Khyâl Cap

Cambodians greatly fear khyâl attacks, or “wind” attacks. Most Cambodians consider khyâl to be a potentially pathogenic element. In healthy states, khyâl, a wind-like substance, flows throughout the body alongside the blood and exits the body in several ways: by passing through the hands and feet, by exiting through the skin pores located all over the body, by the action of burping, or by downward movement through the gastrointestinal tract. Sometimes, the normal flow of khyâl suddenly becomes disturbed and it can surge upward in the body toward the head, often accompanied by blood, to cause many symptoms and possibly various bodily disasters (see Figure 1 and Table 1). This event is referred to as khyâl cap, “caught by khyâl,” or kaeut khyâl, literally “to ...

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