests it shows clear symptoms of what it is and with good knowledge, it can be figured out what caused it. Allergy attacks and Sinusitis are some of the examples of this stage.
This is the ultimate stage of disease infestation as described by kayachikitsya. This is the most dangerous stage of this because the disease becomes permanently embedded into the body parts. It becomes hard for the healers to reverse the condition.
Kayachikitsya says that the process of disease infestation needs to be broken as early as possible and with its use, it can be disrupted as soon as it is discovered. Kayachikitsya takes the help of Panchakarma to reverse the progression of disease along with various other processes.