Body psychology

Blood / Yin Deficiency - Exist for others

Yin def means deficient of inward connection. Why? Because excessive outward focus. Also this creates intense mind which drains yin.

Yin deficiency produces heat at night, night sweats, poor sleep, dry skin, thin tongue, heat on hands and feet and chest.

Blood deficiency is like yin deficiency but milder. Generally there is not much heat but the skin will show some signs of dryness (particularly nails, lips and hair). Sleep is often affected, particularly difficulty falling asleep.

Qi / Yang Deficiency - Don't rest

Qi/yang def means body no longer functioning well. Why? Because its been pushed too hard. The person has forgotten to rest and the wheels are coming off.

Yang deficiency produces cold – particularly hands and feet, fatigue, and urination at night.

Qi deficiency is like yang deficiency but milder. Generally at that point there is not much cold but the client will be tired. Exhausted and overwhelmed. Cold, timid and demotivated. I am too exhausted to change. I give up.

Stagnation - Stuck

Stagnation is a state where the client is not expressing themselves in their life. They may be pretending to be someone else, to be an image, to look after others first or to live up to expectations. The less expression, the more frustration, anger and/or irritation.

Stagnation will cause Wood symptoms, but often involves other elements. For example, an Earth pattern of looking after others and not looking after self will inevitably lead to internal stagnation. That is why Earth types often feel frustrated and can get depressed. They are often not good at recognising this depression because they will continue to ‘cope’ and not recognise their own internal emotional state.

Depression is the outcome of stagnation. It represents a lack of expression of the inner self.

Stagnation may be caused by illness and deficiency. When we are run down and ill it is difficult to express ourselves fully. We become stagnant simply because we do not have the energy to move. This is one factor at play in post-natal depression.

Damp - Needs

Emotionally disconnected, Excessive thinking and analysis, Oversensitive to others, Sluggish - Overthinking

Sp-Damp - Excess thinking, excess giving, needy, unnourished - bloating

Overthinking, pensiveness, and worrying usually harms the spleen’s distribution and transformation abilities and play a huge role in water metabolism disorder along with internal dampness.


The mind and the body are one

The logic brain constrains our behaviour to try and get the things we want.

Pattern of disease

Motivation → Belief → Behaviour → Disease

Beliefs = how I (believe) I get what I want (the motivator)

Type of Behaviour might not be driven by the same Type of Motivator - because the beliefs we have may influence this and may be motivated to avoid or to seek

The root of a motivation is a physical feeling - then given words from the logic brain - need to be clear what people mean by the words

How we might see this

Fire motivation: Love

Earth Behaviour: to be loved I look after others


  • Disease usually reflects behaviour
  • Client history = behaviour
  • Focus on Symptoms that don’t fit...
  • Eyes are key to determining if something has meaning to them

Four steps to recovery

  • Responsibility to have power to change
  • Connection... self to the issue
  • Understanding / redefining the problem - what are the fundamental
  • Something internal, not external ← this is what body Psych is about
  • Diffusion of the stress


  • Observe and Group symptoms
  • Psych questions
  • Determine the story—tapestry of their life
  • Find motivator

Body Psychology

Complete list of all TCM body psychology types and categories is contained below.

Body Psychology TCM Types

Body Psychology Summary

Body Psychology TCM Types

Physical Areas

Physical Areas