One of the cool things about Chinese medicine is that it acknowledges that our emotions influence our health. Along with acupuncture points that control things like blood circulation, pain receptors, and metabolism, there are also points that calm intensity of emotion, such as anger, grief and fear.
In acupuncture school, I was also introduced to a Personality-Typing system called the Enneagram. It roughly translates from Latin to mean “picture of 9,” because this system says that there are 9 fundamental Personality Types. When I combined what I was learning about different temperaments with what I was learning about how emotions exhibit themselves in our bodies, I realized that this really is the mind-body-spirit connection, and there are actual, real ways to address the whole of a human being at once.
Since then, I became a teacher of Enneagram studies, and have spent the past decade or so administering the Personality Type quiz to my patients. Over time, I have observed that there are specific health patterns according to temperament.
For example, Personality Type 1 is a serious, hardworking sort of person, who believes in always doing the right thing. They are goal-oriented and self-motivated, requiring little supervision. The problem for this kind of person, however, is that they believe everybody else should be this way too, and they become angry, critical and resentful when they see others failing to meet these high expectations.
According to Chinese medicine, when we feel anger and frustration, this impacts our liver. The liver is in charge of detoxifying, and constant bitter thoughts to oneself are absolutely a toxin in the body. The liver becomes stressed, and we see symptoms emerge like headache, TMJ (jaw pain), neck & shoulder pain, alternating constipation and diarrhea, and hip/low back pain.
Personality Type 2, on the other hand, has an entirely different orientation. These people are warm and cheerful, and feel driven to be close to people and have loving relationships. The secret about these people is that their self-sacrificing impulses go bone deep. They almost never think of themselves first, and in fact have no idea of what their own needs are.
The common health characteristic that I find among Type 2s is that they are often addicted to sweets. There is some biology behind that: both love and sugar trigger the same pleasure chemical, dopamine. I suspect that the pleasure sugar provides often serves as a substitute for the affection the Type 2 craves.
Type 6 can be a cautious, wary sort of person, but with the best intentions. They are very cerebral people, but experience a pervasive sense of danger, of instability, of fear. They strive to feel safe by attaching themselves to large, established organizations, and making themselves more stable with their relentless work ethic and their saving for a rainy day. They have a noble loyal streak, but this can sometimes keep them in a bad situation far too long. What do these folks have in common? Insomnia, anxiety, and digestive disorders.
In general the Type 6 health pattern involves chronic ailments which “flare up” – just like their fears and stress. I have created a healing method specifically for the Type 6 which I call “steadying.” It immediately pulls you out of the mind and puts you back into your body, which grounds and centers you.
These are only a small sampling of the health outcomes that happen for the Personality Types.
The good news is these health patterns of the Personality Types do NOT have to be a life sentence! After many years of experimenting and observing, I have devised methods that are useful for everyone in detaching from their Personality Type’s Sabotage Pattern and shifting into vitality instead.
The results were quite astonishing to witness. Illness that had gone on and on began to fade away. But even more interesting, it was not just the health that began to improve. It was everything. Unravelling marriages came back together. New job opportunities arrived out of nowhere. Big lifestyle overhauls happened.
It became very clear that the Sabotage Pattern I saw in the health had actually been happening in all the sectors of life, and the methods that healed the health healed the entire life.
These findings have been so exciting that this work has become the center of my world. Now, all these years later, I am on a mission to help people heal their bodies, minds and hearts, using the understanding and methods I was fortunate enough to discover.
If you are interested in learning more, I recommend you begin by taking the free quiz to identify your Personality Type.
And while you’re there, please peruse my website, YourVitalityPersonality.com. I offer many different ways for you to learn more about yourself such as books, webinars, and my beloved private membership Vitality Voyagers – where all the cool kids hang out. I look forward to seeing you there!