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Get to Know Your Body Type

Are you someone who has cold hands and feet through the year? Or someone who has hot flushes every now and then? Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine Angela Warburton takes us through the different body types and how to make them feel better.

Get To Know Your Body Type

What is a Body Type?

Chinese medicine has evolved over thousands of years by observing people in their natural environment and seeing what patterns emerged. It describes every person or every body as different from the other. Different people have different diets, lifestyles and workloads that suit them. So, when looking at optimizing health or helping someone heal, one should look at their particular state of health or balance and then help them from there.

Most people will have a mix of a few different 'types'. Here's a list of some of the general body types that we can break things down into.

1. Hot Body Type

Someone who would be classified as a hot type would typically feel hot all the time. They might have a red face or be flushed often. They might suffer from sweats or be abnormally hot in a room where other people are cold. Temperament wise, they might be hot-headed or quick to anger. They might be thirsty all the time or have a dry mouth. Very often types are combined and it's not uncommon for someone to be dry and hot together. So, they could also feel symptoms like dry skin, dry eyes, thirsty, etc.

What to eat

Peppermint is naturally cooling and this is great for people who feel hot or irritable. Sip on a cup of peppermint tea or throw in those fresh mint leaves in your salad.

2. Dry Body Type

Someone who is dry would show symptoms like dry skin, dry eyes, or are thirsty. Women may have a scanty period and might suffer from things like hang nails and dry lips to name a few. Very often types are combined and it's not uncommon for someone to be dry and hot together.

What to eat

Sesame seeds are very lubricating so it's great for people with dry hair and dry eyes or for people who are constipated. Sprinkle it on your oatmeal in the morning or on a stir-fry. You can even use Tahini (ground sesame) on toast or in dressings.

3. Cold Body Type

Someone who is classified as cold would be abnormally cold. They are the ones wearing sweaters and socks in the peak of summer. They might be cold to the touch and have a complexion that is on the paler side. These people might also have aches or pains that feel better when heat is applied.

What to eat

Ginger is a naturally warming herb or food. Therefore it’s ideal for people who feel cold all the time. Ground ginger or dried ginger is great in a tea and for those people that feel cold all the time, throw in a few pieces while cooking your curry or salad. Fresh ginger in tea form or in a juice is great for people who have the start of a cold where they are getting those chills but not if you're have a sore throat.

4. Damp Body Type

Often these people feel heavy (heavy limbed, heavy headed) and tired after they eat. They might feel bloated easily or suffer from edema. It's very similar to if you soak something in water: it expands and becomes heavier than if it is dry.

What to eat

Barley. Use barley in soups or stews. You can also make a barley drink by either soaking barley in water overnight or by boiling it down and then cooling it off. Add lemon juice to it and sip on it throughout the day.

5. Stuck Body Type

The stuck body type might show up as irritability, or in people who sigh a lot. People who get a lot of tension headaches, women who have very painful periods or who suffer from PMS could fall in this category. This pattern shows up with things that aren't moving or circulating as well as they should be.

What to eat

Turmeric is great for moving things. It’s also great at detoxifying. Toss it in while cooking in curries, use it in scrambled eggs or throw it in your tomato juice.


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