Typology in Traditional Tibetan Medicine

October 27, 2018

Are you Fire, Wind or Phlegm type?

Every person wants to be healthy, strong and happy. But each of us needs something different for that. A good guide can be the typology used for centuries by Sowa Rigpa, traditional Tibetan medicine. Test yourself if the vital energy of fire (tripa), wind (lung) or phlegm (beken) predominates in your body and embark on the path to health, strength and balance.

If you think there is one miracle healthy diet or guaranteed healthy lifestyle, you are wrong. Common sense correctly suggests that what benefits one person can, on the contrary, destroy another. We are not all the same after all. Therefore, learn to know yourself well and recognize what benefits and harms you specifically. Right at the beginning of our series on Tibetan medicine, we bring you a test that you can do yourself at home in minutes.

In the office of a Tibetan medicine doctor, you would receive a more advanced diagnosis, but according to the characteristics of your body, psyche, nature, lifestyle and the most common difficulties, you can get a fairly accurate idea of ​​what type you are. The result can be seven different types - pure fire, wind and phlegm types, or combined types, i.e. fire-wind, fire-phlegm and wind-phlegm, or a very rare, balanced type.

What are life energies

The term "life energy" (Tib. nyepa) seems foreign to us, because Western medicine usually deals only with the physical side of the human being, or deals separately with psychological illnesses. However, all Eastern traditions, in addition to Tibetan medicine, Chinese medicine or the Indian tradition, perceive a person as a psycho-energo-somatic whole, i.e. they also deal with the energy level, which has a significant effect on the body and psyche.

Learning to think about life energies may not be easy at first, because we are not trained to do so. However, we all learned in elementary school that there are four different states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma. And that's a good start to understanding life energies. Whether, for example, H20 will manifest itself as ice, water or steam is determined, according to modern physics, by the different internal energy, i.e. specifically by what forces H20 particles or any other substances interact with each other.

Like modern physics, traditional Tibetan medicine also talks about different types of energy that give rise to the five basic elements, i.e. earth (all solid), water (all liquid), wind (all moving), fire (all hot). The fifth element is the space in which the other four appear.

The five elements manifest as three basic energies at the level of the human body: Wind energy (lung) symbolizes all movement in the body, i.e. blood circulation and movement of the heart, the nervous system, but also thinking and sensory perceptions. Everything hot is associated with the energy of fire or bile (tripa), i.e. especially the maintenance of temperature in the body, metabolic processes, the work of the liver or gall bladder, but also the intellect. Finally, the energy of mucus (beken), that is fluids (blood, abdominal fluid, inter-articular fluid), fat and muscle mass.

How to deal with these energies

As it is clear from the above, in order for our body to function, we always need all three types of life energy. If wind, fire and phlegm are in balance, we feel good on a physical and mental level, that is, we are healthy and happy. However, they are usually not in balance. As we wrote above, the equilibrium type is quite rare. Much more often, we have a predominance of some energies and, conversely, a lack of others. An imbalance at the level of internal energies is the cause of many health problems, and therefore the ideal path to health and prevention of all diseases is a constant effort to achieve an internal energy balance.

You can balance the excess of a certain life energy with your diet, but also with your lifestyle (sleep, sports, leisure activities, sex and other aspects of your life). If you are sick or if you already suffer from some health or psychological problems, the typology will also become the basis for your treatment according to Tibetan medicine.

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