It may be considered that the doshas arise out of clinical observation of things that go together. eg people with heavy build and oily skin are less prone to arthritis. While lean, long limbed people with dry skin are more inclined to get it. Over time these observations are drawn together and then overlaid by philosophical ideas to form an explanatory system which cannot be supported by clinical evidence. Trying to sort out the clinically relevent observation from the accumulated cultural overlay is an important strategy to use when trying to approach Ayurveda from a scientific point of view.

The general model of Ayurveda seems to allude to a set of underlying principles that suggest there are regularities of constitution {of physical makeup and organisation, of body and brain processes} which on the one hand are related to psychological/personality characteristics at the level of temperament, and on the other to susceptibility to some physical disorders.

So we might observe that thin people(Vata) are likely to be more anxious than heavily built people(Kapha) and that there is now a possible link between arthritis and anxiety.

So there is an implied appreciation that the relationship between psychology and ill health is not necessarily mediated directly, but via constitutional processes.

There is much for integrative thinkers to ponder in Ayurveda.If we are trying to build an integrated view of psychology, linking genetics to physical processes, to psychological characteristics, which are observed as personality variables, to behaviour and illness then we stand on the shoulders of clinical thinkers that have gone before, and we would do well to take their efforts seriously.

Similar ideas have appeared from time to time in our own discipline. For example William Sheldon's theory of somatotype and Eysecks personality theories have trodden partially similar ground. My feeling is they lacked the techniques to try and tie these relationships down. But with advances in genetics and brain imaging in particular we are moving towards a time we can look at these regularities afreshLifeartist 16:49, 29 July 2006 (UTC)

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