Comparing TCM pulse & tongue diagnosis with Five Element Sasang

How can we asses someone’s health from the basic perspective of Chinese medicine and not take their pulse or do a tongue diagnosis? How can we possibly determine their ideal nutritional program without seeing them in person?

The Five Element Sasang system addresses the body at a very fundamental level, the level of our body constitution, or Body Landscape. This essentially never changes. Whatever Five Element energies we received at birth is what we will always have. Any imbalances we were born with will always remain, unless we supplement those imbalances with foods that rectify them and restore balance. When we follow a nutritional program that addresses our body’s needs at this deep, fundamental, unchanging level, the body responds very positively.

In contrast, pulse and tongue readings give information about the body on a more surface level.  They provide messages about how your body and internal organs are functioning at that particular time. These readings will change from day to day and week to week, influenced by many factors such as your condition of illness or wellness, what you ate that day, how stressed you are, how well you are sleeping, if you are having emotional upsets – all the multitude of factors that can affect your life and your health.

These pulse and tongue readings are useful to your acupuncturist in determining your treatment at that time, but they provide us with no information about your body constitution. They tell us nothing about that deeper, more fundamental level that is your foundation of energy makeup. This is why in Five Element Sasang we do not need to take pulse or tongue readings, or to meet you in person.

To try and design a nutritional program based on these surface messages from your pulse and tongue would be challenging. Since these readings are always changing, your nutritional program would also have to frequently change. We would have to be constantly chasing your symptoms, trying to alleviate one while others start popping up.

Five Element Sasang addresses your body at a deeper, more fundamental level. It looks at the foundation you were born with, a foundation that never changes. When a nutritional program is designed to balance your body at this level, the body begins to respond within a few days. It will continue to respond, to detox, to rebalance, and to heal, for many weeks and months, up to a year or more.

The principles of Five Element Sasang come from ancient Taoist medicine, the foundation of which is the understanding of our body’s internal energies, or Five Elements. The Five Elements represent the energies of each of our major internal organs. They are also present in the air around us, fluctuating in predictable patterns of strength and weakness over the hours, days, months and years.

Ancient Taoist hermits realized that the Five Elements fluctuate in such predictable patterns that they could create tables showing which elements are present at any given hour, day, month, and year. When we are born, at the moment we take our first breath, the pattern of Five Elements that happen to be present will enter our internal organs and take up residence there for the rest of our life.

These elements then become the foundation of our body’s fundamental energy makeup. This creates our body constitution, or Body Landscape. It fundamentally does not change throughout our life. For this reason, we can use the window of your date, time, and location of birth to see the foundation of the Five Elements that you were born with. This shows us your body constitution and its nutritional needs.

The Five Element Sasang nutritional programs are designed to not only balance your body constitution (whether you have a hot, Yang constitution or a cold, Yin constitution), but also to fill in the gaps of the energies you were born with. For example, if you received just a small amount of Wood (liver) element, but an excessive amount of Gold (lung) element, we would create a program that emphasizes foods that provide more Wood energy, and have you avoid any foods that would provide more Gold energy.

The fresh produce that we eat every day, vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, seeds, animal protein, etc., each has an energetic characteristic that provides one of the Five Elements. When we eat foods that even out the distribution of the Five Elements that we received at birth, so that our energy is more evenly distributed among our five major internal organs, considerable changes begin to occur in our health. Essentially, our body’s innate healing system swings into action, detoxing, and clearing away a wide variety of health symptoms.

Although this may sound foreign to the Western mind, or even to those familiar with Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the results are irrefutable. I have personally seen that anyone who follows their Body Landscape dietary program as instructed, will see at least some of their symptoms alleviated within the first four weeks. Their health will then continue to improve over several months, even up to a year, provided they continue to adhere to their nutritional program.

When we understand our own unique Body Landscape this empowers us to take care of ourselves at a level we could never before have imagined. It still sometimes surprises me the kinds of symptoms that disappear, such as fatigue, joint pain, irritable bowel, numbness, shortness of breath, sciatic pain, headaches, bloating, to name a few.

Our improved health also leads to feeling more contentment, peace, and greater confidence in our spiritual practice. We no longer struggle with these distractions, or at the very least they are much lighter, less frequent, and feel more manageable. Now we can get down to really focusing on our daily practice, our self-cultivation, whether it be meditation, yoga, qi gong, tai chi or simply a regular exercise regime.

Our health is the foundation on which we build our life, our family, our career, and our spiritual pursuits. Without it the road is just much more challenging. With good health, we feel we can accomplish almost anything.

Announcing: Practitioner Training in Five Element Sasang

I will be offering the first training course in this remarkable Five Element Sasang Constitutional Medicine, a true health system, beginning May 16, 2023.

This is the authentic, Five Element Sasang system as developed by my teacher, Ven. Hyunoong Sunim, and passed on to me. To date, I am the only person he has certified to practice and teach this system. It is time to pass this on to other practitioners.

If you are a health practitioner, or wish to practice Five Element Sasang as a professional health practitioner, this first training will provide the foundation for your skills in this system.

The course will take place online via Zoom, once a week every Tuesday, for two hours each class.
It will continue for 12 weeks, with a one-month break in August, followed by eight more weeks of advanced training.

If you are interested in taking this training, please respond to this newsletter, or contact me directly via email or the Contact page on my website.

This training is available only to those who have worked with me as clients, and have been following their Body Landscape nutritional program for at least 4 months.

This is to ensure that you have a personal experience of this system and how it has changed your body and your health. Only through this personal experience can you help others to understand their own Body Landscape.

Although learning to understand and apply this system in your health practice requires intelligence, even more it requires the ability to comprehend in an intuitive, holistic way. This is more of a right-brain process, rather than a linear, logical way of perceiving.

I have found that those who struggle the most to grasp this system are those who have already studied TCM, as they tend to merge the two systems in their mind. These two systems are very different ways of looking at and treating the body. Knowledge of TCM must be completely set aside and left outside the door before entering this course.

Finally, please come to the course will an attitude of sincerity, honesty, integrity and humility. Come with your mind open and empty, available to accept this new way of remarkable insight into health and healing.

Training Courses:

Level I: May 16th to August 1st, 2023.
12-week course providing introduction and in-depth study of the principles and applications of Five Element Sasang Constitutional Medicine.

Deepen Your Skills: Ongoing support and monitoring of your skills will be provided via email during the five-week summer break, as you gain your own experience using this system. This will be followed by the Level II course.

Level II: Two-month advanced training course. Includes exams, and will qualify you as a Practitioner in Training.
Level II Will be required before taking exams in the spring of 2024 to become a fully Certified Practitioner

Please note: You must commit to taking both Level I and Level II. 

Level I: $2300 single payment, or $795 per month.

Deepen Your Skills Monitoring & Support: $250 for five weeks of individual support via email between Levels I & II.

Level II: $1500 single payment, or $795 per month

Dates and Times:
Level I: Every Tuesday, beginning May 16, 2023 until August 1, 2023.
Deepen Your Skills: Via email between August 1st and September 12th.
Level II: Every Tuesday, beginning September 12, 2023, until October 31, 2023

Canada/USA Pacific Time: 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Canada/USA Eastern time: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
London, UK time: 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Paris/Amsterdam time: 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Dubai UAE Time: 9:00 PM to 11:00 PM

If you are in East Asia, Australia or New Zealand, a future course will be held at times more suitable for you.

Chinese herbal Treatments

A Chinese herbal formula provides more potent, deep internal balancing and strengthening of our energies than what foods can provide. A ten-day treatment, taken once or twice a year, can protect our health and boost our stamina.
To order a treatment of Chinese herbs, just send me an email, or reply to this newsletter, and we can arrange that.

Learn more here: