Chinese New Year: Year of the Fire Monkey
Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and starting on the new moon of February 8th, the Year of the Fire Monkey begins! The combination of fire and monkey energy is particularly exciting because together they will bring a year of opportunity and action! The Monkey is all about movement, creativity, go-getting, flexibility, sociability and taking risks. It’s a year to just go for what you really want – no more procrastinating! And to top it off, this animated animal is paired with the element of fire, which doubles the potential for transformation. The fire element relates to the heart, yang energy, vitality, movement, transmutation and passion. Together, fire and monkey mark a year to step into the fire of your life, to follow your passion, and to get things done! It’s also a year for physical activity and focus on health and well-being.
While the fire monkey brings passion and movement, these energies can easily go out of control, like a wild fire. So be careful, make sure to balance your mind and body, and not burn down monkey’s jungle. Signs that your fire energy is out of balance include agitation, insomnia, heart palpitations, high blood pressure and other heart disturbances.
How can we balance these fire monkey energies? Well, fire relates to the heart organ, and so this year, focus on nourishing and protecting your heart. In Chinese medicine bitter foods and drinks are cooling and healing for the heart. So load up on dandelion greens, broccoli rabe, bitter melon, parsley, grapefruit, sesame seeds, yerba mate, and other bitter nourishment. We will also be selling a special Chinese tea at Arogya, in honor of the year of the Fire Monkey, called Kuding Cha, a bitter herbal tea with beautifully rolled leaves and tremendous health benefits.
Another way to balance fire energy is to make sure you cultivate your inner water element to calm the fire, as water is the yin to fire’s yang. To bring more of this calming energy into your life, drink lots of water and tea throughout the day, get plenty of sleep, stick to a routine and regular bedtime, and meditate to strengthen the deep parts of your being to balance the intensity of the fire energy. It’s also an important time to fortify your immune system with healthy foods and teas, and to strengthen your constitution with herbal tonics and regular acupuncture. Do you get allergies every spring? Or the flu every fall? These are signs of a weak constitution – an impaired ability to adapt to nature’s changes. So if you find yourself with similar patterns, a consultation with our acupuncturist can get you on the right track.
To balance the sociable, energetic and extroverted monkey energy, me must turn our attention within. The monkey calls to mind what in Buddhism is referred as the “monkey mind,” which is the constant internal chatter and rapid bouncing around from one thought to the next, just like a monkey jumping around through the forest. This monkey mind can at times feel fun or creative, but it can also be very distracting and make it hard to focus. To calm this monkey energy, practice the art of meditation and mindfulness, learning to be present in the here and now. Meditation is a great way to bring stillness to this internal agitation, which brings a sense of peace, clarity, focus and connection. Arogya’s acupuncturist Gregor Bertram will be leading a heartfulness mediation workshop soon! Get in touch if you are interested in joining.
Though there will be lots to bring into balance this year, it’s also an amazing year for truly following your hearts desire. In this year of the Fire Monkey, we wish all you the confidence, trust, wisdom and clarity to step forward into your destiny. May this year be full of abundance, positive change and opportunities, health, peace, love and light.
Happy New Year! Or as is said in Chinese, “Gong Xi Fa Cai!”
written by Chloe Bolton