Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Constitutional Types: The different approach of Homeopathy versus Ayurveda

By

Maria Teresa De Donato, PhD, RND, CHom


Despite all the similarities that we share as human beings, be it within the same ethnic group or even family, we find that there are, nonetheless, plenty of biological differences which all contribute to make each of us a unique Universe, quite different from all the rest. Each medical system has come up with its own classification and way to identify people according to their own constitutional type each including not only genetic, inherited traits, but also specific emotional, mental and psychological states.

Ayurveda, the Indian holistic healing methodology which is some 5,000 years old and is known as the oldest health care system, recognizes three constitutional body types: vata, pitta and kapha, respectively representing the force or movement, the biological fire and transformation processes, and the supportive structure. Each type is associated to specific physical features, emotional and mental characteristics, attitude towards life, way of expressing oneself, sleep pattern, social skills, and body system(s) and its/their consequent activity. According to Ayurveda, although each individual may manifest several characteristics belonging to a specific category and, consequently, be identified as primarily either vata, pitta or kapha type, the true of the matter is that all of us – to an extent or the other – are generally a combination of them. This proves that Ayurveda does understand that the uniqueness of each and every single individual is quite a complex and very articulated phenomenon characterized by the blending of components each of them contributing in distinct percentage, quality, and to various degrees to the formation of different people.

The understanding of Homeopathy of Constitutional Type, however, goes far beyond these notions. Homeopathy recognizes constitutional type as depending on specific physical features, temperament, emotional response and mental attitude, along with genetic factors, miasmatic aspects which constitute the underline cause of chronic diseases, but also, and more importantly, sees the term 'constitution' as a way to describe both the persons' state of health, including all inherited and acquired characteristics, and their mental and emotional state of wellness. In so doing Homeopathy transcends all other alternative disciplines by acknowledging the fundamental role that the vital force exercises in the life and, consequently, in the physical, mental and emotional well-being of each and every single individual.

In this regard Homeopathy has always played a revolutionary and unique approach to the concept of Constitutional Type: it has fully comprehended that the term 'constitution' and its inner implications must be regarded as the consequence of the quantity, quality and activity of the 'life force' that animates the body. This implies that when referring to 'constitution' from a homeopathic perspective, we are referring to dynamic energy, to something that is by nature in perpetual movement and subject to many changes, modifications and transformations within the same body in the course of its life. Hence, depending on the strength and ability of the life force itself to counterbalance potentially harmful viruses and bacteria, stress factors and/or pollutants and to help the body to repristinate a state of order and equilibrium at all levels, each individual may be identified -- at any given time and throughout his or her life -- with a different kind of constitutional type and cured by the most appropriate remedy representing him/her at that specific time (Arsenicum, Belladonna, Lachesis, Sepia, etc.).

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