The TCM Classification of Body Constitution Type

In our practice of life cultivation, we usually follow the standard classification of body constitution into nine types. It is now a standard and popular practice. We use this classification for ease of discussion in our life cultivation practice. We also use the classification when we do body maintenance and repair on a daily basis.

Bear in mind that we are practitioners of life cultivation. We focus on taking good care of our own body and soul, so when we discuss the different aspects of our body constitution, we do not discuss them as a practising doctor of medicine.

If you need to understand your own body constitution, read further on. It is a big subject and we have a long treatise for it. You may consider seeking professional help in this matter. Let the professional practitioner be your initial guide and mentor.

Here is the standard classification and its chief features.

  • Type A Pinghe (Normal, Typical, Neutral, Balanced Type)
  • Type B Qixu (Energy-deficient Type)
  • Type C Yangxu (Yang-deficient Type)
  • Type D Yinxu (Yin-deficient Type)
  • Type E Tanshi (Phlegm-wet Type)
  • Type F Shire (Wet-heat Type)
  • Type G Xueyu (Blood-stasis Type)
  • Type H Qiyu (Energy-depressed Type)
  • Type I Tebing (Special-intrinsic Type)

Type A Pinghe (Balanced Type)

Overall characteristics: Yin-yang and energy-blood in harmony, with a fit body physique, ruddy complexion, and full of energy.

Physical characteristics: well-proportioned and strong.

Common features: smooth complexion, dense and shiny hair, bright eyes, clear nose, clear sense of smell, rosy lips, low fatigue, energetic, tolerant of cold and heat, good sleep, good appetite, and normal poops. The tongue is pale red with its coating thin and white. The pulse is gentle and strong.

Psychological characteristics: easy-going and cheerful personality.

Illness tendency: Not easily sick.

Adaptability to the external environment: strong adaptability to the natural environment and social environment.

Type B Qixu (Energy-deficient Type)

Overall characteristics: lack of vitality, with fatigue, shortness of breath, spontaneous sweating and other energy deficiency as the main characteristics.

Physical characteristics: muscles are loose and flappy.

Common features: normally weak voice, shortness of breath, lazy in speech, easy fatigue, lack of energy, easy sweating, pale red tongue, tooth marks on the tongue, and weak pulse.

Psychological characteristics: introverted personality; not adventurous.

Illness tendency: easy to catch colds, sagging internal organs and other diseases; slow recovery from illness.

Adaptability to the external environment: intolerance of wind, cold, heat and humidity.

Type C Yangxu (Yang-deficient Type)

Overall characteristics: lack of Yang energy, afraid of cold, with cold hands and feet.

Physical characteristics: muscles are soft and flappy.

Common features: usually afraid of cold, lack of warmth in hands and feet, like to eat hot foods, lack of energy, pale and tender tongue, and deep and slow pulse.

Psychological characteristics: Quiet and introverted.

Illness tendency: easy to suffer from phlegm, swelling, diarrhea and illness from the cold.

Adaptability to the external environment: tolerant to the summer but not to winter; susceptible to wind, cold, and wetness.

Type D Yinxu (Yin-deficient Type)

Overall characteristics: yin fluid deficiency with dry mouth and dry throat; hand, Center of feet and hands felt warm.

Physical characteristics: Physical body slim and thin.

Common features: warm hand center, warm feet center, dry mouth, dry throat, slightly dry nose, preference for cold drinks, dry stool, red tongue with less saliva, pulse tiny. 

Psychological characteristics: impatient, outgoing and active, lively. 

Illness tendency: easy to suffer from fatigue, loss of sperm, insomnia and other diseases; easy to be sick from heat.

Adaptability to the external environment: tolerant to winter but not to summer; intolerant of heat and dryness.

Type E Tanshi (Phlegm-wet Type)

Overall characteristics: phlegm wetness condensation; fat body, plump abdomen, watery mouth and sticky tongue.

Physical characteristics: fat body, plump and soft abdomen.

Common features: oily facial skin, sweaty and sticky body, tight chest, phlegmy, sticky or sweet mouth. Carve for fatty, sweet and sticky foods; greasy mossy tongue, slippery pulse.

Psychological characteristics: temperamental, stable, and patient.

Illness tendency: prone to suffer from diabetes, stroke, and chest pain.

Adaptability to the external environment: poor adaptability to the rainy season and wet environment.

Type F Shire (Wet-heat Type)

Overall characteristics: wet and heat stored inside; face oily, mouth bitter, tongue greasy yellow, exhibiting wet and heat.

Physical characteristics: Medium or thin body.

Common features: greasy face, prone to acne, bitter or dry mouth, heavy body, drowsy and fatigued, sticky or dry stool, short and yellow urine, moist scrotum in men, increased leukorrhea in women; red tongue with sticky yellow coating, and slippery pulses.

Psychological characteristics: easy to get upset and irritable.

Illness tendency: easy to suffer from sores, boils, jaundice, and hot gonorrhea.

Adaptability to the external environment: Hard to adapt to the hot and humid climate in late summer and early autumn. Hard to adapt to a very humid or a high temperature environment.

Type G Xueyu (Blood-stasis Type)

Overall characteristics: poor blood circulation; dull dark skin, purplish dark tongue, as a result of blood stasis.

Physical characteristics: Either fat or slim.

Common features: dull skin tone, hyperpigmentation, prone to ecchymosis, dull lips, dull or petechiae tongue, with dark or thickened sublingual collaterals under the tongue; Astringent pulse.

Psychological characteristics: irritable, forgetful.

Illness tendency: susceptible to lumps and pain syndrome, and blood syndrome.

Adaptability to the external environment: intolerance of cold.

Type H Qiyu (Energy-depressed Type)

Overall characteristics: stagnant vital force and life; easily depressed and high anxiety, as a result of depressed vital energy.

Physical characteristics: Mostly thin.

Common features: depression, emotional fragility, upset and unhappy, pale red tongue with thin white coating; stringy pulse.

Psychological characteristics: Introvert and unstable, sensitive and worrying.

Illness tendency: easy to suffer from visceral irritability, plum core depression, lily depression and other depression syndrome.

Adaptability to the external environment: easily emotionally disturbed; easily suffered from rainy weather.

Type I Tebing (Special-intrinsic Type)

Overall characteristics:: Congenital abnormalities, mainly characterized by physical defects and allergic reactions.

Physical characteristics: allergic people have the same general body constitution; those with abnormal congenital endowments may have deformities or physical defects.

Common features: asthma, wind masses, itchy throat, nasal congestion, sneezing are common. Hereditary diseases are classified into vertical, congenital and familial heredity. Those with fetal-transmitted diseases may show maternal influence on the growth and development of the fetus.

Psychological characteristics: varies with different body constitution.

Illness tendency: susceptible to asthma, urticaria, hay fever, and drug allergies; also susceptible to genetic diseases such as hemophilia and congenital stupidity; also susceptible to fetal transmitted diseases such as five late sensory development, or five soft tissues development.

Adaptability to the external environment: very poor overall adaptability.

We may now conclude the discussion of the types of body constitution. Here is the one balanced body constitution and eight deviations from the balanced one. One good guy and eight bad guys.

As practitioners of life cultivation, we will try to change the bad guys into the one and only good guy. Can we do it? How?

There are many easy ways for us to change our body constitution into Type A Pinghe. In fact, you may have had such a body constitution when you were young and at your prime. When you follow our practice of life cultivation, we will all have the Type A constitution. We will be active, healthy and happy. We will all live a carefree life. Come on board.

Call for Action

Folks, that is all for now. If you think this article may be beneficial to your friends and loved-ones, feel free to forward this article to them.

This is an extract of the full article published in Mustang BodyWorks Infoletter, a paid-subscription.

Future episodes for this series:

  • Determining your body constitution
  • Fundamental concept of body constitution
  • More on concept of body constitution

Stay tuned for the next episode: Determining your body constitution

Call to action: Subscribe below for notification to read more new blogs for free.

Call to action: Subscribe to Mustang BodyWorks Infoletter with our support.

Call to action: Join our life cultivation practice with our support.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: