Your Constitution Type Based on TCM

What is my type?

The basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine & Acupuncture treatment is about finding a balance that suits your body type.  In order to find out what type of constitution you have in these terms, take a read of the different types below & see which one you think sounds like you.  It is possible to be a combination of more than one type but don’t worry, about this for now, just see which one most sounds like you.  As we go along I will be introducing foods, recipes & lifestyle advice for each type to help you to take control of your physical, mental & emotional health & become your better self again.


  1. Cold
  2. Hot
  3. Damp
  4. Blood Deficient
  5. Qi Stagnant
  6. Blood Stagnant

Are you Cold? – Excess Yin

Do at least 5 of these symptoms relate to you?

  • Do you have chills without sweating?
  • Do you have lack of thirst?
  • Do you go to the loo frequently & produce a lot of clear urine?
  • Do you have an aversion to cold?
  • Do you have loose bowel movements?
  • Are you fatigued?
  • Are you pale?  Even slightly bluish at times?
  • Do you put weight on easily?
  • Do you have a white coating on your tongue?
  • Do you feel worse in cold weather?
  • Do you have water retention, i.e. puffiness on the body, especially abdomen & legs?

What makes you Cold?

Some people have a natural internal tendency towards a cold condition and at times it can be brought on by environmental conditions such as:

  • Diet – eating too much raw/cold food
  • Drinking cold liquids – where possible, drinks should be at room temperature
  • Drinking/eating directly from fridge
  • Cold living conditions including air conditioning
  • Certain drugs

First steps to warm your cold constitution:

  • Drink warming teas such as ginseng & ginger
  • Eat warmed foods which makes digestion easier on the body, e.g. roasting & stewing fruit where possible
  • Wear more layers, so you decrease the amount of artificial heating that you put into your body
  • Sleep in a warm room/take a warm bath
  • Practice yoga
  • Be happy and warm to all you are in contact with…

Are you Hot? – Excess Yang

Do at least 5 of these symptoms relate to you?

  • Are you easily agitated/angered/frustrated/react to things strongly?
  • Do you suffer from insomnia with nightmares?
  • Do you often run a fever?
  • Are you constipated?
  • Do you crave cold drinks/have a strong thirst?
  • Do you find you are red in the face/head?
  • Do you find you can have lack of urine/dry stools?
  • Do you get inflammation of the eyes?
  • Do you have a red tongue?
  • Do you find your breathing rapid?
  • Do you often throw off covers in bed?
  • Do you binge/do everything to extreme?
  • Do you find it difficult to relax?

What makes you Hot?

Some people have a natural internal tendency towards a hot condition and at times it can be brought on by environmental conditions such as:

  • Too much caffeine/alcohol/tobacco/chocolate/greasy foods/stimulants/sugar/amphetamines or cocaine.
  • Hot/polluted/heated up environments/climates/areas of high industry.
  • People who are always on the go & do not pay attention to their stress levels
  • Unresolved emotional issues
  • Rage is an issue and can become a problem

First Steps to cooling your Hot Condition:

  • Learn how to manage stress/relax and control your anger
  • Try some fresh mint tea
  • Avoid alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, greasy rich foods, sugar
  • Try some mint tea
  • Practice meditation or yoga, and remember change doesn’t occur overnight, baby steps…

Are you Damp?

Do at least 5 of these symptoms relate to you?

  • Do you suffer from allergies such as asthma or hay fever or skin allergies such as eczema?
  • Do you have an oily complexion?
  • Is there mucus in your stools?
  • Do you crash when you fall asleep?
  • Do you have a fuzzy head?
  • Do you find it difficult to concentrate?
  • Do you feel stuck in life?
  • Does your tongue have a sticky coating?
  • Does your body/head feel heavy?
  • Do you suffer from dizziness?
  • Do you have a poor appetite?
  • Do you have excess mucus/stuffy chest?

What makes you Damp?

Some people have a natural internal tendency towards a damp condition and at times it can be brought on by environmental conditions such as:

  • Diet rich in fatty/heavy/sugary foods
  • Birth control pill/antibiotics
  • Exposure to damp environment/living in basements
  • A sedentary lifestyle
  • Alcohol, especially beer
  • Dairy
  • STD’s – dampness with heat
  • Dampness can cause Blood Deficiency (see next subject)

First steps to clearing Damp:

  • Avoid Alcohol, especially beer/chocolate/dairy/curries/bread/wheat/fried food/sugar/ready cracked nuts
  • Don’t drink too much water/eat too late at night/eat carbs & protein together
  • Eat lots of fresh foods/bitter leaves/onion/garlic/aduki beans/fennel/celery/jasmine, green and fennel tea


Are you Blood Deficient?

Do at least 5 of these symptoms relate to you?

  • Do you suffer from dizziness?
  • Do you suffer from palpitations/anxiety/sometimes feel a rising panic in your chest?
  • Do you suffer from insomnia/find it difficult to fall asleep?
  • Do you have dry hair/skin?
  • Are you pale?
  • Do you have poor memory or are u forgetful/scatty?
  • Do you suffer from fatigue?
  • Do you have scanty periods?
  • Are you a workaholic?
  • Are you slim build?
  • Are you easily startled?

What makes you Blood Deficient?

  • Loss of blood due to miscarriage/childbirth/accident
  • Diet – lack of blood foods, iron,  regularly missed meals
  • Dampness as it inhibits the digestive system which is the body’s ability to make blood
  • Not resting properly after illness
  • History of blood loss
  • Pushing yourself beyond your limits

Immediate steps to deal with Blood Deficiency tendencies:

  • Eat regular meals in a relaxed environment i.e. not on the run, while on the phone or watching television
  • Make home–made chicken-stock from scratch (look out for in my recipe section)
  • Eat lots of green leafy vegetables, seaweed, black & deep-red coloured foods
  • Avoid alcohol, which produces heat & consumes blood
  • Use moxabustion on ST36 (look out for in lifestyle advice section)

Are you Stagnant? – that is, your Qi or energy!

In TCM, this usually refers to your Liver & its control over your emotions.

Do at least 5 of these symptoms relate to you?

  • Are you deeply frustrated/irritable?
  • If you are female, do you suffer badly with PMS/have irregular periods?
  • Are you prone to mood fluctuations, do you suffer from depression?
  • Do you frown a lot?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable after you eat, bloat easily?
  • Is your tongue purplish?
  • Do you have trouble moving on/finishing projects/do you feel stuck in life?
  • Do you get pains in your body which move around?
  • Are you stressed?

What makes your Qi Stagnate?

  • Modern day life!
  • Emotional baggage from your past
  • Alcohol (although initially becomes a quick fix, later deepens the problem)

Initial steps to deal with Qi Stagnation:

  • Diet – cut back on alcohol, eat light easily digestible foods such as green leafy veg & root veg, oats, dates, figs, liquorice & tofu.  Fruit is good but allow yourself time to digest your main meal before eating it.
  • Exercise – go for a brisk walk, dance,  take up Yoga or Qi Gong
  • Find new activities to help positivity & release any pent up frustration
  • Organise or sort stuff out, be it a messy kitchen drawer or your bulging diary – make this enjoyable, feel the layer unfold.
  • Be positive, make yourself a pleasure to be around
  • Let things go,  don’t feel like everything has to be a challenge

Are you Blood Stagnant?

Blood stagnation develops from other conditions such as cold and damp but localized blood stagnation can be a result of trauma or injury.  It is different form Qi Stagnation but there is an overlap so please do look at Qi Stagnation advice above also.

Do at least 5 of these symptoms relate to you?

  • Do you suffer from pain that is fixed, stabbing or severe with fixed masses?
  • Do you have a dark complexion?
  • Is your tongue purple?
  • Are your lips/nails purple?
  • Do you use medication to thin your blood?

What makes you Blood Stagnant?

  • Severe cold & damp issues
  • Surgery, at times due to infection following surgery
  • Qi Stagnation

Initial Steps for clearing Blood Stagnation:

  • Get Qi moving as when Qi goes, blood follows
  • Massage
  • Diet – see Qi Stagnation & keep an eye on recipes section for updates

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