Body Types, Disease Types

Hi Everybody,

INDIVIDUALITY- No two people are alike,  no two people’s bodies work the same way, and no two people manifest an illness or disorder in the same way. However, here in the western world, most of the time we are all treated as if our bodies work exactly the same way. If we have a cold, we are all given the same medication. If we have pain, we are all given the same pain pills, and maybe a muscle relaxant or anti-inflammatory medication.

In Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda (medicine from India), treatment depends in a large way on the individual way your body works, as well as the individual way your disease or disorder is manifesting.

KAPHA, PITTA and VATA; YIN and YANG- For example, in Chinese Medicine you have a Yin body type or a Yang body type. Yin types are larger, put on weight easier, slower moving and easier going. Yang types are thinner, leaner, quicker moving, and more hot tempered. The foods, sleeping patterns and best exercises are completely different for these two body types. In fact, the spicy foods that are good for a Yin person are very bad for a Yang person, and the heavier, cooling foods that are good for a Yang person would make a Yin person gain weight.

Similarly, in India, they recognize three different body types – Kapha (similar to Yin in Chinese Medicine – thicker build, slower moving), Pitta (similar to Yang in Chinese Medicine – athletic build, faster moving) and Vata, (which is a thin, very active body type, the person who couldn’t gain weight if they tried). Again, what is good for one body type is not good, and may even be harmful to the other body types.

Each person has all of these qualities in a unique mixture, which makes what is good for you and what is bad for you a very, very individual matter. By figuring out how your body works, which is different from anybody else, you can figure out how to become and stay as healthy as possible.  This is one reason why your friend can have a problem and take something for it and get amazing results, but if you have seemingly the same problem and take the same thing, you get no results at all.

INDIVIDUALITY OF DISEASES AND DISORDERS- In the same way that your body is completely unique, so is the way disease manifests in your body.

If you have a cold, for example, and you have a fever, red eyes and burning urine, you have a “hot” cold. If you have chills and frequent watery urine, you have a “cold” cold. And if you have a big time stuffy nose and feel like your head is so full its about to explode, you have a “damp” cold, where you feel like you are full of water. Each manifestation would be treated differently.

As another example, arthritis that is represented by hot, red, burning joints that feels better if you don’t move it, that is a “hot” pain. If the joint feels cold and creaky, and gets better as you move it around and warm it up, that is a “cold” pain. And if your joint is swollen so full you can hardly move it, that is a “damp” pain. Again, treatment would depend on the type of pain you are having rather than a “one size fits all” treatment.

Hope this helps,

Dr Matt and Dr Robin (email)

This week’s bit of Useless Information:  Owning a cat at home reduces the risk of heart attack by 40% and stroke by 30%. 

This email is courtesy of Matthew Barnes, D.C. and Robin Barnes, D.C.  Neither this nor any of our emails are intended to be medical advice and should not be taken as such.  They are opinion and are for informational purposes only.  None of the nutrients discussed here are meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

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