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 nine different body constitutions CLICK HERE.
How can I find out my own Body Constitution
First of all you have to find out which of the nine body constitutions you possess. You have three options:
1. Test yourself – try to find which characteristics your body has and compare them with those characteristics of the nine body constitutions.
2. Visit a clinic that provides body constitution diagnosis – hospitals such as Tung Hua Group of Hospitals in Hong Kong provide certain body constitution diagnosis services, but they are often time intensive and cost around a few hundreds of Hong Kong dollars.
3. You can complete the Oriental Balance online diagnosis test on our website – With the help of our questionnaire we will find out what your body constitution is. After you finish the test a report that provides useful tips will be made available to you! CLICK HERE to access the test!
How can I achieve a state of balance?
Once you know your own body constitution you can bring it in line with your environment and adapt your lifestyle accordingly. Hence, you can balance your body, prevent diseases, feel better and improve your overall health.
Due to the different body constitutions, different approaches may lead to improved health. In general you can adapt your lifestyle and your drinking and eating habits in order to balance your body. Moreover different types of sports are appropriate for different body constitutions. In some cases it might be useful to do very intensive sports, whereas less intensive and more calming activities support other body constitutions.
You can also leverage the natural healing power of herbs, or try acupuncture or moxibustion, which are the common practices that the Chinese use to remain balanced. Furthermore, you could take a look at our Oriental Balance Shop, which contains a variety of useful products which can help you to achieve your own state of balance.