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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 6 (2009), S1, Pages 31-41
http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep086
Review

Perspective of the Human Body in Sasang Constitutional Medicine

1Department of Sasang Constitutional Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Kyunghee University, Seoul, Republic of Korea
2Department of Sasang Constitutional Medicine, Kyunghee Korean Medicine Hospital, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemun-gu, Seoul, 130-702, Republic of Korea

Received 14 March 2009; Accepted 18 June 2009

Copyright © 2009 Junhee Lee et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The Sasang constitutional medicine (SCM), a medical tradition originating from Korea, is distinguished from the traditional Chinese medicine in its philosophical background, theoretical development and especially, the fundamental rationale that analyzes the structure and function of the human body within a quadrifocal scheme. In SCM, the structure of the body is comprehended within the Sasang quadrifocal scheme, and the function of the body is understood within the context of the energy-fluid metabolism and the water-food metabolism controlled by the four main organs (lung, spleen, liver and kidney). Also, the concept of Seong-Jeong is used to explain the structural and functional variations between different constitutional types that arise from the constitutional variations in organ system scheme, which are in turn caused by deviations in the constitutional Seong-Jeong. Therefore, understanding the SCM perspective of the human body is essential in order to fully appreciate the advantages of the constitutional typological system (which focuses on individual idiosyncrasies) found in SCM.