February 8th, 2016, ushered in the Year of the Fire Monkey. The Chinese have long assigned both animal energy as well as elemental energy to each passing year, believing these cyclical attributes have an influence on everything from the weather, our personal relationships, our health, and beyond.
What are the themes for 2016? How can we support both our bodies and spirits over the next 12 months? How can we best navigate what is sure to be an exuberant year? Traditional Chinese Medicine theory helps us on our way to understanding!
The chattery, energetic Monkey is the embodiment of Yang energy, which is associated with all things vibrant. This will be a playful year in which we should not be afraid to celebrate our eccentricities! It’s a time to have fun and express ourselves through music, dancing, the clothing we wear, and to explore all things “alternative” — from the food we eat, to the way we care for our bodies. 2016 is a great year to take risks and throw caution to the wind. Laughter and enhanced communication will also take center stage This Monkey year will embrace the motto of “anything can happen” where events turn on a dime, and for most of us, will appear to go by in a flash!
2016 is what we refer to as a “Fire over Metal” year, which means Fire will be dominating the Metal element. Traditional Chinese Medicine 5 Element Theory dictates that Fire controls Metal, is paired with the Heart and Small Intestine organs, and is represented by the color red. Fire, as would be assumed, is the ultimate Yang element. It is hot, explosive, and blazes upward as it gains strength. Metal, conversely, generates Water, is paired with the Lung and Large Intestine organs, and is represented by the color white. What does this mean in terms of our health?
Metal Health: As mentioned above, Fire will be dominating Metal this year. The relationship between these two elements can be seen with our own eyes as we watch metal warp and melt when exposed to hot flames. Metal is paired with the Lung and Large Intestine. Therefore, when Metal is weakened, the body systems associated with these organs tend to suffer. What this means is we’re likely to see an uptick in respiratory illnesses, like the cold and flu virus, as well as all manners of skin diseases, as the Lung nourishes the skin in Chinese Medicine theory. If you’re prone to eczema, rashes, hives or psoriasis, this may be a challenging year for you. Those suffering from IBS are also more likely to experience a flare of symptoms, as the Large Intestine energy is weakened. You may have already experienced for yourself that acupuncture, herbal medicine, and tailored nutrition are stars at treating respiratory illnesses, skin conditions and digestive complaints. If you’ve never tried Chinese medicine, but have always wanted to, this is the perfect year to take the leap!
If you are what we refer to as a “Metal Type” individual, meaning you are fair-skinned, have refined features, a square face, flat abdomen, small bone structure and tend to speak in a loud/powerful voice, you’ll want to pay extra attention to balancing both your Lungs and Large Intestine this year. But not to fear! We also know that when metal is forged with flames, its shape may be altered and temporarily weakened, but it will be rendered stronger in the end!
Fire Health: Fire dominates this year, and while it’s sure to bring excitement, it can also have some less than desirable effects on our health. Fire is paired with the Heart and Small Intestine, so we’ll want to keep a watchful eye for signs that these organ systems are imbalanced. Fire tends to affect the mind more than the Heart itself, so when the Heart is in excess (i.e. too much fire), we see an increase in anxiety, mental agitation and insomnia. A physical manifestation of an overactive Heart can be seen when angina or tachycardia are present. Excess Fire in the Small Intestine is expressed as cystitis (i.e. urinary tract infection), so take care to stay well hydrated this year, and consider talking to us about supplementing with D-Mannose if you know you are prone to UTIs.
If you are a “Fire Type” individual, meaning you tend toward a red complexion, wide teeth, pointed head, well-developed shoulder muscles, curly or balding hair, small hands and feet, and a tendency to walk briskly, adopting a regular meditative practice this year (especially meditation near bodies of water/fountains, to cool the Fire) will be highly beneficial! Meditation calms both our nervous systems and our minds.
Fire is a very youthful energy, so this year people will tend to feel younger and more energetic than ever! If you’re an athlete, pay special care not to overdo it, as this energy may have you feeling like Superman/Wonderwoman. Fire is also associated with the “Shen” (i.e. the Mind), so many of us may notice increased intuition and instincts, as well as enhanced verbal and non-verbal communication with others. Conversely, those with a strong Metal constitution may feel a bit overwhelmed this year, as Metal is weakened. Personal boundaries may feel violated, and you may feel crowded and have the overall sense that people around you are being too noisy and are bombarding your senses. As flames become stronger when a fire takes way, we’ll notice the energy this year gaining strength as the months progress.
Magic and Luck
The Year of the Fire Monkey is one of strong spirit. Magic is ours to be had, and there is great potential for the arrival of “Miracle Babies” as fire meets fire and comes together to create life. If your Chinese Astrological sign is that of a Monkey, Tiger, Dog or Horse, it is said this a “bad luck year.” Not to fret! The ancient Chinese viewed “bad luck” as having to work very hard and making lots of money. So while 2016 may not be a relaxing year for these signs, it should be a prosperous one! The signs boasting “good luck” this year are the Snakes, Rats and Dragons. If you fall into this camp, you can expect more relaxation and fun than you experienced last year.
We at Yinfinite Wellness look forward to treating you, your friends, and family this year, and will help you to achieve a happy, healthy, fulfilling 2016!