Chikitsa

Last Updated: December 2, 2019

Definition - What does Chikitsa mean?

Chikitsa is a Sanskrit term, broadly defined as 'therapy,' but also understood as the application of consciousness or caring. It is a concept prominent to all major Ayurvedic texts, many of which have a Chikitsa Sthana or 'section relating to therapy'. Chikitsa is used to refer to any type of treatment or therapy intended to correct an imbalance or manage a specific illness.

Yogapedia explains Chikitsa

Ayurveda takes a holistic and broad-based approach to health and healing. As such, Chikitsa therapies incorporate a wide range of techniques, including diet, massage, herbs, Panchakarma, Pranayama, Asana and even meditation.

Chikitsa can be classified into several sub-types:

  • Shodhana Chikitsa– treatments which focus on detoxification, purification and elimination of excess doshas
  • Shamana Chikitsa – palliative treatments used to address symptoms
  • Ahara Chikitsa - food-based treatments
  • Rasayana Chikitsa - rejuvenation therapy
  • Sattavajaya Chikitsa - psychological therapy

Regardless of the method, Chikitsa focuses on restoring equilibrium to body, mind, spirit and senses. This generally involves finding a relative balance between the three gunas, the seven dhatus, the three doshas and the fifteen sub-doshas, as a means of treating Vikriti (imbalance).

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