By Dr. Hyun K. Lee

In my last column, I touched on the importance of finding your own specific body type.  Korean Constitutional Medicine is quite complex in practice. But its overall theory can be summarized as follows.

It divides people into four Constitutional types: Tae Yang In (Great Yang Energy), Tae Eum In (Great Yin Energy), So Yang In (Small Yin Energy) and So Eum In (Small Yang Energy). Each type is based on an understanding of the different energy, or “Chi” of each individual’s internal organs. The internal organs are believed to work in tandem, and synergistically, to achieve an ideal body balance (Yin and Yang). When this balance is disrupted, health issues occur.

Individuals who are of the “Tae Yang In” constitution and body type represent about 5 percent of the population. They have high lung energy, and weaker liver energy and, when unbalanced, are prone to feelings of sadness and frequently have health issues such as eczema, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. These people are typically artistic and creative people with a strong ego. Many artists, musicians and geniuses fall in this category. 

People in the “Tae Eum In” group represent the largest portion of the population at about 35 percent. These people have high liver energy and weaker heart and lung energy. They have natural tenacity in all their undertakings. When unbalanced, they are prone to feelings of anger, and frequently have health issues involving hypertension and nasal congestion. They are typically business-minded individuals, thinkers and moneymakers.

People in the “So Yang In” group represent about 30 percent of the population. They have high spleen energy and weaker kidney energy. When unbalanced, they anger easily and are prone to feelings of melancholy and health issues involving the prostate or heart problems. They are very active and athletic people, many are in public service or are in the military or police. They are generous and public-spirited. 

People in the “So Um In” group represent about 30 percent of the population. They have a high kidney energy and weaker spleen energy. When unbalanced, they are prone to feelings of fear, and health issues involving the stomach and digestion. These people are cautious and introverted, very methodical, controlled, and concentrated. Though very organized, they have trouble multitasking. 

Previously ancient Oriental medicine teachings held that there was one universal method of acupuncture for every ailment. This theory was proven to be incorrect when the founder of Korean Constitutional Medicine, Dr. Jae Ma Lee (1836-1900), through years of research, discovered that people were born with very different body types, constitutions and personalities that predisposed them to specific health issues and ailments. He then used his knowledge of traditional Oriental medicine to create a new medical model. With these new findings, Dr. Lee founded a new branch of Oriental medicine, called Korean Constitutional Medicine (Sa-Sang) that was specifically customized for each individual.

Simple tests can be performed to determine which Constitutional type you are. With a clear knowledge of your own Constitutional type, you will be able to choose the right foods and herbs to bring your body to its optimum working state and discover your optimum health. Additionally, this information will also assist you in better understanding yourself and choosing your most ideal path through life. All of these aspects working together will promote your good health, reduce stress, and lead to a happy, healthy, balanced and harmonic life.

Dr. Hung K. Lee can be reached at 805-693-5162. He has offices in Solvang, Los Angeles and Atascadero.