What is Natural Medicine?

△ imageⓒshutterstock_Krieng Meemano

The whole is beside the sum of its parts.

By David Lee, L.Ac.

Natural Medicine is about You Healing You. It enhances your inherent ability to identify the problem and self-treat it. A most bodily function is automatic and out of our conscious control. By providing the right molecular environment for the DNA and cells, they are more efficient in giving information and regulating physiology, respectively.

My 23 years of acupuncture and Oriental Medicine practice have led to a verification of four constitutions in Korean Sasang Medicine called Cold, Hot, Damp, and Dry Body Types. Body type medicine is a holistic medical system that comprehensively treats a person’s mind and body.

We are intimately familiar with holistic medicine. Mindfulness and meditation give many health benefits. Physical exercise and a proper diet are beneficial in many ways. Probiotics, for example, are good bacteria that improve the digestive system, regulate the immune system, compete against harmful bacteria, and increase vitamins and minerals.

Natural Medicine operates from the perspective of “the whole which is greater than the sum of its parts.” The whole is beside the sum of its parts. It is a separate entity, although it does not exist without parts. It is because the whole is at another layer of reality. For example, we put Lego pieces together. Then we get a castle. Is there a castle in the Lego piece? No, because it is not a fractal. What about the impressionist painting by Claude Monet and Vincent Van Gogh? We can see dots and strokes when looking closely at them. When observed from further away, we can see a picture and its meaning. Is there a picture in the dot or stroke? No.

The castle and picture are neither measurable nor containable. Can we trust our senses? Yes. The stone cuts in the pyramids of Egypt and the architecture of Machu Picchu are highly accurate in dimension and buffered to a mirror finish. They are difficult to replicate even with the modern machines of today. In addition, their relationship with the stars and earth is uncanny.

As such, the ancients deciphered the mystery of acupuncture and herbal medicine because they lived in a world of the whole layer of reality. Cold, Hot, Damp, and Dry characteristics are not isolated parts but the whole layer of reality. These characteristics are subjectively observed and measured. Since ancient times, we have continued to discover health solutions using our subjective senses. Through trial and error, we retained and refined the methodology that works.

A Cold Body Type has too much cold. It needs warming foods such as cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric to reduce the cold and supplement the heat. In this way, physiology is encouraged toward a homeostatic state. Homeostasis is a range of normalcy where the body functions optimally.

Contrarily, a Hot Body Type is too hot. It needs cooling foods such as mint, cucumber, celery, and aloe vera juice to reduce the hot and supplement the cold.

Cold and Hot Types may have the same disease but require different ingredients because the mechanism of healing is different.

Moving on, a Damp Body Type has an allergic and intolerant reaction to nuts and dairy, respectively, because these are dampening. On the other hand, a Dry Body Type will get benefits. Contrarily, shellfish can cause an allergic reaction to a Dry Body Type because it is drying. But a Damp Body Type will have health benefits from consuming shellfish.

Gluten has a cold property. It causes an intolerant reaction to a Cold Body Type but does not harm the Hot Body Type. One piece of information is not 100% accurate in diagnosis. However, we have many psychological, physiological, and physical characteristics that point toward the body type.

Psychological diagnosis is the identification of mental characteristics assessments using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator MBTI, Social Styles, Need Theory, and Four Temperaments.

Physiological diagnosis is allergic and intolerant reaction to foods. Motion sickness occurs in Damp and Cold Body Types. Those with Raynaud’s disease manifesting in severe cold hands and feet are highly likely Cold Body Types.  

Physical diagnosis is the shape of anatomy. Those with ribs which flare outward are Damp Body Types. Narrow lower ribs are Damp Body Types. Large pelvic bone is attributed to Cold Body Types. Lastly, those with a small pelvic bone are likely Hot Body Types.  

Yes, we have permission to utilize our subjective senses for deciphering reality and mining the facts.