There are approximately 8 billion people on the planet. Of course everybody is unique like a snowflake. But according to traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), all 8 billion of us can be divided into 9 constitutional types.
On the most basic level, these different types, known as “Ti Zhi” in TCM, distinguish between physical differences, i.e. fat and thin, short and tall, oily and dry skin, etc.
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the study of constitutional types in Chinese medicine is promoting health. Ti Zhi has developed over 2000 years. And in that time, TCM sages have learned which health imbalances most affect particular constitutional types.
Your specific constitutional type determines your skin complexion, physique, personality traits, and Yin-Yang balance
While it’s certainly possible for more than one type to develop, say, blood sugar problems, TCM experts pay attention to Ti Zhi in order to recommend herbal formulas to help patients maintain Yin-Yang balance.
Each constitutional type is guided more strongly by one of the Five Elements (Wood, Metal, Fire, Earth, Water). Your specific type determines your skin complexion, physique, personality traits, and Yin-Yang balance.
Not only is Ti Zhi used by TCM experts for illness prevention, it’s also a system to make diet and exercise recommendations.
Your constitutional type is determined by the strength and abundance of organs and substances. Keep in mind that while you are born with a certain type, over the years, you can morph into another type. It’s important to learn your type so that you can maintain Yin-Yang balance to prevent illness.
Let’s explore the different constitutional types.
TCM Constitutional Types
The 9 TCM Constitution Types are:
- Qi deficient
- Yang deficient
- Yin deficient
- Blood stasis
- Qi stagnation
- Special type
People of a neutral type have perfectly-balanced Yin-Yang. As a result, they have abundant Qi and Blood, a strong physique, and are emotionally stable. Neutral types also have normal, healthy bowel movements as well as healthy looking skin and lustrous hair. Most often, sleep quality is good, as is appetite. If you are someone of this type, lucky you and congratulations.
As the name implies, people with this type lack sufficient Qi. This means that lack of energy is a persistent problem. Qi deficient types tend to be shy and introverted and tend to get sick more easily. And when they do get sick, it takes Qi deficient types, who usually are flabby, longer to recover.
If it’s impossible for you to wake up in the morning, and just walking up a flight of stairs seems like you just ran a marathon, or if it’s even a chore to strike up a conversation, you may benefit from our formula QiVive.
This type shares characteristics with Qi deficient type. Because Yang is associated with the property of heat, if someone is deficient in Yang energy, they tend to run cold. A frequent sign of imbalance for people of this type is loose stool, low back pain, and, in men, poor sexual performance.
If your hands and feet are persistently cold and you have no desire for intimacy, or if you have frequent discomfort in your lower back, YanVive may help rebuild your Yang energy.
Because Yin is the cooling property in TCM, people with Yin Deficiency struggle in hot environments. (Especially hot and dry places.) Usually, this type has a thin physique, has an impatient temperament, yet is outgoing in social situations.
If you feel like your body operates like a car engine that never turns off and lacks a cooling fan, you are likely of this type. Chances are, you’ll also have trouble with occasional sleeplessness, and you’ll feel thirsty even if you’re well hydrated.
If your engine needs a cool down, YinVive may help. Our Yin-nourishing formula may offer several benefits far beyond helping your body feel cooler. Because the Kidney organ is the source of Yin energy (as well as Yang), YinVive may help conditions associated with Kidney Yin energy, including sexual performance and hormonal balance.
Do you gain weight easily and sweat profusely, even if you’re not in a hot environment? If so, you’re of the phlegm-dampness type. The good news is that if you are of this type, you’re most likely steady and patient in temperament. However, because of phlegm-damp accumulation in your organs and tissues, you’re more prone to have blood sugar abnormalities and metabolic imbalances. Another sign that you’re of this type is if your skin tends to be excessively oily.
If you can relate to these signs and perhaps have problems with mobility or swelling in the extremities from water retention, our formula Wateroff and Weitalite may help eliminate phlegm-dampness.
If you have a thin physique but also have an oily skin complexion, you may also have excess dampness in the body. But unlike the phlegm and dampness type, which has a calm demeanor, if you have damp-heat accumulation in your body, you’re more likely to snap in anger in certain situations.
Let’s say someone cuts you off in traffic. Do you honk your horn and shout at the other person? And several hours later, are you still thinking about the incident? If so, you may be of this constitutional type. In addition, if you experience skin breakouts and feel run down often, these are good indications you may benefit from our Damp-Heat-clearing-formula, DampClear.
Blood stasis causes poor blood circulation. When you look in the mirror, do you notice that your skin is pale? Are there dark circles under your eyes? Is your skin dry, flaky or scaly? Are your eyes red or even bloodshot? Are your lips a dark red or purple hue? And do you bruise easily, oftentimes having no idea how you got the mark in the first place? Or, if you do get a cut, does it seem like it takes a long time for the bleeding to stop?
If you can relate to these symptoms, our formula CircuFine may help increase blood circulation throughout your body.
If you’re of this constitutional type, you’re not only tired, but the “stuck energy” that characterizes Qi stagnation will likely manifest as unbalanced emotions. For instance, if you frequently worry, have trouble getting good quality sleep, feel shy and scared, or if your spirit is low, your Qi may not be adequately flowing throughout your body.
Here’s another indication: even if you’re eating healthy foods, because your Qi is stagnant, your digestion is weak. That’s why you experience abdominal bloating often.
Our best-selling formula EaseTonic may help calm emotional distress and promote a more positive mood by dispersing stagnation and circulating Qi throughout the body.
Are you someone who has to wear a surgical mask when walking through a supermarket because if you walk by products containing synthetic ingredients (the household cleaning product aisle), you may experience strong allergy-like symptoms? Or, perhaps even walking in the fresh air can trigger severe reactions from pollen. And, if you are of this constitutional type, even being inside your own home can produce problems because of dust or mold. When the weather fluctuates from one extreme to the other (calm-windy; hot-cold; dry-dampy), you’re more likely to feel run down or get sick.
For overall health, our formula AllTonic can help strengthen your constitution.
Constitutional Type: Conclusion
Remember, just because you are of a certain type now does not mean you are sentenced for the rest of your life with it. Also keep in mind you may be more than one type. If you are a Neutral constitutional type, you may not want to be a different type, as you have proper Yin Yang balance. However, for the 8 other types, you can use Chinese medicine to get back in balance and enjoy better overall health.