Wild salmon, kale salad, olive oil, lemon dressing, and a glass of alkaline water followed by beet juice — healthy for everyone, right? Not really.
In today’s world of social media, everyone is telling us what to eat and what to avoid. But each of us is different, and a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work for the masses.
My diet is clean and filled with fiber. I’m 90% plant-based, yet over the last three years my constipation had gotten so bad that I was — sorry for the TMI — pooping rabbit pellets. I called my network of doctors, chiropractors, and practitioners but they all told me to drink more water and eat more fiber. Finally I visited a highly recommended gastro only to be told to take a pack of Miralax and return in a week if the symptoms didn’t improve. That remedy wasn’t good enough for me.
I spoke to my friend Lauren Alexander about it and she insisted that I see Dr Kim, a Korean Eight Constitutional acupuncturist based in Los Angeles. She said he helped heal her PCOS and told her that her predominantly plant-based diet wasn’t working for her body’s specific constitution. I made an appointment.
Dr Kim listened to my pulse, and the first question he asked was “What kind of water are you drinking?” I had been drinking Mountain Valley glass bottled spring water consistently since 2017. He told me that the water is too alkaline for my body’s constitution and I needed to drink acidic water with a PH of 6, such as Voss. Most of the food he suggested I omit I’d already cut out, but some of the things he wanted me to forgo surprised me: mushrooms, apples, radishes, all root vegetables, coconuts, dairy, meat, coffee, and tea. He believed I needed a pulmotonia diet but needed to monitor me for 12 weeks. He then performed some acupuncture, which was very different from anything I’ve ever had before. It was like a small prick that only stayed in contact with the skin for a couple of seconds. He promised this would help my period pain and cramping, but I rolled my eyes because my periods are usually unbearable most months.
After 48 hours of switching to Voss water, however, my bowel movements were perfect and have stayed perfect ever since. For the first time in over 72 months, I had a completely pain-free menstrual cycle and didn’t have to take a single pain pill. I am still in disbelief.
So what exactly is Eight Constitution Medicine?
Just as some birds eat grains and other birds eat worms, there are eight different body organ types within the human race. Our organs that constitute the body are not equally balanced in size, strength, and power. The foods that we consume can either balance our organ equilibrium giving us optimal health, or weaken them creating illness and disease.
Eight Constitution Medicine, founded by Dr. Dowon Kuon, Director of Jesun Acupuncture Clinic and Dawnting Cancer Research Institute in Korea, was first introduced in 1965 in Japan at The International Congress of Acupuncture & Moxibustion. Ever since its introduction, Eight Constitution Medicine has cured patients with hard to treat and incurable diseases. Each Constitution is connected to twelve organs: heart, lung, pancreas, liver, kidney, small intestine, large intestine, stomach, gallbladder, bladder, the sympathetic nerve, and the parasympathetic nerve of the autonomic nervous system. The eight different Constitutions form eight distinct individualities: Hepatonia, Cholecystonia, Pancreotonia, Gastrotonia, Pulmotonia, Colonotonia, Renotonia, and Vesicotonia.
Body types who are pulmotonia, meaning strong lungs and weak liver, such as myself, should avoid western pharmaceuticals, sun, alkaline beverages, and sauna because they can suppress weak organs. We should consume foods that suppress rather than stimulate strong organs to balance the body.
An illness should be treated according to the patient’s individual Constitution since the cause of the sickness may differ depending on the patient. Any food, medication, or medical treatment that is beneficial for one person may not be good for another. This is because the two patients may not have the same Constitution even though their symptoms and diagnosis appear the same. Lifestyle, diet, environment, occupation, hobbies, sports, and other activities also affect one’s health.
A truly healthy daily life can only be achieved through a deep understanding of one’s Constitution, following the appropriate Constitutional regimen, and receiving the proper acupuncture treatment matched to one’s Constitution.
The Constitution of an individual can be identified by taking the pulse of the wrist. This method, which is different from traditional pulse-taking in oriental medicine, finds a pulse formation among eight different pulse types. Here is a link to the different diets for each Constitution, but it is recommended to first visit an Eight Constitution acupuncturist to determine your body type.
*THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS, THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST.
Jena Covello is the founder and creatrix of Agent Nateur, a green beauty skincare company and wellness platform. Jena was diagnosed with stage 4 endometriosis and adenomyosis and healed herself from chronic pain holistically. She is an advocate for women and medical freedom. You can find her on her podcast at @nateurious.