Sasang[Sa-Sáng] constitutional medicine is a traditional Korean medicine, which was founded by Jae-Ma Lee (the picture above) and systematically theorized in his book “Dong-Yi-Soo-Se-Bo-Won” [the principle of life preservation in oriental medicine] in 1894. Major distinctions of the body are formed during incubation period of life, rendering person’s predisposed weakness and strength. This prenatal imbalance determines a person’s constitution, physiology, pathology, emotional orientation and nature. As a result, each type shares the similar aspects of bodily structure, function, and metabolism, as well as psychological and behavioral characteristics.
The mechanisms of each type of physiology and pathology differ, therefore, so should the treatment of each type. This is in sharp contrast in forms of medicine that choose treatments because they are supposed to help a named condition.
Sasang medicine uses Chinese herbs to treat various conditions of four different body types. By knowing the person, practitioners are able to help the person’s predisposed weaknesses to improve body’s self-healing power, rather than directly attacking the manifested disease, which often disturbs unaffected parts of body as well. In many cases, the effects of constitutional treatment are realized more quickly and last for longer period of time.
In Sasang medicine, 4 major body types are distinguished. They are So-Eum-In, So-Yang-In. Tae-Eum-In, and Tae-Yang-In. Most of people can be categorized in these 4 body types. There are variations in manifestation in many possible ways since no two humans are alike. However, these variations all stem from the root of these four.