What is Body-typing? :041

Body-typing and Body-types have existed for thousands of years

Traditionally, this ancient art was used to identify patterns. Observing common and uncommon patterns practitioners could identify which ailments and even the diseases that a person was more prone to and which of many remedies would be best suited for this particular type of person.

Body-typing can be used for many things, but on this site and in my book, You-niversal Self-care: Improved Health Through Self-Understanding I focus on using Body-typing for health and in relationships.

How Body-typing Helps

I discovered Body-typing for myself over a decade ago. At this time I was still forcing my body to make changes that I thought were necessary for my healing path. Learning about Body-typing helped me to understand that I needed to work with my body, not work on it. We are all unique, but we can identify patterns to help understand our situations.

To me, Body-typing is a tool that helps me get out of myself; it helps me get out of my head and into a more wise way of thinking.

Recall a time when you have had a serious life problem and you went to a very good friend, or someone you trust for advice. This person listens, and then begins to share a new perspective on how to look at your situation. This simple change of perspective, getting outside of yourself, opens up a whole new world of solutions that you never saw. Body-typing is a tool to help us gain perspective. This is how I use and teach Body-typing.

I’m absolutely fascinated by ancient studies of Body-typing, metaphor and archetypes; but I still found these ancient ways of thinking challenging to grasp.

This is why I teach Body-typing simply, using the four Elements: Earth, Fire, Air and Water.

We can all relate to these elements and while we may have slightly varying experiences about how we interpret these Elements, for the most part we can agree on what they mean. In other words, I wanted to simplify things. You will understand why in the next section.


A Brief History of Body-typing

What I call Body-typing, is found in many ancient cultures throughout the world.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

Traditional Chinese Medicine has existed for over two thousand years. Treating people with herbs, acupuncture, massage, lifestyle guidance and more, Chinese practitioner also use the elements to represent these patterns beginning with Yin and Yang. From there, the types branch into: Earth, Fire, Water, Wood and Metal. It’s a highly enlightening and dynamic system, but very challenging to grasp with the western mind. My teaching is a good introduction to this ancient and complex system.

Ayurvedic Medicine

Similarly, Ayurvedic Medicine is a form of medicine practiced in India and now more widely throughout the world. It includes many of the aspects as Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) although in its own very unique way. Ayurveda traditionally includes even some surgery. Ayurveda also has a complex system of understand how the elements and other principles (like moisture or timing) interact. Their system of Body-typing is called the Doshas of which there are Vata, Pitta and Kapha which each are a combination of the elements. Again, for the simplicity of language and therefor overall understanding, I use the four Elements.

Greek Humours

The ancient Greeks used Body-typing as the four Elements also called the Humours. Again, this system of thinking seemed to pop up around the same time as the Indian’s and Chinese’s. This system is very different and unique using colors and types of bodily fluids like blood, bile and phlegm to identify patterns, but there are remarkable similarities to the other ancient systems.

Native American Medicine Wheel

The last ancient correlation I will mention are the Native Americans’ Medicine Wheel, the four directions and correlating colors, seasons, times of life, etc. Again, there are amazing similarities using simple concepts to understand the complex things in life.


Bringing it Together

I teach Body-typing as a way to simplify our understanding of our bodies, minds, emotions, relationships and life situations.

In a life that is so full of complexity, Body-typing helps us see beauty and wisdom in simplicity.

Learn more:

Take the Body-type Quiz in the right sidebar

Learn more about the foods, exercises and habits that help each Body-type feel more balanced in my book

You-niversal Self-care

Also, check out more blogs and podcasts with Body-typing insights in the archive in the right sidebar.