Morphology is the study of body shapes. Your physical appearance is the specific manifestation of the sum total of all hidden and subtle energetic influences at work within you—what you were born with as well as what results from where and how you live your life.
While there are an infinite number of body shapes, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) categorizes them into five groups based on specific characteristics and corresponding to each of the five elements of TCM theory.
To each of the five elements corresponds a body type—a specific morphology. Here’s an overview:
- Wood: Muscular-type in need of physical activity; well-developed upper body (strong yang) with a generally lesser development of the legs (declining yin); dynamic; Sensitive to wind.
- Fire: Red-faced; rounded upper body with thin legs (strong yang and weak yin); likes to laugh; extroverted; sensitive to heat.
- Earth: Good proportions between upper and lower body (yin and yang in balance); likely to develop a belly; thinking type with stable demeanor; can be nervous when problems occur; sensitive to humidity.
- Metal: Skin poor in oxygenation, looking paler than usual, particularly for Caucasian and Asian complexions; skin sensitive to dryness and visible signs of desquamation; early loss of skin tone.
There are two possible versions of Metal body shapes:
1. Yin type: Thin and withdrawn; loss of minerals with poor oxygenation; poor circulation; cold perspiration.
2. Yang type: Bloated face with poor lymph drainage; puts on weight easily all over the body; poor venous circulation (on legs in particular); perspires with a strong odor.
- Water: Thin to skinny (strongest yin); early gray hair, black circles or puffy eyes, localized water retention; early loss of skin tone resulting in wrinkles; poor muscular development, very flexible articulations; dislikes cold.
Morphology provides an additional set of information to help confirm the dominating energy influencing your health and appearance. It is a quick tool that can be used in tandem with information ascertained from your skin condition and biorhythm.
Morphology and biorhythm are likely to correlate and confirm each other. This combined information allows a trained practitioner to anticipate the likely direction of your aging process and to create a highly personalized skincare program for you.
In the case of an established esthetic challenge, skin condition or body shape, information from morphology helps define the proper solution for you. It confirms the right treatment protocol and the proper home regimen.
Morphology is just one important tool to help us better understand the energetic tendencies that affect each of us. It can also help explain the reasons behind some of our chronic health challenges.
Source: Energetic Skincare, Naturally by PHYTO5® President Jon Canas.
“Setting aside any consideration of human evolution or racial groups, the human body can be broadly categorized into three types: ectomorph, endomorph, and mesomorph. People classified as ectomorphs usually have a long, lean frame and narrow shoulders and hips… Endomorphs, by contrast, are short and broad, with wide hips and a tendency to gain weight. Mesomorphs are athletic in build with broad shoulders, narrow waist, and powerful, but not wide, hips…
The basic shape or skeletal framework of a person, whether ectomorph, mesomorph, endomorph, or a combination (few people will fall neatly into one specific category), cannot be changed by exercise. Exercise and food intake, however, can influence how you look.”
— Yap, Chan Ling. Fusion Fitness: Combining the Best from East and West. Alameda, CA: Hunter House, 2003. Print.