If you have looked into Ayurveda, chances are that you have heard of the doshas. Perhaps it was the concept of the doshas that got you intrigued and wanting to learn more about Ayurveda?

The Doshas

The doshas are a concept to explain the energies that govern the mind & body of an individual.

The 3 doshas are: Vata, Pitta and Kapha.

We are born with all 3 doshas; however, these vary in degrees making us all unique and individual.

Our Prakriti is our natural doshic state, the one that we were born with. Ayurveda teaches us that if a dosha is increased beyond its original proportion it can foster an environment where disease and mental challenges can develop.

Your imbalanced state is called your Vikruti Dosha.

The 6 stages of disease manifestation:

Ayurveda recognises 6 stages of disease manifestation. One of the wonderful things about ayurvedic medicine is that you can detect and treat early stages before they manifest into full disease. Ayurveda offers preventative medicine as well as a treating approach.

The earlier dis-ease is detected, the easier to treat and manage, the better the results.

1. Accumulation (Sanchaya) – the dosha becomes aggravated & accumulates in its own ‘site. This can be due to improper diet, environment/season, poor lifestyle choices, psychological disturbance etc.

2. Provocation (Prakopa) – Begins to ‘rise’ in its own container. This stage is a result of repeating the things that are causing the accumulation of the dosha.

3. Spread (Prasara) – Doshas leave their site and seek other spaces in the body towards which they have an affinity. Signs and symptoms manifest in these ‘new areas’. This new site or “weak spot” is called a Khavaigunya. It is generally a spot in the body that has a weakness, defect, previous trauma, genetic predisposition, repressed or accumulation of emotions.

4. Deposition/localisation (Sthana Samshraya) – The doshas qualities increase in the Khavaigunya ‘weak spot’ tissues. The qualities of the dosha invade the tissue qualities. The dosha lodges in the immature tissue (asthayi dhatu) & try to enter the mature fully formed tissues (Sthayi Dhatu). The “seeds” of the disease begin to sprout. If the tissue agni is low the dosha overwhelms the tissue and changes its qualities. e.g Vata enters joint space – joints become dry & cold.

5. Manifestation (Vyakti) Entry of Doshas into Dhatu which changes its qualities. Signs and symptoms occur. This is usually the point at which people realise that something is wrong and seek medical attention. e.g Vata invaded asthi dhatu , pain & stiffness in joint – signs of osteoarthritis.

6. Differentiation/destruction of tissues and complications (Bheda) – Final expression of disease. Structural change manifests. Complications in other dhatus, organs and systems (srotas) become evident.

Reference: The Textbook of Ayurveda, Vol. 2, Dr Vasant Lad

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