What is the 8-body type constitution? ( AkA Eight Constitution Medicine)

8 Constitution Medicine was discovered and developed by Dr. Kwan Dowon, Ph.D., a renowned oriental medical doctor. It is a completely new paradigm of healing that has revolutionized the entire mantle of traditional Oriental medicine. It is truly a holistic medicine that teaches people how to live and what to eat, to heal and to prevent disease, and to create a healthy life.

As we live on among others within a society, we learn quite easily that we are different from one another. Speaking relatively to food consumption, what one eats to rejuvenate and strengthen his or herself can elicit numerous symptoms (side effects) for one another. In another sense, one may feel extremely exhausted throughout the summer season while feeling highly energized in the winter.

As such, certain types of food (even what would consider being healthy food) could bring forth either a positive or a negative consequence to the body. For example, pursuing an Emperor’s diet (prohibiting the consumption of carbohydrates while elevating the consumption of proteins) proves to be remarkable for someone with a Hepatonia body constitution. For an individual with a Pulmotonia constitution, however, such diet can be lethal to his or her body. The mechanism behind such body consequence can be explained by the unique body type constitution that one possesses. What may be considered a medicine for others, may rather be poison to your body system.

Consider someone with a Pancreotonia body type constitution. When consumed too much with lemons, one may experience extreme headaches. Shockingly enough, one may also experience allergic reactions when consumed too much of apples and mangos. An individual with Pancreotonia will suffer from diarrhea when he or she consumes spicy foods. These body symptoms are all triggers that allow one to realize that certain types of foods are not suitable for that individual. What the majority does not consider is the fact that overtime, these body symptoms could lead to the development of diseases that would shorten our precious lifespan. When one adheres to the optimal lifestyle as well as a diet that is specific to his or her body constitution, however, one will be in the pursuit of enjoying a healthy body and self.

Those that experience exhaustion after participating in sports that require excessive sweating likely fall within the Renotonia and Vesicotonia body type constitutions. As for me who belong to the Hepatonia constitution, I experience a great surge of energy and refreshment after finishing the same type of sports.
From the viewpoint of the 8-body type constitution, everyone is gifted with a different body with commonalities (characteristics and tendencies) that can be correlated to the specific body type constitution that one belongs to.

It is important to answer the question of just exactly what type of body that one is born with. As part of the genetic process, one is gifted with hereditary factors from both parents that play into the body type constitution. To push further, it is of equal importance to consider who you are as an individual and what characteristics you possess.

Then what exactly is the 8-body type constitution? How can we justify what it means and what it entails?The 8-body type constitution is justified as the specific characteristics, traits, and tendencies that are unique to one’s body. Similar to how one embodies a specific blood type apart from his or her race, every single individual in the world is grouped into one of the eight body type constitutions: Hepatonia, Cholecystonia, Pancreotonia, Gastrotonia, Pulmotonia, Colonotonia, Renotonia, and Vesicotonia.

One’s specific body constitution is determined through heredity. Due to this factor, one’s body constitution is innate from birth and cannot be changed throughout his or her life (like how the blood type of an individual is genetically given and cannot be replaced). The three fundamental concepts that one must consider are that: 1) body type constitution is determined via heredity, 2) body constitution cannot be changed, and 3) each body constitution is different (embodies a unique body form, character, and talents).

All things in the universe are constructed with unique personalities and characteristics via how the buildup components are structured and intermingled. What fills a space or exists within a space is considered substance. Substances are composed of particles known as atoms or ions, in which several of those atoms or ions are combined via chemical bonds to form fine particles (molecule). Those fine particles, then, are the smallest unit with the properties of a substance. The very nature and properties appear depending on the structure of the molecule. In another sense, the characteristics and nature of a home are developed via how the properties that build the house (bricks, woods, etc.) are intermingled.

For humans, the concept mentioned above applies in which the 8-body type constitution is a result of the dynamic energy construction between one’s internal organs. The 8-body type constitution, then, can be considered as the form or shape of one’s life/body structure.

It is important to discuss the very structure of our internal organs. The difference in each of the 8-body type constitutions is derived from the way our internal organs intermingle with one another and construct a suitable structure for our bodies. Internal organs are one of the living things that reside within a body, which are configured from the collection of small life energies. Life energy can be divided into two forms: 1) innate energy (within the body) and 2) universal energy (coming externally to the body).

Each of the organs within our bodies has an independent physiological function that can be seen through our eyes (primary physiological function). Human physiology entails only the primary physiological function of all organs. The functions of the stomach include mechanical digestion, sterilization via gastric acid, and protein degradation through pepsin. The functions of the liver include the detoxification, sterilization, and metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acid, protein, fat, bile acid, bilirubin, vitamin, mineral, and hormone. Of importance, there is a secondary physiological function (cannot be seen through the eyes) which is due to each organ maintaining its unique life energy. By exchanging its life energy with each other over a long period of time, it creates balance internally while creating human life activities for the body. Despite the vital fact that primary physiology is affected by the secondary physiology, generally, all medicines overlook this factor.

In the case of Pancreotonia constitution that entails high energy in the pancreas and the stomach, consuming foods that are either spicy or of high energy (turmeric, ginger, ginseng, lemon, & chicken) will stir an eruption of energy in the pancreas or the stomach. The consequence involves the collection of heat in the shoulders or head, leading to symptoms such as indigestion, headaches, and infections around the face and neck areas.
All 10 organs are divided into two categories with one being filled internally (liver, heart, lungs, pancreas, & kidney) and the other being hollow inside (stomach, small intestine, large intestine, bladder, and gallbladder). All organs contain specific energy magnitudes in which the diagram below lists in order from largest to smallest. Although our organs retain such an ordered structure of different energy magnitudes, each organ exchanges and complement its life energy to one another to create a complete life. Depending on the arrangement of the organs and their energy magnitudes in one’s body, a specific body constitution is formulated with its unique physical and mental characteristics. The 8-body type constitution, then, embodies 8 different arrangements of organs and their energy magnitudes. Depending on the constitution, the characteristic of an individual alters drastically.

Diagram 1-1

 Number      I   II   III  IV  V     VI  VII   VIII  IX X
Organ  liver Gallbladder Heart Small Intestine Pancreas Stomach Lung Large Intestine Kidney Bladder
Five Elements Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Energy Level 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

(Explanation: Each organ is listed in order according to the energy magnitude, and the organ number is indicated in Roman numerals. The meaning behind the five elements is not the same as the yin and yang concept in oriental medicine, but only the names are collected as the five elements).

From the history of medicine so far, we understand that we differ physically in function and personality, but it is unclear how they differ. Although thoughts on classifying the human types existed in medical history, none are as clear and specific as in the 8-body type constitutions. Despite the potential changes in character and personality as humans grow, the very nature and inherent disposition of an individual are determined by his or her constitution.