As in modern system of medicine, the subject internal or inner medicine commands major attention and study. In the same way, in Ayurveda also, kayachikitsa claims a major part of the system . In fact, no other branch of Ayurveda has claimed as much importance and attention as kayachikitsa.
The term kaya is derived from the root chitta chayane meaning to collect. The term collection refers here to food chiyete annadibhi. By implication, it will follow that kaya takes in food, digests, absorbs and metabolises it. Therefore, the term kaya means the building up of the body with food.
The two terms are usually used as synonyms of the term kaya i.e. sharira and deha. Since the term has instead been used, It should naturally be expected that this term should have some special merit, importance and significance which the other two terms possibly lack. It is necessary to examine the origin, meaning and significance of these two terms.
Sharira– The term sharira is derived from the root – shiriyte anena iti shariram meaning, to be rendered to pieces and conveys the idea underlying cetabolic processes.
Deha- The term is derived from the root dihey Ghana meaning to grow or to develop. By implication, the term deha would convey the idea underlying anabolic processes.
The body – A Product Of Nutrition
The body according to Ayurveda is the result or an outcome of nutrition. Disease on the other hand, is the result of mal and/or impaired nutrition.
Acharya charaka said that the body is product of food we take in erroneous or faulty. Diseases occur as the result of faulty nutrition. The distinction between pleasure (health) and pain (disease) arises as the result of difference between the wholesome and unwholesome diet.
The body is the outcome of the nutrition ingested in fourfold manner viz. eaten, drunk, licked, licked up and masticated. It is the distinction between the use of wholesome and unwholesome diet that is responsible for the distinction between health and disease.
The body inherited from the parents carries in each one of its innumerable cells a blue print of its own particular and special pattern of structural plan.As the cell of the body die, they are replaced by new ones of the species on the basis of the blue print. In other words new cells are born and they take the place of the old ones as quickly as the latter die.
Different acharyas have explained about kaya chikitsa in their own peculiar way. Acharya Vagbhatt gave the phrase:
|Nityopayogi durbodham sarvangvyapi bhawtah|
||Sangrahitam visheshen ytra kayachikitasitam||21||
Ref: Ashtang Sangrah Sutra Stahn 1/21
This means- which is used regularly, whose knowledge is very difficult to take and whose impression can be seen in all other branches of ayurveda, that kaya chikitsa is compiled by me in my granth (book).
Acharya Chakrapani described kayachikitsa as :
‘kayasya antaragnisch chikitsa’
This means- the treatment of agni (digestion power) is known as kayachikitsa. This shows Acharya gave emphasis on the importance of agni. In literal words, agni means fire. It is usually employed to cook our food and render it fit for digestion. Likewise, the digestion of food in the stomach and small intestine, involving the splitting of complex food substances into their simpler components so that they may be rendered fit for absorption and it is made possible with the help of agni present in our body.
Acharya Sushruta explained the term in relation to the disorders of the body:
‘Kayachikitsa naam sarvangsanshritanaam jwaratisarraktapittashoshonmadapasmaarkushtmehadinaam upsamnartham iti’
He said kayachikitsa is related to various systemic diseases such as jwara (fever), atisaar (dairrhoea), raktapitta (haemorrhagic diseases), shosh (emaciation), unmada & apasmaar (mental disorders), kushta (skin diseases), prameha (urinary disorders or diabetes) etc.
That is all in the box for you today.We will work and provide you with the best of this in our next post.Till then Stay tuned