Get To Know The 9 Body Constitutions of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Get To Know The 9 Body Constitutions of Traditional Chinese Medicine - NOOCI

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, everyone has their own body constitution—and knowing yours helps you understand how to use TCM to be your healthiest.

What are body constitutions?

Body constitutions concepts have been validated by different populations. It is a relatively stable status of your body as a combination of inherited, environmental, diet, lifestyle, and emotional factors that all make up how you react to certain foods and herbs and how susceptible you are to different external diseases and conditions. At any given time, it’s likely you’re a mix of compositions, with one dominant one—but that mix and dominant composition can change over time.

How to know your body constitution type

Each body constitution has its own tell-tale characteristics. Read through the constitution descriptions below and make a note of which sound familiar to you.

What are the TCM body constitution types?

Qi deficiency

Body: Flabby muscles, teeth marks in the tongue, weak voice, pale face

Personality: Introverted or timid

Health issues: Found yourself difficult physically when walking 3 floors of stairs.

Catch cold or flu easily and take a long time to recover from illnesses

Sensitive to: Environmental changes

Yang Deficiency

Body: Flabby muscles, pale and bulky tongue, cold hands and feet

Personality: Introverted and quiet

Health issues: Susceptible to puffiness, diarrhea, poor sleep, and excess throat secretions with white secretions. Always feeling coldness in the limbs even in summer time

Sensitive to: Windy, cold, and humid environments, cold foods, and noise

Yin deficiency

Body: Thin, warm palms and soles, dry mouth and nose

Personality: Outgoing and impatient

Health issues: Susceptible to dry stools, constipation, dry cough, fatigue, and insomnia, hot flush or night sweating

Sensitive to: Hot and dry environments

Phlegm wetness

Body: Overweight, oily face, thick white tongue coating, productive white sputum

Personality: Mild temperament and patient

Health issues: Susceptible to diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease

Sensitive to: Humid and rainy environments

Damp heat

Body: Normal or thin physique, oily face, acne, and yellow and greasy thick tongue coating

Personality: Irritable and short-tempered

Health issues: Susceptible to skin issues (e.g. eczema), urinary difficulties, and easily fatigue

Sensitive to: Humid and hot environments

Blood stasis

Body: Dull complexion, dark under-eye circles, bruising, rough skin, and varicose veins

Personality: Impatient and forgetful

Health issues: Susceptible to bleeding, abnormal growths

Sensitive to: Cold environments


Body: Thin physique, purple tongue, stabbing pain in the ribs area, frequent bloating sensation in the abdominal areas

Personality: Depressed, nervous, anxious, suspicious of others, or timid

Health issues: Susceptible to insomnia, depression, anxiety disorders, and breast lumps

Sensitive to: Rainy environments

Special Constitution

Body: Overweight, oily face, thick tongue coating, sensitivity during seasonal changes

Personality: Mild temperament and patient

Health issues: Susceptible to allergies, eczema, allergies

Sensitive to: Drugs, smells, allergens, foods, seasonal changes

If nothing sounds familiar, you might have a neutral, well-balanced constitution—an ideal and everyone wants to pursue this status of bliss. This is our goal to work on as only 33% of the population can pursue their status contentment over a period of time.

Normal (Healthy)

Body: You look great with good appetite, energy, bowel movement and sleep

Personality: You look calm, happy, fluctuation of emotions are kept to a minimum.

What can you do once you know your type?

Once you know your body constitution type at any given point in your life, you can make sure you’re supporting your health with healing foods, acupressure, herbal remedies, and lifestyle tips specific to your type. Remember, TCM isn’t one-size-fits-all—not just for different people, but for different points in your own life. Avoiding dairy and exercising regularly may make the biggest health impact for you today, but next year it could be focusing on sleep and avoiding pungent foods. When you know your body, you know how to heal it.

Want to know your constitution? Take our quiz to find out!

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