Five Constitutional Types: Know Yourself, Know Your Patient Efrem Korngold

Five Constitutional Types: Know Yourself, Know Your Patient

Speaker: Efrem Korngold

When:  A Post-Congress Seminar given at the #7 ICCM Congress, 2016

Language: English

Field: Chinese Medicine, Philosophy, Practice


Chinese cosmology sees the world as arising from the dynamism of yin-yang and the five primordial powers (wu de) and five phases (wu xing). From the macrocosm to the microcosm, the organization of all natural phenomena is described by the five phase theory of systematic correspondence, including somatic and psychic functions, relationships, capacities and dispositions that characterize an individual human life. The five phase constitutional typology, first described in Between Heaven and Earth, postulates that each of us is organized by one core phase--Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal or Water—that we know as our ‘type.’ Knowing our type illuminates fundamental existential issues: identity (Who am I?), purpose (What am I here to do?) and destiny (Who will I become?).

How we express ourselves and live out our lives shifts and varies, but the primacy of one phase as our core organizing force remains. We change, but our type does not. Knowing our type is predictive of strengths and weaknesses, our way of being in the world. Because ontology and pathology are both expressions of an intrinsic self-organizing process, the five types model can be used to examine not only the pathogenesis of sickness but also the ontogenesis of health.

The day will include the theoretical basis of the model, engaging videos of five types of six-month-old babies, an interactive exercise and case presentations. The Five Types model will be intellectually evident, clinically relevant and experientially confirmed.

This post is also available in: Hebrew

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