Who Are We Treating Anyway? Uncovering Our Patient’s Constitution
Traditional systems of medicine have always been as interested in the type of person that we are treating as much as the type of illness that we are encountering. This approach states that the nature of the person is likely to be a pivotal factor in the type of illness that they experience. This makes such systems essentially person centred, rather than pathologically or illness focused. In the Traditional European Galenic system of balancing the humours, each individual is therefore assigned a dominant humoral ‘temperament’ or ‘constitution’. It is suggested that the basis of ill health in an individual is always most likely to come from the temperament which is already in abundance becoming excessive. Hot people are already hot and will therefore be more likely to suffer from diseases from a hot cause rather than a cold cause, and vice versa. This approach is both intuitive and clear, and is easily communicated to both patients and practitioners alike.
The central challenge for a practitioner wishing to engage in this approach is to be able to accurately identify the underlying dominant humour of each patient. Using case histories and explanatory diagrams, we will become familiar with the main aspects of each of the potential twelve simple and combined temperaments, and also indicate the way that we might respond with herbs and lifestyle in each case.
3 learning objectives: