Twelve Constitutional Types


Discovering the Real You

There are twelve  Constitutional types but 156  combinations

Are you in harmony with your life ?

  •  I’ve been working with a system of Twelve Constitutional Types first developed by the French Acupuncturist Yves Requena, but based on classical Chinese medicine.  The Constitution is the part of you that is inherently you - who you were at birth - or the part of you that will always be you. I think of it as the Real You.
  • I can usually very quickly determine to which of the twelve types a person belongs by looking at the shape of their hands, their body shape, and by asking about biorhythm. Sometimes people have remarked that in minutes they feel recognized  better than by people who’ve known them for years. 
  • But it’s a lot more complicated than just twelve types since many people have a secondary type. If a person does have a secondary type, their primary and secondary could be reversed in another person. That makes 156 combinations. Ideally, I like to quickly determine  a person’s type before I treat them. Each type has inherent strengths and vulnerabilities and profoundly different ways of responding to the world. For example, Tai Yin Earth people are very sensitive, open, and empathetic. Their blood sugar goes up and down and they tire easily but are refreshed with a brief rest. They’re sweet and fun, but they’re mutable and tend to struggle with maintaining structure in their lives. Yang Ming Metal people, by comparison, are slow in the morning, but once they get going, they work and work and hammer away at life’s problems with logic and action. They tend to be overly structured. How I would counsel these two people about lifestyle issues like sleep, diet, and responses to stress would be entirely different. Each type has different energetic patterns and propensities for different health problems.
  •  Once a person’s Constitutional type is determined, it’s  easy to see if their lifestyle  is harmonious with their nature or if the people in their life appreciate them for who they really are. Often, a person’s stress is because their vulnerabilities are not respected. For example, the sensitive Tai Yin person needs a little more positive feedback, and will be unnerved by excessive reserve. The other thing that could be  determined is if a person’s upbringing was in harmony with their nature. . For example, I’m lucky because my constitutional type feels comfortable with structure and rules, and my mother, who is a similar Constitutional type, ran a tight ship, so my childhood environment was not at odds with my nature. Another example is Shao Yang children who are feisty and need to express themselves and get outside and run around . They do better with sports and arts and they can be a little wild. Frequently in our society Shao Yang children are raised in a confined way that squelches their adventurous passionate spirit. Another type that can be at odds with our society is Tai Yin Metal. These people are sensitive, idealistic and worry about the world.  Ecological and political deteriorations can so disappoint Tai Yin people that, as they age, they can retreat into a private world of sadness. . It’s imperative for the happiness of Tai Yin Metal people to be engaged in some activity that makes the world a better place.
  •  Frequently, people have a secondary type that is at odds with their primary type. These people may experience conflict and their own responses to life’s problems may confuse them. Often they have been raised in a narrow way that did not respect their complexity. Other people who also have two contrary constitutions, but were raised in a supporting, loving, fun environment may feel comfortable with their complexity. Others, through psychotherapy, they may  come to terms with parts of themselves which originally presented as conflict. These people can be quite gifted. For example, one client’s primary is a type that is very structured and logical, but her secondary is deeply empathetic - she is a gifted psychotherapist. 

It is profoundly rewarding, in this complex modern world, to be able to see who someone really is, and help guide them to be happy with themselves.

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Jeff VanDyke Massage and Acupuncture

433 West 21st Street Apt 4C, New York, NY 10011

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