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About Oriental Medicine  Know Your Body

About Oriental Medicine

Know Your Body

Deficiency pattern or excess pattern?

Deficiency pattern or excess pattern?

Firstly, you need to know the two basic patterns of your constitution or the current state of your body. The first pattern is deficiency or excess, and the second is cold or heat. It is important to know these patterns in order to keep your body in balance (for example, for choosing the right types of food and drink for daily consumption), and of course they need to be known for determining the best methods of acupuncture/moxibustion treatment.
Answer the following questions and count the number of times you answer “True”.

Deficiency: True / Excess: False

Deficiency: True / Excess: False

1.My voice is quiet.  True / False
2.I am not talkative.  True / False  
3.I need to rest between activities.  True / False
4.I get palpitations when I do physical activities.  True / False
5.I can’t take a long bath because it makes me tired.  True / False
6.I get tired after I perspire.  True / False
7.I get tired after my period (menstruation) has finished.  True / False
8.I am lean.  True / False
9.I don’t keep a busy schedule.  True / False
10.I sometimes feel breathless going up a few stairs.  True / False
11.I am not keen on lively, crowded places.  True / False
12.I’d rather relieve stress by being quiet than having fun.  True / False
13.I don’t get irritated very often.  True / False
14.There isn’t much lunula
(white crescent-shaped area at the base of my fingernails).  True / False
15.I am not motivated.  True / False
16.If I stick my tongue out as far as possible,it trembles and I can’t keep it still.  True / False

1My voice is quiet.
True  /   False
2I am not talkative.
True  /   False
3I need to rest between activities.
True  /   False
4I get palpitations when I do physical activities.
True  /   False
5I can’t take a long bath because it makes me tired.
True  /   False
6I get tired after I perspire.
True  /   False
7I get tired after my period(menstruation) has finished.
True  /   False
8I am lean.
True  /   False
9I don’t keep a busy schedule.
True  /   False
10I sometimes feel breathless going up a few stairs.
True  /   False
11I am not keen on lively, crowded places.
True  /   False
12I’d rather relieve stress by being quiet than having fun.
True  /   False
13I don’t get irritated very often.
True  /   False
14There isn’t much lunula(white crescent-shaped area at the base of my fingernails).
True  /   False
15I am not motivated.
True  /   False
16If I stick my tongue out as far as possible,it trembles and I can’t keep it still.
True  /   False

“Deficiency” and “excess” indicate the strength of the body’s resistance (healthy qi) and the activeness of pathogens (pathogenic qi). In other words, deficiency is considered a lack of healthy qi, and excess is considered too much of pathogenic qi.
In a nutshell, a person who answers “True” many times has a deficiency pattern, indicating that he or she lacks healthy qi (i.e. he or she has a weak constitution). Conversely, a person who doesn’t answer “True” many times has an excess pattern and is comparably healthy such that he or she can push himself or herself hard. But he or she may have an excess of some pathogens.


It can be said that an “excess pattern” person with a lot of stress or continuous tension tends to get cancer. This is because the excess pattern person tends to push himself or herself too hard (although his or her characteristics also play a role). I think that the following Japanese saying is true: “Ichibyo sokusai (People who experience chronic ailments take better care of their health and live longer.” People who think they have a weak constitution take better care of themselves, and therefore they live longer. In any case, if a person with an excess pattern pushes himself or herself too much, a deficiency pattern takes over very quickly, and he or she gets tired easily and becomes prone to disease. Actually, most people have deficiencies and excesses that are interrelated in a complex way.

If the signs that appear on the body are overlooked or ignored, a disease develops. If you have an excess pattern, you tend to have excessive stress, so it is important to eat less, exercise a lot, and, in particular, to relieve tension and relax by becoming close to nature (e.g. going to a park). If you have a deficiency pattern, trust your own natural healing power and believe that you will become well, and then build up your strength slowly.

Heat or cold pattern Answer the following questions and count the number of times you answer “True”.

Deficiency: True / Excess: False

Deficiency: True / Excess: False

1. I am sensitive to heat.    True / False
2. I like air conditioning in summer.    True / False
3. I often get thirsty.    True / False
4. I like cold drinks.    True / False
5. I tend to be constipated.    True / False
6. If I have a fever, it tends to be high.    True / False
7. My body often gets itchy.    True / False
8. My feces have a strong odor.    True / False
9. I have bad breath.    True / False
10. My urine is always yellow.    True / False
11. My tongue (especially the underside) is very red.    True / False
12. I don’t wear many clothes, even in winter.    True / False
13. I tend to flush easily.    True / False
14. My eyes easily become red (e.g. from shampoo etc.).    True / False
15. I perspire a lot.    True / False
16. When I have a long bath, I feel refreshed but I also get dizzy.    True / False
17. My pulse is rapid.    True / False
18. My hands and feet are warm.    True / False

1I am sensitive to heat.
True  /   False
2I like air conditioning in summer.
True  /   False
3I often get thirsty.
True  /   False
4I like cold drinks.
True  /   False
5I tend to be constipated.
True  /   False
6If I have a fever, it tends to be high.
True  /   False
7My body often gets itchy.
True  /   False
8My feces have a strong odor.
True  /   False
9I have bad breath.
True  /   False
10My urine is always yellow.
True  /   False
11My tongue (especially the underside) is very red.
True  /   False
12I don’t wear many clothes, even in winter.
True  /   False
13I tend to flush easily.
True  /   False
14My eyes easily become red (e.g. from shampoo etc.).
True  /   False
15I perspire a lot.
True  /   False
16When I have a long bath, I feel refreshed but I also get dizzy.
True  /   False
17My pulse is rapid.
True  /   False
18My hands and feet are warm.
True  /   False

There are many patterns of heat and cold: For example, in some people the whole body is affected by heat, in some people only the upper body is affected by heat (as heat tends to ascend), and in some people both heat and cold patterns are present together. In general, a person who answers “True” many times has a heat pattern, and a person who doesn’t answer “True” many times has a cold pattern. In particular, a person with the following conditions is almost certainly a person with a heat pattern: constipation (the feces are similar to rabbit droppings); a tendency to get thirsty and take cold drinks; the color of the urine is yellow throughout the day; and bodily wastes (for example, sputum, feces, urine, pus and vaginal discharge) are dark and have a strong odor.

Because a person with a heat pattern has heat in his or her body, heat diseases such as atopy become worse when it’s hot (summer) or if the environment is hot, so it is difficult to treat the problem at that time. Furthermore, if food or drink that produces heat is ingested, the heat in the body increases, which exacerbates the disease. Even if you don’t think you have any heat disease, you will become more prone to heat diseases if you have a heat pattern and the warming foods and drinks listed below are taken in excess. The same relationship applies between a person with a cold pattern and cooling food and drink.

-Warming food and drink:Alcohol (especially Japanese sake) Spicy food (kimchi, curry, chili, etc.) Garlic Oily food (tempura, fries, etc.) Sweet food (whipped cream, etc.) Ginger, etc.    -Cooling food and drink:Raw food (sushi, sashimi, raw vegetables) Cold food and drink Fruits, etc.

-Warming
  food and
  drink:
Alcohol
(especially Japanese sake)
Spicy food
(kimchi, curry, chili, etc.)
Garlic Oily food
(tempura, fries, etc.)
Sweet food
(whipped cream, etc.)
Ginger, etc.
-Cooling
  food and
  drink:
Raw food(sushi, sashimi, raw vegetables)
Cold food and drink
Fruits, etc.

Let's take an example from everyday life. There is always pickled ginger on the table in sushi restaurants. Sushi contains raw food, so it cools the body. So ginger, which warms the body, is served to maintain the heat-cold balance in the body. Another example is meat dishes. Salads (lettuce, tomato, cabbage, etc.) often accompany meat dishes. Meat warms the body, so the balance is maintained by eating salads, which are cooling foods. It is therefore sensible to eat summer vegetables (cucumber, tomato, eggplant, lettuce, etc.) in summer, because they cool the body, and root vegetables (burdock, carrots, daikon radishes, etc.) in winter, because they warm the body

   

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  • Important Terms in Oriental Medicine
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