What is 8 Body type Medicine?

To know one’s own constitution is the KEY to one’s own well being.

May, 1994     

Light and Salt

by Dowon Kuon

8 Constitution Medicine was discovered and developed by Dr. Dowon Kuon, a renowned Korean Acupuncturist in 1965. It is a completely new paradigm of healing which has revolutionized the entire mantle of traditional Chinese medicine. It is truly a holistic medicine that teaches people how to live and what to eat, in order to heal and to prevent disease, and to create a healthy life.
We all sense that everyone is born different. Take food as an example. One person drinks a glass of milk and feels a boost of energy; another may head straight to the toilet with diarrhea. One person feels much better when they avoid eating meat; another feels so weak that they can't function well if he tries to be a vegetarian. Why? The answer is simple: We are born different.
More concretely the physiology of our bodies are made up differently. "Constitution" means the way that beings are designed to be built upon. For example, the Constitution of the United States is the plan that America was designed to be built upon, which is very different from Japan or Germany. Likewise, each and every one of us is born with certain physiological differences, the constitution upon which one's life should be built upon in terms of how to live, what kinds of foods to eat, what kind of career to pursue, to name a few.

A New Paradigm of Healing
According to modern anatomy and physiology, all bodies are the same. Mary has lungs, a heart, and a stomach; so does Tom. The function of Mary's heart is to pump blood throughout her body. Tom's heart does exactly the same thing. Mary's lungs take in fresh oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide, just like everyone else's lungs. These are all visible phenomena. What the science is missing, however, is the relationship between the organs through the meridians.
If Mary's lungs are functioning relatively stronger than her liver, then she will have a hard time digesting dairy products. However, Tom's lungs might function much weaker than his liver, which would make dairy products the most nutritious food for him. Tom and Mary's bodies have the same organs and same organ functions, but the way their organs work in relation to each other is very different.
The constitutions are the different patterns of organ relations and they are grouped into 8. Everyone is born with a certain constitution out of 8 possible patterns. It is one's own physiological DESTINY designed by God even before one is born. If one lives a life as the way he is created, he will remain healthy. If one does not, he will suffer. To know one's own constitution is the KEY to one's own well being.

Physiology of 8 Constitution Medicine
There are ten major organs in our body which are responsible for the healthy function of the entire organism. The five solid organs are: heart, lung, liver, pancreas, and kidney. The five hollow organs are: stomach, small intestine, large intestine, bladder, and gallbladder.
All of these organs have some visible anatomy and physiology. However, there are the INVISIBLE functions of these organs, which we can not see through anatomy. Each organ produces, stores, and distributes its own unique vital life FORCE (Chinese culture calls Qi). A heart not only produces the vital life Force with the dynamics of fire, but also distributes the force of fire to all the other nine organs through meridians. Meridians are the invisible pathways through which the Force can move. A kidney produces and distributes the Force with the dynamics of water, a liver with the dynamics of wood, a pancreas with the dynamics of earth, and a lung with the dynamics of metal.
If a person is born with Pancreotonia (fire major constitution), his heart will produce more fire as compared to other constitutions (the cause of hypertension) and distribute most of its fire to the pancreas (the cause of type 2 diabetes) whereas a person with Vesicotonia (water minor constitution) suffers from gastroptosis because his pancreas does not receive enough fire from his heart.

A Brief Overview of the 8 Constitutions
Individual constitutions can be categorized into 8 patterns as listed below, based upon the relationship patterns between the organs. One should know one’s own unique constitutional physiology as well as general physiology, in order to lead a healthy life.
1. Pulmotonia – the constitution of metal major, born with a strong lung and a weak liver, highly creative, inventive, and self centered. Explorer of a new world and discoverer of new things. Must be a vegetarian.
2. Colonotonia – the constitution of metal minor, born with hyperactive large intestine and a weak gallbladder, highly ambitious for the will to power, very intuitive and visionary. Born to be a leader. Should not eat meat except fish.
3. Hepatonia – the constitution of wood major, born with a strong liver and a weak lung. Very bountiful and generous, risk taking and assertive. Must eat meats. Born to be an entreprenaur. Taking 1 tablet of asprin everyday could prevent many diseases.
4. Cholecystonia – the constitution of wood minor, born with a weak large intestine and a hyperactive gallbladder, very sociable and outgoing, emotionally most sensitive. Prone to alcoholism. Must eat lots of beef to prevent depression.
5. Pancreotonia – the constitution of fire major, born with an extremely hyperactive pancreas and weak kidney, highly impulsive, selfless and devoted, philanthropic, loves to eat gourmet foods. Born to be a sweetheart. Must eat lots of shellfish and pork to cool down fire.
6. Gastrotonia – the constitution of fire minor, born with a strong stomach and a weak bladder, very ambiguous and enigmatic, physically strong and enduring. Can digest almost any foods.
7. Renotonia – the constitution of water major, born with a strong kidney and a weak pancreas, very athletic, meticulous and organized. Born to be bureaucrat. Must avoid cold foods.
8. Vesicotonia – the constitution of water minor, born with a very, very weak stomach and a strong bladder. Very quiet and reserved, slow and meticulous. Prone to chronic depression. Must eat very small amounts of foods, no more than 2 meals a day, each meal less than half the amount other people would eat.
Why do people get sick and how does pathology develop in our bodies?

Pathology of 8 Constitution Medicine
When the ten major organs are functioning properly in relation to each other as they are constitutionally designed to do, the person feels well. However, when the natural harmony between organs looses its proper balance, the person does not feel well. The pathology is not in the organ, but in between organs. Often, patients go through several expensive lab tests in the hospital only to be informed that nothing is wrong with their organs. The real pathology resides in the invisible space between the organs (meridians). Even when the organ itself shows definite pathology such as an ulcer, the pathophysiology of the ulcer is not in the organ.
Take bug spray as an example. If there are lots of dirty dishes left over the kitchen table and windows are not closely shut, bug will come in. The problem of this “disorder” (pathology) is not bugs. One can use one spray to kill roaches, another to kill flies, and still another spray to kill ants, etc.. only to create more mess in the kitchen and receive very short lived relief from the bugs. Unless things in the kitchen are not in correct relation to each other (clean dishes in the cupboard, remains of food in the garbage can, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, windows properly closed, etc.) the pathology will exist no matter how many sprays are used.
It is really sad to see how many people must take more than six medications a day for the rest of their lives! The truly holistic healing must heal the relationship between each of the ten major organs. Glaucoma is another good example where a true pathology should not be found in the organ of the eyes, but in the relation between the liver and other organs.

Etiology of 8 Constitution Medicine
Then what causes this disharmony between the organs which was in proper harmony when we were born? Because people do not live a life as they should live! They eat the wrong foods, pursue the wrong careers, live in the wrong housing, take baths the wrong way, choose the wrong spouse, etc.. The ignorance of one’s own constitution leads one into a life style which eventually causes the disharmony between the organs.
The wrong diet is so far the major etiology in 8 Constitutional Medicine. Every food has its own unique FORCE. If we eat certain foods for along time, the particular Force of that food will increase the physiological function of a certain organ whose Force it is identical with.
Take someone with Pulmotonia constitution for an example. He is born with lungs that should produce about 100 watts (as a figure of speech) of metal Force and normal people need only 50 watts of Force. Then, we can assume his lung is far stronger than other people. He will make a good signer, a swimmer, a good athlete, a good doctor, and a scientist. But if he grows up in a dairy farm house, eating lots of red meat and dairy products for years and years, the Force of his lung will go way over 100 watts. If his lung Force is around 140 watts, he will suffer from frequent cough, asthma, and irregular bowel movements. If it goes over 300 watts, he can even develop colon cancer. That is why proper dietary instructions are the most important for patients at the Binhi Acupuncture clinic.

The best way to correct the disharmony between organs is to use acupuncture, regulating the five element points of each meridian of the ten major organs. General acupuncture points are not used, because they do not have a direct command of the organ Force. Herbs can be used for the preventive purposes only. After patients are treated, they must be instructed to live their lives according to their own physiological destiny.


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