Gung Hay Fat Choy. A very happy and prosperous Year of the Tiger to all of you.

The Chinese have followed a lunar calendar since 2600 B.C.E. which means that the first day of the year can be anywhere between late January and mid February. This year New Year’s Day happens to fall on Valentine’s Day making this a particularly auspicious occasion for those of us who live in the West. Chinese New Year marks the end of winter and the beginning of spring. It is a time when families get together, put aside disagreements, honor their ancestors and thank the gods for their blessings. People rush to pay off debts before the old year ends and wear new clothes to signify a new beginning. The color red features prominently in decorations and clothing because it is thought to bring good luck and happiness. It is traditional to prepare for New Year by cleaning your home and here at the YinOva Center we have spent the month of January cleaning house in a variety of ways. Many of you joined me on our annual YinOva cleanse as a way of renewing your commitment to your health for the the year ahead. Mark, our YinOva manager, has been busy cleaning out cupboards and rearranging our office and we are marking the passage of time and the changing of seasons by saying goodbye to some of our lovely YinOva acupuncturists and welcome new members of the team into our office. We wish Marie and Liz well as they start out in private practice and welcome Anne and Kymberly to the YinOva Center. Both of them bring experience and considerable new skills and talents to our team and we are thrilled to have them on board and I know they are looking forward to taking care of you as we embark on the Year of the Tiger. In Chinese astrology each year is assigned an animal and an element. There are 12 animals and 5 elements and that means that a specific sign only comes round once every 60 years. In days gone by this used to be considered the life cycle of a person although with modern medicine combined with the traditional wisdom of Chinese medicine most of us will be fortunate to live well into the next 60-year cycle. This upcoming year will be a Metal Tiger year and according to the Chinese horoscope it will be tumultuous. Tiger years are said to start with a roar and end with a whimper so we can expect the year to get off to an unpredictable and tempestuous start. It is said that everything, both good and bad, is magnified during a Tiger year so we can expect great highs accompanied by great lows along with big changes.  People can act dramatically and impulsively so a Chinese astrologer would see it as no accident that Watergate happened in a Tiger year. This rashness can threaten friendships and partnerships and lead to discord in our personal lives.  Those of us who follow the Chinese zodiac are preparing our selves for large swings in the financial markets, political unrest domestically and international conflict. If all this sounds a little scary you should know that Metal Tiger years are considered forceful but not necessarily unlucky. In fact the strength of the metal tiger can be used to get difficult tasks completed and make the impossible happen. Financial markets although volatile should trend upwards and the world’s economies will start to recover. On a personal level this is a good year to finally face up to your most challenging issues and resolve them once and for all. The heat of the Tiger can have a cleansing effect and we could end this year in a way better position than when we started out. This will be particularly true if we are vigilant about this year’s tendency to rash behavior and are careful to keep our own impulses in check.

So what is the key to getting the best out of the Metal Tiger Year? Here is the advice we are giving our YinOva patients.

  • Given that this year can lead to arguments and the severing of relationships as well as impulsive behavior, make a conscious effort to think before acting, to pause and breathe before speaking and to cultivate calmness and clarity through meditation and contemplation.
  • Use the forceful energy of a Tiger year to make changes in your own life and confront your most difficult issues.
  • The power of a Tiger year can be used to turn around any situation or aspect of your life that is no longer working for you.
  • Make balance a priority by eating well and getting enough sleep.
  • Focus on activities that are yin to balance up the yang energy this year. Take walks in nature, create a water feature in your home or garden, grow food, read books and spend time in peace and solitude.
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