EATING FOR YOUR CONSTITUTION
what does it mean?
When evaluating a woman’s goals and needs to what their current situation is, I pull from many different medical models + research to formulate a plan.
One medical model that I weave into my work is Chinese Medicine’s Five Element Theory.
According to this model, you’re born with a unique constitution derived from how the Five Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood) sit in your natal birth chart. This pattern is determined by the day, time, and location of your birth.
There are 4 main body types (or constitutions) that people can fall into based on their Five Element pattern: LESSER-YIN, LESSER-YANG, GREATER-YIN, GREATER-YANG.
Each of the Five Elements is reflected in your organ networks, and thus your natal chart will reveal which ones are inherently strong or weak. It will also determine if your central energy is hot, dry, cold, or damp.
Characteristics of each body type:
Strong kidneys, weak spleen, cold and damp central energy
Strong spleen, weak kidneys, hot and dry central energy
Strong liver, weak lungs, can have either a hot or cold central energy
Strong lung, weak liver, hot central energy
TO FIND BALANCE WITHIN YOUR BODY, YOU MUST MAKE SURE THAT ALL 5 ELEMENTS ARE WELL BALANCED.
THE MOST POWERFUL WAY TO DO THIS IS THROUGH FOOD.
Just like our body has a central energy, so does food. We call this its thermal nature. Ellen Goldsmith, author of Nutritional Healing with Chinese Medicine, and a dear inspiration to me, defines thermal nature as the categorization of foods according to their capacity to warm or cool the body. It is the qi, or life force, of a food and informs us of the direction in our body it will take + the effect it will have on us.
WHEN WE UNDERSTAND WHAT OUR INBORN STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES ARE, WE CAN CHOOSE THERMAL NATURES THAT WILL WORK TO SUPPORT THE INTERNAL BALANCE OF OUR BODY.
Example: If your spleen is strong, kidneys weak, and central energy hot + dry, there are specific foods that have been qualitatively researched for over 30 years that will support cooling you down, strengthening your kidneys, and evening out your spleen energy. In this example, it is equally as important not eat foods that will exasperate these qualities.
Below is an example of where a few foods fall on the thermal nature spectrum:
In practice, this is often the answer when nothing else works. When you're doing all the "things" and not seeing results, this may be the deeper layer your body's asking you to go to. It does not separate systems of the body, rather will flow through you like a strong and sturdy wind dropping off strength in your gut, hormones, mind, and spirit -- leaving you feeling whole + nourished.
Updated September 2021