Wild salmon, kale salad, olive oil/lemon dressing, and a glass of alkaline water followed by a beet juice – healthy for everyone, right? Not really. Today, especially on Instagram, everyone is telling us what to eat and what to avoid. But each of us are so individual and a one size fits all approach is simply not working, and our bodies are letting us know because everyone I talk to seems to be constipated or having a hard time with digestion.
My diet is so clean and filled with fiber. I’m 90% plant based, yet over the last three years my constipation had gotten so bad that I was...sorry for the TMI- pooping rabbit pellets. I called my network of doctors, chiropractors and practitioners but they all told me to drink more water and eat more fiber. Finally I visited a highly recommended gastro only to be told to take a pack of Miralax and return in a week if the symptoms didn’t improve. That remedy wasn’t good enough for me. I spoke to my friend Lauren Alexander about it and she insisted that I see Dr Kim, a Korean Eight Constitutional acupuncturist based in Los Angeles. She said he helped heal her PCOS and told her that her predominantly plant based diet wasn’t working for her body’s specific constitution. I made an appointment and didn’t really know what to expect. First Dr Kim listened to my pulse, and the first question he asked and something not one other doctor or practitioner ever asked was “what kind of water are you drinking?” I had been drinking Mountain Valley glass bottled spring water consistently since 2017. He told me that the water is too alkaline for my body’s constitution and I needed to drink acidic water with a PH of 6, such as Voss. Most of the food he suggested I omit I’d already cut out, but some of the things I was surprised by: mushrooms, apples, radishes and all root vegetables as well as coconuts, dairy, meat, coffee and tea. Dr Kim believed I needed a pulmotonia diet but needed to monitor me for 12 weeks. Then he performed some acupuncture but it was very different from anything I’d ever gotten before. It was like a small prick that only stayed in contact with the skin for a couple of seconds. He promised this would help my period pain and cramping, but I rolled my eyes because my periods are usually unbearable most months. After 48 hours of switching to Voss water, my bowel movements were perfect and have stayed perfect ever since. For the first time in over 72 months, I had a completely pain free menstrual cycle and didn't have to take a single pain pill. I am still in disbelief.
So what exactly is Eight-Constitution Medicine?
Just as some birds eat grains whereas other birds eat worms, there are 8 different body organ types within the human race. Our organs that constitute the body are not equally balanced in size, strength and power. The foods that we consume can either balance our organ equilibrium giving us optimum health, or weaken them creating illness and disease.
Eight-Constitution Medicine, founded by Dr. Dowon Kuon, Director of Jesun Acupuncture Clinic and Dawnting Cancer Research Institute in Korea, was first introduced in 1965 in Japan at The International Congress of Acupuncture & Moxibustion. Ever since its first introduction, Eight-Constitution Medicine has cured patients with hard to treat and incurable diseases. Each constitution is connected to twelve organs: heart, lung, pancreas, liver, kidney, small intestine, large intestine, stomach, gall bladder, bladder, the sympathetic nerve and the parasympathetic nerve of the autonomic nervous system. The eight different constitutions form eight distinct individualities: Hepatonia, Cholecystonia, Pancreotonia, Gastrotonia, Pulmotonia, Colonotonia, Renotonia and Vesicotonia.
Body types who are pulmotonia, meaning strong lungs and weak liver, such as myself, should avoid western pharmaceuticals, sun, alkaline beverages and sauna because they can suppress weak organs. We should consume foods that suppress rather than stimulate strong organs to balance the body.
An illness should be treated according to the patient’s constitution, since the cause of the sickness may differ depending on the patient’s constitution. Any food, medication, or medical treatment that is beneficial for one person may not be good for another. This is because the two patients may not have the same constitution even though their symptoms and diagnosis appear the same. Lifestyle, diet, environment, occupation, hobbies, sports and other activities also affect one’s health and a healthy daily life can only be achieved through a deep understanding of one’s constitution, following the appropriate constitutional regimen, and receiving the proper acupuncture treatment matched to one’s constitution.
The constitution of an individual can be identified by taking the pulse of the wrist. This method, which is different from traditional pulse-taking in oriental medicine, finds a pulse formation among eight different pulse types.
Here is a sample of the Pulmotonia constitution:
- Those born with strong lungs and a weak liver.
- Highly creative, inventive, and can be self centered. They are explorers of a new world and love to discoverer new things.
- Yes: All kinds of ocean fishes, shell fishes, green leafy vegetables, rice, barley, buckwheat, red bean, green beans, cucumber, eggplant, banana, strawberry, peach, cherry, persimmon, Vitamin E, cocoa/dark chocolate, ice, swimming, walking.
- No: Medication, All kinds of meats, fresh water fishes, nuts, root vegetables, flour, pumpkins, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, black grapes, apples, pears, melons, coffee, sugar, MSG, soft drinks, ginseng, Vitamins A, B, C, D, aspirin, alkaline beverages, hot baths, mountain hiking.
“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the case of human-frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.” -Thomas Edison
By Jena Covello
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.