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Excerpt from "Your Yin Yang Body Type"

Sasang Medicine and the Yin Yang Body Types

by Gary Wagman, PhD

Have you ever wondered why someone you’ve known could drink beer like water without getting a hangover? Or why someone could blithely chain-smoke into their nineties? Simply thinking these people are just healthier than you and I would not suffice. Excessive alcohol drinking eventually leads to cirrhosis of the liver, while chain-smoking is a sure path to emphysema. To avoid these conditions while excessively smoking or drinking throughout one’s life may seem almost superhuman! According to Sasang Medicine,each and every person is born with a strongest and weakest organ depending on their body type. The health of someone who is born with weaker lungs will usually be compromised even after the first cigarette. The person born with a weaker liver often becomes ill even after his or her first experience with alcohol.Yet smoking and drinking may have no effect on the health of those whose strongest organs are the lungs or liver.


The Sasang medical system is based on the theory that each individual is born with varying emotional and physical strengths and weaknesses depending on his or her body type. These tendencies have a direct influence on how our minds and bodies react to stress and illness.

The Korean word sasang means “four types.” It signifies the classification of all people into four major body types--Yin A, Yin B, Yang A, and Yang B. This medical system was first established by the Korean doctor Lee Jae Ma (1837-1900), who was well versed in the Oriental medical tradition, a system that focuses on the balance of Yin and Yang energy to treat emotional and physical illnesses. Dr. Ma was distraught by the fact that some patients who suffered from the same symptoms improved quickly, while others suffered longer despite adequate treatment. The development of Sasang Medicine was based on Dr.Ma’s ability to focus treatment on the individual rather than the disease, emphasizing the unique constitutional structure of each patient.

Your Yin Yang Body Type is a book that helps familiarize you with yourbody type’s physical and emotional inclinations. It can serve as a compass to help you navigate the way toward optimum health through the ability to

• recognize your innate strengths and weaknesses
• make wiser choices about which foods to eat for your health
• understand which forms of exercise complement your body type
• choose the right supplements and herbs for your constitution
• avoid emotional traps and strengthen your inner self


This test is one of several ways to determine your body type based on emotional, psychological, and physical tendencies. While some of our tendencies are easy to detect, others may be unapparent. Take advantage of assistance from friends and family to answer the 41 questions. Often others are able to shed light on aspects of our personality that we may have overlooked. Tally your total score for each question group (A-D) and refer to the Body Type Key at the end to determine your body type. The accompanying answer key explains the significance of how each question relates to each body type. While taking the body type test keep the following tips in mind:

Tip #1: Focus on overall tendencies--certain tendencies may change from day to day or throughout the years. It is sometimes helpful to reflect on how things used to be as a child since our body type never changes.

Tip #2: Some questions may require examining your physical body closely.You may have to take a good look in the mirror or observe how you walk to answer certain questions.

Tip #3: Do not answer a question if, no matter how much you try, an answer does not come to mind. It is better to leave it blank than to obscure test results.

Tip #4: If you are not sure how to answer a particular question, refer to the answer key provided after the test. It offers an in depth explanation of each question, making it easier to answer.

Tip #5: If you are still unsure how to answer a particular question or what body type you are, continue onward to the Body Shape section. Your body shape may be adequate in determining your type.

Tip #6: Did you score a tie between two body types? Is the difference between two types slight? If so, try the test again, maybe with the help of someone who knows you well. If the difference between two body types remains slight, go with the highest score.


Gary Wagman, Ph.D., L.Ac., is an acupuncturist and doctor of Oriental Medicine. He was the first foreign student at the Daejeon University of Oriental Medicine in South Korea and lived in Asia for more than 8 years. The founder of Harmony Clinic and the American Institute of Korean Medicine, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

Availability: Usually ships within 1-2 business days

Price: $19.95

To purchase this book visit B&N.com, Amazon.com, InnerTraditions.com, or your localbookstore.

Your Yin Yang Body Type by GaryWagman, Ph.D., L.Ac.  © 2014 Healing Arts Press.
Printed with permission from the publisher Inner Traditions International. www.InnerTraditions.com


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