Today Chinese New Year celebrates the Year of the Dragon. I am not Chinese and don't actually celebrate this holiday, however, I do practice Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture and so I am interested how the new year will affect our health.
For the Chinese, astrology is connected with Chinese Medicine via the Five Elements: Water, Fire, Earth, Metal, Wood. There are a cycle of 12 years that correspond with an animal sign: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, pig. Each of the animal signs cycle through each of the five elements. So this year is more specifically the Year of the Water Dragon. According to Chinese culture the Dragon is a symbol of power, superiority and rule.
Famous people born in Year of the Dragon include: Bruce Lee, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Dr. Seuss, Neil Diamond, Tom Jones, Sigmund Freud, and Bing Crosby. However, the last Yang Water Dragon year was 1892/93.
The last time there was a year of the water dragon was 1952/53. But that was Yin year and this year is Yang in nature. Yang Water (the element for this year) symbolizes wealth & communication - this having to do with flow (moving water). Some famous people who were Yang Water Dragons include: Josef Broz Tito (Yugoslav revolutionary), Manfred Von Richtofen (famous German flying ace "The Red Baron" who I'm familiar with from listening to the song "Snoopy vs. The Red Baron" as a kid), and Pearl S. Buck (writer of "The Good Earth").
Chinese New Year symbolizes new beginnings and a fresh start. Traditionally people clean their houses from top to bottom to get rid of old stagnant energy and make room for positive energy of the New Year. Like we do spring cleaning.
The emotion associated with the kidney and water element is fear. So it is very important to try to avoid or protect oneself from fear and shock. If our kidneys are strong then we are able to withstand these emotions more effectively.
The absence of the Fire element for this year is also unfavourable for people who have health problems related to the heart. So please be careful and remember to maintain a healthy diet and include adequate exercise. This will be a fast paced and possible unpredictable year, so you must not let yourself work too hard that it adversely affects your health. Spend some time travelling for pleasure this year, if possible.
So tonight, start the New Year with one of my favourite kidney strengthening meals of Black Bean & Sweet Potato Soup and lightly steamed black kale with a bit of sea salt, black sesame seeds and a drizzle of sesame oil. Or try Pum Buk - a delicious traditional Chinese New Year dish with aduki beans, squash, & chestnuts.
If you suffer from any of these issues, have a weak immune system or back pain it is time to seek professional help. Chinese Medicine & acupuncture is very effective at strengthening the kidneys and helping these conditions. Try to avoid and become more effective at dealing with stress. You will need to take care of your health and diet this year because this will be a fast paced year. You might want to think about giving up smoking, starting a better diet, getting more exercise and seeing a Naturopath to strengthen your immune system to prevent from getting sick!
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