Constitutions in Traditional Western Medicine

{ Constitutions in Traditional Western Medicine }

Whilst modern herbal medicine and naturopathy are fantastic tools for understanding health and disease, they distinctly lack one VERY important feature that is a cornerstone of traditional systems of medicine:

A system of constitution.

So what is a ‘constitution’? In its simplest terms, your constitution represents your ‘type’, and therefore, your tendencies.

The common thing about every constitutional system the world over is that it is based on the elements of nature – because Ancient traditions knew that our physiology is continuous with nature.

Just as there are different external terrains, there are different internal terrains – and these internal terrains form the landscape in which all our symptoms appear.

Now, many of you will be familiar with the Ayurvedic ‘three doshas’ (Vata, Pitta and Kapha), or even the Chinese Five Element system.

But did you know that the western medical tradition has its own system of constitution?

This constitutional system is based on the Four Elements (Fire, Water, Air and Earth). The western tradition recognised that each person tended to be dominated by one of the four elements. This is what defined your constitution.

So, why is it important to know your constitution?

Knowing your constitution is an important part of health autonomy.

Modern natural medicine tends to make sweeping generalisations about ‘what is good for you’. Traditional systems of constitution help us build nuance into our approach to healing – they teach us that what is good for one person, is not necessarily good for the next.

A great example of this is juice fasting. Whilst very trendy, if you are depleted, nervous or have a ‘cold’ constitution, juice fasting will eventually deplete you further because what you need is warming, building and nourishing; not cooling, draining and detoxing

Watch this space as we dive into an exploration of the four constitutions - an empowering journey into our medical roots.

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