Getting to Know You
A Physician Explains How Acupuncture Helps You Be the Best YOU
A book by the father of medical acupuncture, Joseph M. Helms, MD
Nurture/Duty people are typically calm, clean, and neat in appearance and fastidious regarding their personal surroundings. They like order and reliably fulfill their obligations. Those at the Nurture end of the spectrum can be round and fleshy in build, have soothing and melodic voices, and be sensitive to flavors and odors. They have a psychological predisposition to take care of the people in their lives, both personally and professionally.
Men and women of this makeup elevate parenting and the nuclear family above all other commitments and values. There can also be an exuberant expression as a bon vivant, knowledgeable about food and wine, someone who knows how to enjoy and share life's sensual pleasures. They emanate a fullness of presence and spirit that can be quite magnetic. Those at the Duty end of the Nurture/Duty type tend to have a thinner build, often with angular features. They can have an authoritative, matter-of-fact presence rather than the melodic voice of their rounder counterparts. They are extremely conscientious about fulfilling their real or perceived responsibilities. Dedicated to participating in good works, they have a strong sense of duty and are often active in civic or religious pursuits.
The Spleen, Lungs, Stomach, and Large Intestine are the organs associated with the Nurture/Duty biopsychotype. From an acupuncture perspective, these are the organs crucial to create and move energy in the body. This constitutional terrain involves the fundamental nurturing and day-to-day survival of the organism. Stomach and Large Intestine are the organs through which digestion takes place. Spleen's role is to extract and direct energy generated through digestion. Lung's role of respiration refines and moves the energy. When our energy is ample and flowing we have good health. When it is weak or stagnant we experience disorder and health disturbances.
Nurture/Duty types can possess extraordinary stamina, even a fierce energy in pursuit of duty or pleasure and gratification. When Spleen energy is less vital than ideal, habits of excess eating or indulging can take over. Not generally athletically inclined, Nurture/Duty types easily lose the discipline it takes to exercise and maintain a healthy body. When the Spleen is unable to convert solid and liquid nourishment into useful energy and circulate it in the body, a general feeling of lassitude, forgetfulness, stiffness, and fatigue will occur. An assortment of digestive symptoms can arise: loss of appetite; a sour taste; heartburn; hiccups or burping; nausea or vomiting; stomach irritation; bloating or gas; diarrhea or constipation; or difficulty in losing or maintaining weight.
Early manifestations of weak Lung vitality can include frequent sighing, breathlessness, and skin problems. More advanced problems include frequent head and chest colds, sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema. Because Lung connects with the outside world when we breathe in air, it is vulnerable to inhaled irritants as well as to extremes of climatic conditions. We need strong Lung energy to defend the body against illness from climate, pollution, or microbes inhaled into its tissue.