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What Your Body Tells the Healer

What Your Body Tells the Healer

An Ayurvedic healer starts reading your personality type as soon as you walk into his room. How does he do that? Well, ancient ayurvedic treatises have lengthy explanations of how your physical appearance is linked to your doshas.

First, your build:

  • A light, thin frame and unsure gait immediately classifies you as Vata
  • A medium frame with sharp features and a confident strideóthatís Pitta walking in.
  • A heavy set, shortish build with a leaisurely gait and a gentle smile: meet Kapha.

So now youíre sitting in front of the vaidya. He is noticing every facial feature. It’s fun (and informative!) to do this on your own, in front of a mirror:


  • Sharp nose: Pitta personality.
  • Stubby, blunt nose: Kapha dosha predominance.
  • A crooked, pert nose indicates Vata


  • Dry, scanty eyelashes and small, muddy-ish eyes are a sign of Vata.
  • Long, moist eyelashes and sharp, reddish eyes: Pitta
  • Dark, lush eyelashes and large, limpid eyes: Kapha


  • Dry, chapped lips: Vata
  • Red lips with signs of inflammation along the corners: Pitta
  • Thick, moist lips: Kapha

Skin and Hair:

  • Rough, dry, thin skin and hair: Vata
  • Light-coloured hair, signs of greying or balding; reddish skin: Pitta
  • Wavy, thick and lustrous hair, shiny and dewy skin: Kapha

Putting his fingers on your pulse to read the inside story of your body, the vaidya is able to confirm what his eyes have told him. I find it fascinating that ayurvedic healers have arrived at these methods of diagnosis by sheer observation of humans across centuries. Can† laboratory research ever stand up against what time and wisdom have tested?



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Shubhra Krishan

Writer, editor and journalist Shubhra Krishan is the author of Essential Ayurveda: What it is and what it can do for you (New World Library, 2003), Radiant Body, Restful Mind: A Woman's book of comfort (New World Library, 2004), and The 9 to 5 Yogi: How to feel like a sage while working like a dog (Hay House India, 2011).


+ add your own
3:48PM PDT on May 20, 2013

Very interesting.

3:05AM PST on Jan 25, 2013


7:11AM PDT on Aug 1, 2012

good to know

4:27AM PDT on Jul 26, 2012


12:13PM PDT on Jul 14, 2012

I wish we in the west would include the many healing modalities from around the world..and that our MD's were open and willing partners in this as the way to most effectively be of true service to all who they serve... Working together is the only way to be really effective.

3:05PM PDT on Jul 5, 2012

a beautiful healing art

6:46AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012

Interesting. In a lot of other descriptions I have read, I haven't really fit any of the types, but apparently, I'm rather firmly in the kapha camp.

4:25AM PDT on Jul 2, 2012


4:08PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

I'm fascinated by traditional medicine, but I don't think we should promote the idea that modern scientific research can never understand it! That's what science is also about - understanding, and keeping on trying until we do!

12:04PM PDT on Jul 1, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

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