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Taoist Body Characters

Description of Greater Yin Body Character:
     In the Greater Yin body character the liver is large and strong and the lungs are weak. The stomach and spleen energy is cool, but strong. People of this body character do not easily become angry, but when they do, their anger is very frightening and lasts longer than for most people. Although there are exceptions, in general the body actions and movements, and mental judgments, are slow, but this is not related to intelligence. Because the lungs and respiratory system are weak, the upper body in general is weak, one can easily catch colds, and the skin is often not soft and smooth. These people do not easily or often become ill, but when illness strikes it can be a serious illness. Generally, the energy circulation is slower than in most people, thus exercise is very beneficial, particularly of the upper body, such as tennis, table tennis, kayaking, canoeing, etc. Also light jogging is beneficial. It is helpful to massage the head and brush the hair often, to encourage the energy upward. The Greater Yin personality likes romantic things and atmospheres, and enjoys being physically comfortable. These people are not very sensitive to changes in the world and are rather slow to judge what is happening in the world. But if they choose to do something or study something, the mind will be made up and they will do these things for a long time, much longer than most people.
     Even for vegetarians, in this particular body character the eating of beef, with pears for dessert in the same meal, is an excellent medicine and shouldn't be avoided. Cow's milk and dairy products are also very beneficial. There are few foods, which must be avoided and many which are particularly beneficial.

Diet Guidelines:
Avoid: Pork, barley, beer, grapes, wine, melons, watermelons, buckwheat.
Take Plenty of: Cow's milk and dairy products, beef, duck, chestnuts, pine nuts, wheat, millet, ginko nuts, Job's Tears, radish, root of arrowroot, seaweed, mushrooms, bellflower root, lotus root, squash, large-size beans such as lima, black, kidney, soya and soya bean products, kim-chee (Korean pickled cabbage), avocado, artichoke, spinach, bananas, pineapple.
Any foods not on these two lists are relatively neutral and can also be included in your diet.

Description of Lesser Yang Body Character:
     In the Lesser Yang body character, the internal energy is hot and dry, pulling the body heat towards the inside, leaving the extremities cold, when there is poor health, This hot internal energy is constantly rising upward to the chest and neck area, gathering in the upper body and leaving the lower body with poor energy circulation, The stomach and spleen energy, also called the Central Energy, is warm and dry, and the kidneys and lower back are weak.
     People of this body character will benefit from regular exercise of the legs and lower body, such as jogging, skiing and cycling. This helps to pull the energy down away from the chest and neck area and into the lower back and kidney areas, improving energy circulation here and providing more strength. 8cercise specifically for the upper body should be avoided for this will send the energy to the upper body, creating headaches and constipation, The feet should be regularly soaked and washed in warm water, the legs massaged often, Concentrating the mind in the leg area helps to make the head clear as it directs the energy downward, improving the overall energy balance, One should try to develop a habit of feeling the contact of the feet on the ground when walking or standing, for the energy will follow the focus of the mind, For men, when they urinate, they should shift their weight onto their toes slightly and concentrate on and watch the toes, This sends the energy downward and makes the kidneys stronger. Because the energy always tends to rise upward, usually these people have very active minds and much thinking, with a feeling of impatience, In one's day-to-day lifestyle, the thinking and judgments should be made more lazy, It this is not done the energy flow becomes rough, the emotions are stimulated and the energy balance is broken, One must step back and create more space between oneself and one's thoughts, then fewer mistakes will be made and the health is benefited. When this is not done the energy goes upward and makes the kidneys weaker. People of this body character are extremely sensitive to foods that disagree with their body and must absolutely avoid these foods, Because their inside energy is hot, their energy circulation is fast and responds quickly to foods which go against their body character, easily damaging the body and breaking their energy balance. They must be very careful to avoid the foods listed below. For these people the foods to avoid are particularly important. These are foods, which are very commonly found in the general diet of this society, so they must take extra care to learn to avoid them. Vegetarians can omit the meat and fish recommendations and follow the rest of the diet.
     Avoid Warming Foods: Onions, garlic, ginger, ginseng, chicken, lamb, peanuts, sweets, honey, dates, apples, citrus fruit, chocolate, caffeine, cinnamon, nutmeg, hot spices, potatoes, wheat, alcohol other than beer and wine, Take only occasionally: bananas, eggs.
     Take Plenty of Cooling Foods: pork, shrimp, duck, octopus, beer, barley, adzuki beans, beans, mug beans, cucumbers, bamboo shoots, rhubarb, grapes, melons, watermelon, pears, strawberries, persimmons, fresh sugar cane, black tea, mint tea, salt, *kukicha, black sesame seeds.

     Kukicha is a dried red berry sold in Chinese herbal medicine stores. It is a dried red berry sold in Chinese herbal medicine stores. It is very strengthening for the kidneys; Boil a handful of berries in 4 cups of water for 40 minutes. Strain and drink the tea as often as you wish. The tea should be a good red color to be the proper strength. This is inexpensive and pleasant tasting tea. A meal containing the following will be very easily digested, bring harmony to your body and act as a fortifying tonic: pork which is broiled, grilled or barbequed, with shrimp and one glass of beer, The shrimp removes any toxins from the pork, Even tinned shrimp is sufficient~ try seasoning it with a little Soya sauce, ground sesame seeds and sesame oil.
Pig's feet prepared in any way, are also very cooling and beneficial. Look for roasted barley in oriental stores and boil to make tea.

Description of Lesser Yin Body Character:
     In the Lesser Yin body character, the stomach and spleen are cold and weak; the energy of these two organs is the Central Energy for the five major organs. The spleen is related to the emotion of thinking, and when it la weak it will create unnecessary anxiety and a mind, which is unfocused, Emotions easily arise and change, and laughter easily arises with little cause. When the health is not good, the internal energy is cold and the outside energy is warm, the body heat leaks out of the body as a result, and the spleen remains cold. This body heat must be made to go inside to the spleen, to warm the Central Energy, People of this body character must always put such effort into making their inside energy warmer. When they can do this mind will become stronger, they will feel more confident, their anxiety is reduced and their unfocused mind changes to a healthy one. By following these diet guidelines the Central Energy will be made stronger.
     The frequent emotional changes are a considerable problem and one must always try to take care of this, One should be careful about happiness which easily arises due to an energy imbalance. If such care is not taken, this will make the spleen weaker. Through these diet guidelines and a spiritual practice, one must protect the Central Energy and create good overall energy balance. Many of the foods generally eaten in our society are suited to this body character, Vegetarians can on it the chicken from the diet and follow the other suggestions.
     Avoid Cooling Foods: Pork, barley, beer, cucumbers, adzuki beans, grapes, melons, pears, watermelon, persimmons, strawberries, bamboo shoots, rhubarb, octopus, back tea, mint tea.
*A food's taste and its energy are different. Even though some of the above foods may taste good to you, their energies are not suited to your body.

Take Plenty of Warming Foods: Onions, garlic, ginger, chicken, ginseng, lamb, peanuts, honey and other healthy sweets, dates, apples, citrus fruit, apricots, peaches, cinnamon, spicy foods, potatoes, Kim chee.
Any foods not on these two lists are relatively neutral and can also be included in your diet; Seafood and seaweeds are very nutritious and suited to everyone.

Especially recommended:

1. Chicken & Ginseng: Take one whole chicken, 40 gm. dried ginseng root**, 4 gm, cinnamon, add enough water for a soup-like consistency and boil for 1 ? to 2 hrs, or pressure-cook for 1 hour,
** Important: Remove and discard the stem of the ginseng root before cooking. Prepare 2-3 times a month.
2. Ginger Tea: Boil fresh slices of ginger root with a few red (Chinese) dates for 30 min. Add honey to taste, Drink as often as you would take tea.
3. Ginseng Tea: Boil ginseng roots (removing stem) for 1 ?-2 hrs, Add ingredients for ginger tea above & boil. 4 year-old white Korean ginseng roots are sufficient.
4. Ginger & Honey Paste: Grind together 4-5 heads (not cloves) of garlic, ? 1b, fresh ginger, 10 red dates, Add enough honey to make a peanut butter-like paste, Let sit 5-7 days. Eat a spoonful as often as you wish,
If you are unaccustomed to these foods, start with small amounts and gradually increase the amounts and frequency.