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What TCM Body Constitution Am I?

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

In TCM we diagnose each patient according to the signs and symptoms they are currently portraying. Most often people are not always balanced and usually mixed. This is where ‘Yin and Yang’ come into play as I am sure you have seen the little yin yang symbol before, it is perfectly balanced. This is very rare with this day and age as there are so many internal and external factors that throw our bodies off such as environmental, eating habits, exercise or lack of and mental states.

Everyone’s body is different, so something that my body reacts to won’t be the same as yours exactly. Through thousands of years TCM has built a theory around body constitutions, similar to dosha’s if you are familiar with auryvedic medicine.

Your practitioner will look at a person’s body constitution as constantly changing like the waves we ride through this crazy life we live. Your body is not the same as it was 5 years ago or 5 days ago but with helping ourselves through diet and lifestyle changes we can completely change it from 5 years, days, minutes ago. You choose what you want and I am here to guide you with ancient wisdom from thousands of years ago. When you see me at the clinic we will do an intensive initial assessment and I will diagnose your body's system. This assessment will include recommendations on diet, lifestyle, supplements (click link to get 15% off pharmacy grade supplements) or Chinese Herbs, exercise and general health and wellness tips. To book an appointment return to home page.

TCM body constitutions:

1. Neutral type - Yin and Yang are balanced (RARE)

Individuals have a strong physique, stable emotional or mental state and feel optimistic. They often present with lustrous complexion and hair, bright eyes, proper senses of smell and taste, red and moisture lips, uneasy to feel fatigue, good sleep and appetite, normal bowel and urinary habits. They are adaptable to environmental changes.

2. Qi deficient type

Individuals tend to have flabby muscles, and are introvert and timid in personality. They often present with feeble voice, shortness of breath, fatigue, catching cold or flu easily, sweating and teeth marks in the tongue. They are sensitive to environmental changes. Since individuals are relatively weak in immune functioning, it usually takes a longer time for them to recover from illnesses.

3. Yang deficient type

Individuals tend to have flabby muscles, and are quiet and introvert in personality. They often complain about cold hands and feet, cold feeling in stomach, sensitive to low temperatures or noises, sleepiness, discomfort after eating cold foods, and a pale and bulky tongue. They often feel uncomfortable in windy, cold and humid environments. They are susceptible to health problems such as puffiness, diarrhea and excess throat secretions.

4. Yin deficient type

Individuals usually have a thin physique, and are outgoing and impatient in personality. They like to complain about warm palms and soles, mouth dryness, dry nose, preference for cold drinks, dry stools or constipation. They often feel uncomfortable in hot and dry environments. They are susceptible to cough, fatigue, seminal emission, insomnia, and some chronic conditions.

5. Phlegm & dampness type

Individuals are usually overweight and have tummy, they have a mild temper, steady and patient personalities. They often present with oily face, sticky or sweet taste in the mouth, excessive throat secretion, sweating, chest stuffiness, preference for sweet and greasy foods, and a thick tongue coating. They often feel uncomfortable in humid and rainy environments. They are susceptible to diabetes, metabolic syndrome or cardiovascular diseases.

6. Damp-heat type

Individuals are either with a normal or thin physique, they tend to be irritable and short-tempered. They often present with an oily face that erupts acne or pimple frequently, a bitter or strength taste in the mouth, fatigue or heaviness of the body, uncompleted feeling after defecation or dry stools, yellow urine, excess vaginal discharges in female, wet scrota in male, and a yellow and greasy tongue coating. They are sensitive to humid and hot environments especially in late summer or early autumn. They are susceptible to skin problems and urinary difficulties (UTI’s especially).

7. Blood stasis type

Individuals tend to be impatient and forgetful. They often present with a dull complexion, spots on the face, dark-red lips, dark circles under eyes, lusterless or rough skin, unknown bruise on the body surface, and varicose veins. They often feel uncomfortable in cold environments. They are susceptible to bleedings, painful conditions, and abnormal growths (Cyst or fibroids most often).

8. Qi stagnation type

Individuals are mostly thin, and tend to be emotional unstable, melancholy or suspicious. They often present with a depressed mood, being nervous or anxious, timid, frequent sighing, and heart palpitations. They respond relatively poor to stressful situations, especially in winter and autumn and also rainy days. They are susceptible to insomnia, depression, anxiety disorder and breast lumps. Women often have qi stagnation leading up to the period, symptoms such as irritability and breast tenderness will be present.

9. Special constitution type or Combination

Individuals usually have inborn weakness, they are very sensitive to drugs, foods, smells, pollen or other environmental allergens. They often develop nasal congestion, sneezing, runny nose, panting, wheals, itchiness and even purple spots or patches under the skin. Common health problems among individuals are drug allergies, hay fever, eczema and asthma. They respond relatively poor to external influences, and their health problems can easily be induced by seasonal changes.

I want to emphasize that in reality, it is hard to classify into one type individually, as a mixed type is likely to present, for example, yin deficiency and damp-heat, qi deficiency and dampness, qi stagnation and blood stasis. For most people, consulting a TCM professional is the best way to know their body types. Book a online consult with me to determine your constitution or download my free e-book. I want you to feel empowered by your body.

Stay tuned for my e-book I am writing for more details on this subject!

Kelsey Bru is a licensed acupuncturist and TCM Herbalist in the Comox Valley, British Columbia. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to health and wellness through her online articles and at her clinic, The Remedy Room, on Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay. Call for an appointment at 250-800-7738.

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