Why Body Constitution Matters

AC on or off?


Why do you think two people in the same room under the same circumstances can feel different about the temperature? One of them feels hot, and yet the other feels cold. Or why do you think one person adheres to strict diets but fails to shed any pounds, whereas another person can eat what he or she wants without gaining any weight? Or what about ageing; how is it some people age faster than others?


The Concept of Body Constitution in Chinese Medicine

The concept of body constitution represents a starting point in coming to any answer for these questions. Every individual has his or her unique body, which reacts in a specific way to environmental influences. Therefore, an essential factor to prevent disease, leverage health and balance your body is to understand your own body, its characteristics and how your body constitution is related to your genes, your way of life, and your environment. See your body as your individual earth – these factors dictate what to seed and how to grow and feed it.

One Disease, Different Remedy

A common practice in traditional Chinese Medicine is roughly translated as “Different remedy for the same disease and same remedy for different disease”. Why a different remedy? One main reason lies in the body constitution. Individuals may have the same disease, but their unique body constitution necessitates the use of different remedies that not only work with the symptom but also deal with the root cause, the imbalance in the body constitution. This is why you will see so much variation in Chinese Medicine herbal remedies to treat the same common illnesses, such as flu.


Different Disease, One Remedy

When would it be appropriate to use the same remedy for different diseases then? You might have gotten the answer already. Under the circumstance that those afflicted with a particular disease are of the same body constitution. For example acne and athlete’s foot appear to be totally different ailments on the surface. In fact, the root cause is the same; having a hot and humid body constitution. So the herbal remedy of the China Pearl tea, which cools the body and dries internal dampness, will work effectively for both issues.

The 9 Chinese Medicine Body Constitutions

The concept of body constitution has existed in China for thousands of years. It originated from the famous Chinese Medicine book, Huang Di Nei Jing. The latest and most influential reference on Body Constitution in Chinese Medicine is based on government-funded research done by Wang Qi at the Beijing University of Chinese Medicine over the last 30 years. This research has since become the standard for diagnosis and treatment of Body Constitutions in Chinese Medicine. By integrating contemporary knowledge of genes, bodily shape and functions, the spirit and mind, as well as one’s mental profile, nine broad categories of body constitution have been derived. Among them one is balanced and the other eight have different imbalance in Yin, Yang, Qi and blood. Each of the body constitutions has specific characteristics which relate to one’s lifestyle, and each interacts differently with its environment. One can achieve a balanced constitution by adapting his or her  lifestyle and dietary habits. For more information about the different body constitutions CLICK HERE.