of us has a unique and recognizable constitutional type which, according
to Chinese Medicine, is as permanent as our genetic pattern or blood
type. By knowing your body type, you and your health practitioner will
understand how climate, food, herbs, medicines and other people will
affect you natural energy field. This leads to harmony with Nature.
Since disease (or dis-ease) is usually the result an acute or long term
imbalance, by knowing your Five Element body type you can learn to take
the appropriate healing action with the help of a qualified
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), a 2,500 plus year-old system of
healing, there are five basic constitutional types, based on the five
Chinese elements: water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. Balancing these
elements is a key to maintaining health. To find out which element(s)
you may need to balance, look over the characteristics below. Five
Element Healing principles help the practitioner to gain an
understanding of the constitutional strengths and weaknesses of each
individual. This understanding in turn helps the patient to gain a
greater understanding of themselves.
constitutional types below
What Constitutional Type(s) Are You?
Click on a Constitutionl Type below to learn more
symbolically represents fluidity, or the ability to "go with the
flow." Hence, if you're person who is like water you will be yielding,
flexible, and easy-going. You may also be timid, fearful and
"wishy-washy" at times. This is why an excess of fear is thought to be
harmful to the kidneys and bladder, the organs logically associated
with the water element in Chinese medicine.
The kidneys do more than eliminate waste water, however. They also
regulate pH in the blood and maintain fluid and mineral balance. This
helps explain to how the kidneys in Chinese medicine also came to be
associated with the bones. Weak kidneys create weak bones. This is
because waste acids can't be flushed efficiently from the body causing
mineral loss from the bones.
When excess water
and water-like personality tendencies (timidity, fearfulness and
indecision) are too strong in the body, edema, scant or clear urine,
heavy sluggish feelings, bladder infections and burning urinations can
When there is a loss of water - quality in the body, this can create
brittleness and stiffness, spinal misalignment, chronic backache
(especially in the low back), weak knees and ankles, arthritis and
osteoporosis. Water people may lack "backbone" or have become so
hardened, inflexible and rigid in their thought processes that they
can no longer flow with the changes in their lives.
back to top
easy to relate to what the element of fire symbolizes in the body. We
talk about an excited person as being "all fired up" or a passionate
person as being "hot" or "on fire." Fire is the element of enthusiasm,
drive, desire, and passion. If you are a person who is full of fire
you will be lively, dynamic, outgoing and enthusiastic. When that fire
is deficient, you'll feel "burned out."
In Chinese medicine, fire relates to the heart and circulatory system.
Fire also relates to the nerves and glands, although in traditional
Chinese medicine they didn't really understand the function of the
nerves and glands, so they called these systems the triple warmer and
sex energy. Still, it's pretty easy to understand that an excess of
"fire" in Chinese medicine refers to a high-strung, highly stressed
A person with excess fire might experience anxiety, insomnia,
absent-mindedness, extremes of emotion, nervousness and tension,
dizziness, light-headedness, mania or even heart palpitations.
A person who has lost their fire would feel "burned-out."
This manifests as fatigue with restless and disturbed sleep patterns.
The person feels overwhelmed, tired, nervous but exhausted, and may
suffer from emotional sensitivity, muddled thinking, mental confusion,
loss of short term memory, loss of sexual desire, and sensations of
pressure and pain in the chest that make them feel like something is
wrong with their heart.
back to top
Maybe you're not
the "fired-up" kind. Maybe you're more "down to earth." Earth
symbolizes the nurturing mother energy, sympathetic, prone to worry
and fret and maybe over-motherly to the point point it's smothering
sometimes. Earth people tend to try to do too much for others and wind
up stressed as a result.
Considering the associations of earth with mothering, it's very easy
to understand how this earth energy could be associated with our
digestive system, the stomach and pancreas (or spleen in Chinese
medicine). The stomach receives our food and initiates the digestive
process required to nourish us. The pancreas secretes enzymes to
finish the process.
However, the Chinese concept doesn't stop with digestion. In Chinese
medicine, the spleen was thought to be the organ that transforms the
food we eat into flesh of muscle mass. So, the entire process of
metabolizing food, and protein in particular, is associated with the
Chinese concept of spleen.
We all recognize that worry and stress create stomach upset. "Don't
worry too much, it will give you an ulcer." It's not a good idea to
eat when we feel rushed and stressed, but in today's face-paced,
fast-food world, many of us do it anyway. As a result we often wind up
with a sour stomach, bloating, gas, and other signs of digestive
The Spleen Type may experience occasional acute indigestion (acid
stomach, acid reflux, gas, bloating, foul belching, etc.). This type
usually has a "do it all" kind of attitude where they take on too much
trying to help other people. As a result they wind up with worry,
stress and the frequent digestive upset that accompanies it.
The Earth person often has weakened digestion and poor metabolic
efficiency, so they are not assimilating nutrients - especially
protein. They tend to be thin, pale and unable to gain muscle mass and
have a difficult time transforming food into energy.
back to top
Metal is the stuff
that swords and shields are made of, so it should be of little
surprise that the guarded, aloof, socially-correct person has a lot of
"metal" in them. If you're a metal person, you may have a lot of
unacknowledged grief and sadness inside, so you may have shielded
yourself to avoid experiencing more emotional pain.
The Chinese associate the metal element with the lungs and colon, but
it might be more correct to say that metal element is related to the
mucus membranes which line both of these systems. These mucus membrane
linings in the digestive tract, lungs, and sinuses are the body's
first line of immune defense. Most infections will enter through this
route. So, metal is also symbolic of our immune response - swords and
Metal invokes ideas of substance, structure and strength. The metal
element is associated with autumn because this is the time of year
when all things begin to consolidate within themselves. A metal person
would begin to pull all reserves and store up for the coming winter.
Although life appears to fade on the surface, it is still present,
deep within things.
Metal Types have a tendency toward acute respiratory congestion,
bronchitis, asthma, wheezing, coughing, allergies, sinus headaches,
etc... and often need help opening up congested respiratory passages.
Metal Types may also experience chronic weakness of the lungs,
prolonged grieving, chronic deep coughs, tightness of the chest and
other conditions which suggest chronic weakness of the metal energy in
the body, so supporting metal strengthens this primary line of immune
defense. This can also help deeply repressed grief and sadness and the
inability to express this emotional pain for those tend to be aloof
and emotionally distant.
back to top
symbolic of life and the process of renewing life. In Chinese
philosophy, it is associated with assertiveness, aggressiveness,
strong drives and anger. When the wood element is weak, that drive is
diminished, making a person feel discouraged or depressed, If you are
a wood person, you are prone to these types of emotional responses.
Wood relates to the organs of the liver and gallbladder. The liver is
the biochemical mastermind of the body. It is the major center for
neutralizing environmental toxins and the primary organ for preparing
nutrients for transport though the bloodstream, this is why the
Chinese say the liver builds the blood. The gallbladder helps digest
fats, which are essential to healthy skin, nerves and glands. It also
serves as an avenue for eliminating certain types of toxins.
When the liver is stressed and overworked, a Wood person will tend to
feel irritable and cranky. They may be restless and unable to get to
sleep at night, but feel groggy and "hung over" in the morning.
Hypoglycemia, migraine headaches, PMS symptoms, allergies, abdominal
pain and skin conditions can all occur when the liver is thus
burdened. The wood excess type needs support in reducing excess wood
energy, and support of the liver and gallbladder in reducing the toxic
load in the body.
People who are deficient in wood energy experience weakness in the
liver and gallbladder. This results in an inability to move forward in
a constructive manner and possible feeling of discouragement and
depression. Physically, this chronic weakness of the liver and
gallbladder energy would result in fatigue, vague health problems
(that doctors say are "all in their head"), menstrual problems
in women, intestinal inflammation, abdominal pain, chronic liver
problems, anxiety, depression, low energy and digestive problems.
back to top
By utilizing Chinese
Medicine Techniques, Autonomic Response Testing (Applied Kinesiology),
and food allergy/intolerance testing, Dr. Price can quickly and easily
help you to gain a greater understanding of your constitutional
make-up. Constitutional dietary modifications, nutritional and natural
supplement therapies, homeopathic medicines, and vibrational therapies
may be indicated to bring your body, mind, spirit into greater balance
Street, Suite 302
Ph. 781 331-4500