HOW BIOCHARACTERISTICS CHANGE IN A PERSON (MUTAGENS, DOSHAS, TEMPERAMENTS)
In addition to studying biocharacteristics, we also want to know how biocharacteristics change and their mutability in the body.
A change is biocharacteristics is a change in accidental form, to use the language of Aristotelian metaphysics. It occurs when one substance communicates its form/nature to the client, affecting the client. For example, a hot being (the sun) communicates its heat to the client's being, making the client hot.
Many biocharacteristics have a functional relationship with each other - they change together not separately. Or a change in one effects a change in another.
For example, dryness creates degeneration, heat softens and causes penetration of tissues, oily foods cause heaviness, etc. Because of these functional relationships, simple biocharacteristics often mutate in common, predictable combinations.
Knowledge of these mutagenic processes greatly improves the predictive accuracy of the practitioner. Practitioners study these combinations and it is practical to name them. In Ayurveda these processes are called doshas. In Unani Tibb (Greek Medicine) they are called temperaments.
A dosha or temperament is an easily triggered mutagenic response by the body, a kind of process of the body that drives the expression of a particular, recognizable pattern of biocharacteristics. It may be compared to a set of levers that effects a change in state. Here are the most common mutagenic processes from Ayurveda and Unani Tibb (Greek Medicine):
Buffer Against a StresorMutagens are typically natural processes triggered to restore health and buffer the body against stressors. The range of faculties under each mutagenic type represent a strategic set of responses judged by the instinct as favorable or good for healing in a circumstance.
Vata immune responses often involve mobility, drying & activation. Pitta immune responses often involve heat, bile and inflammation. Kapha immune responses often involve mucus & growth.
Different kinds of stimuli provoke the different mutagenic types. Individual tend to respond habitually with the same mutagens again and again, and this frequent, repetitive expression of particular biocharacterisitcs becomes a disposition known as constitution. This is why the doshas and temperaments are frequently called 'body types.'
In each particular reflex response, a biochemical vehicle carries out the restorative & buffering action. For example, particular molecules trigger the operations of the inflammatory cascade. The practitioner learns how to treat the phenomenon even when the biochemicals are unknown or complex.
Side EffectsTypically, the healing action of mutagens also produces side effects (Example: Vata hyperactivity, Pitta inflammation, Kapha mucus buildup). These side effects frequently need to be cleared or cleansed from the body as they build up, or else they cause harm (example: byproducts of inflammation).
The mutagenic response may be excessive, insufficient, or entirely unhelpful in a circumstance (Example: cytokine storm). Thus, to support the body, the practitioner will attempt to guide the instinctual response and temper it. Treatment is accomplished by stimulating or reducing a biocharacteristic (both simple, or complex) that triggers the mutagen.
Treatment will typically target the entire category of mutagens, stimulating or downregulate the response. Or, treatment will cleanse the side-effects, or may improve the quality of the response. The biocharacteristic theory of medicine groups phenomena strategically for ease of treatment of a range of bodily phenomenon.
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