Are You Jitsu Sho or Kyo Sho?? … and does it matter?

It is important to understand the concept of a person’s overall conformation described by Jitsu Sho, Kyo Sho, or Chuyo, taking on board Dr. Tei’s* ideas on the merits and demerits of various dieting methods.  A person’s conformation or Sho is also an important part of the essence of Kampo medicine.

First of all, Jitsu Sho means strong, full or excess; Kyo Sho means weak, empty or deficient; and Chuyo is in between the two.  The state of Chuyo is considered ideal in Kampo medicine, a balanced state.

The characteristics of Jitsu Sho?

If you are typical Jitsu sho, you have good physical strength, are highly motivated to take action, and are able to put a strong fight against illness.  You can work through the night without too much impact on you and also be very active on your days off.  For example, if you catch a cold, you may develop a high fever, but recover from it quickly.  However, you may not notice any signs and symptoms of illness or disease developing in you, and then end up with the disease far advanced by the time you see a doctor.  You both work and play hard, which could lead to a ‘short’ life.

If you are Jitsu sho, you can drink and eat more than others, maybe enjoying a full course French meal including both fish and meat all in one go.

The characteristics of Kyo Sho?

If you are Kyo Sho, you are generally less strong physically and have a less energetic attitude towards action, and tend to tire easily.  If you start having a runny nose, you often run to a doctor without a delay.  There probably is no way you work through the night without the need of a total rest on the following day.  You tend to catch infectious diseases, such as colds and flus more often.  However, because you look after yourself well and avoid taxing your body, you could live a ‘longer’ life.

If you are Kyo Sho, you prefer to drink just a little, and usually at home.  Also, you would find a four course meal too much to enjoy and prefer if possible to eat fish on one day and meat on the next.

Classifying these conformations is rather intuitive, and never fixed and definite.  The overall conformations can move and change depending on your physical conditions on a particular day or even the time of the day.  You have a tendency to belong to one or the other, and staying in the middle all the time is less likely.

Here is a quick test to self-diagnose your own conformation.  (click here)

Here is an interesting insight: while you are overall Jitsu Sho, your intestines can be found to be Kyo Sho.  It means that you look strong, work hard, eat a lot and so on.  However at the same time, your intestines are weak with no muscular strength.  This is a big problem in today’s world.  Jitsu Sho or Kyo Sho of the intestines do not match up with your overall conformation.  Kyo Sho of the intestines could have an association with overweight & poor health.

Here is another quick test to self-diagnose your intestinal conformation.  (click here)

So are you Jitsu ShoKyo Sho or Chuyo? ….and how about your intestines?


Reference: Dr. Munetetsu Tei: “Train Your Intestines To Lose Weight And Become Healthy!” (in Japanese). Shufunotomo, 2011.

* About Dr. Munetetsu Tei:
Dr. Munetetsu Tei M.D. is the University President and Professor at Nihon Pharmaceutical University, and the owner and head doctor of Hyakusai Clinic in Tokyo.  He specialises in treating patients living with cancer and other complex diseases using a combination of modern medicine and Kampo medicine.


posted by: Atsuko Fritz

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