Introduction to Constitutional Medicine

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Underlying a person’s health, and many aspects of their personality, is their constitution, which could also be described as their 'nature' or 'temperament.' There are four distinct constitutions, none of them is better or healthier than another but each is certainly markedly different to each other!

What determines a person's constitution is where they sit along two key spectrums that make them relatively either cooler or hotter and, at the same time, either dryer or damper.

Cooler to Hotter

One spectrum goes from Cooler to Hotter. Partly this reflects in how a person naturally directs their energy more inwardly or outwardly, but it also relates to how they interact with people, their environment, and how they deal with problems and challenges.

Being hotter or cooler even impacts on how a person tends to look and feel. If you read the chapter on working out your constitution (linked a little further below under 'which one are you?') you will see how there are many interesting ways in which the cooler to hotter spectrum is entwined in our life and health.


Dryer to Damper

The second spectrum goes from Dryer to Damper. This aspect overlaps the first spectrum, so a person will be cooler to hotter and, at the same time, will be either relatively more dry or more damp.

This spectrum reflects in obvious physical ways, in a person's skin and body, plus it has many other influences on their food and climate preferences, their personality, what kind of work or play they are drawn to etc.


Which one are you?

So long as you keep an open mind and don't rush to decide, you will eventually be able to figure out which constitution you are, or work out that of someone you know. One way that works for many people is by going through 8 questions and making some observations as discussed in detail in here

Working out the constitution is easy for some people and trickier for others, the hardest person to figure out is usually yourself! In September 2022 a new eBook has been put up on this website that goes into a more detailed discussion on the complexities of working it out, amongst other subjects. You will find the link for the free eBook near the end ot this page.

When you know which constitution you are, click on one of the links below to learn more about it

Tigers: Hotter & Damper

Eagles: Hotter & Dryer

Elephant/Butterflies: Cooler & Dryer

Bears: Cooler & Damper


Further Reading

The further reading linked below has been especially written for students of holistic medicine but they are equally freely offered to anyone who has a keen interest in these fascinating subjects and would like to learn more for their own good reasons...

Origins & Adaptations

This constitutional model is based on the humoral system of the Ancient Greeks, who in turn got much of their inspiration for it from the Egyptians. However, it has been significantly adapted to suit a modern and less hierarchical world, more about the how and why of this here

Constitutional Medicines Chart

Any person, from any constitution, can hugely benefit from taking the right herb at the right time. It can be seen that certain remedies match particularly well to different constitutions or to health conditions that reflect imalances along the hotter to cooler or dryer to damper spectrums. A Constitutional Medicines PDF chart showing this in detail can be freely downloaded here

Cycle of Healing

The Cycle of Healing includes the four stages of cleansing, activation, nourishment and rest. Whenever a person becomes sick and is not getting better by themselves, there is always at least one part of the Cycle of Healing that has become blocked. An article on the Cycle of Healing is found here

A Cycle of Healing PDF chart showing which herbs can especially support cleansing, activation, nourishment or relaxation can be freely downloaded here

Note that the free eBook, linked below, also goes into much further depth on the fascinating and highly useful subject of the Cycle of Healing, including a new section on Maps of the Body to help a person learn to see and feel where they or someone else is most blocked in their self-healing process.

Tongue & Pulse Diagnosis

A person can gain immediate insights into a person's constitutional nature as well as where they may need help in the cycle of healing by simply looking at their tongue and learning how to feel their pulse.

This in-depth article is especially written for students or practitioners of holistic medicine, but may also have much to offer a person who has a keen interest in this subject for their own reasons, it's here

Emotional Healing

This is a detailed chapter on emotional health and healing for each of the four constitutions. Please note that, for these somewhat tricky and rather dark subjects, there are no easy solutions on offer so proceed with caution! The introduction to this section is here

Constitutional Complexity - New eBook

This free eBook is called Constitutional Complexity. It goes in depth into such matters as working out the constitution, how the Cycle of Healing interplays with the constitution, and how there are Maps of the Body that can show you how to help yourself and others. The page to download the book onto computer or phone is here

Please understand that I cannot personally advise you without seeing you in my clinic.
This living 'book' is my labour of love so, wherever you are, I wish you peace & good health!





© 2011 R.J.Whelan Ltd