Feb 19, 2015, is the start of the Chinese Year of the Yin Green Wood Sheep. The Sheep is the last of the Fire animals so this year’s energy will be like that of late summer. Yin energy is about being open to receive so this is a perfect time to be open to receive the late summer harvest of all your labours. 2015 may also be a turning point year for many people as we move out of a fire cycle and into a metal cycle, an autumnal energy, in 2016.

Last year, the year of the fast paced Wood Horse,  we focused on the Wood and Fire energies that relate primarily to the Liver and Heart in Chinese Medicine. While the Wood and Fire energies are still around this year the calm, peaceful Sheep introduces the energy of Earth to the mix.

Earth energy is about digestion in Chinese Medicine so what does this mean for your health?

Earth is a nurturing energy, the archetype of Mother Earth. Many of us tend to care for and feed others, be concerned about others’ wellbeing, ensuring things are safe and secure for others above ourselves. This year, however, it is important to start looking after yourself. The inclination to always put others first can be depleting and exhausting so remember to harness that yin, receptive, energy and allow yourself to receive nurturing from others. The Earth element grants us the ability to learn to nourish and care for ourselves and as Earth energy brings up our issues of self worth (self value, self esteem, self confidence and self respect) It is time to start believing that you really are as worthy of nourishment as everyone else.

One way to nurture yourself is to look at building your community and support networks so time with family or socializing with good friends is important.

Earth energy is also about structure so it is important to create regular routines and rhythms for eating and sleeping (learn all about your body clock in my Mind Body Connection workshop) and getting good quality sleep requires calming your nervous system. When we are in a state of flight and fight our digestive system switches off so our body stops being nourished and digestive issues invariably arise. When we make time to stop and take at least 10 deep, diaphragmatic, belly breaths we can go into a state of rest and digest which allows us to recuperate and reenergize.

Earth energy is about digestion so receiving food, as well as transforming it into the energy we need and transporting that energy around the body for nourishment. When your Earth energy is out of balance it may manifest in digestive problems such as bloating, indigestion or irritable bowel syndrome so using nature’s own modes of healing such as Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs are great ways to nourish yourself and restore your digestive health. Digestion, however, is also about how we digest or process our lives so imbalances here can show up as worry. Worry knots energy and it’s hard to nourish yourself with a knot in your stomach. People with digestive issues usually tend to worry and people who worry invariable have digestive issues.

Nourishment comes in many forms: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual so it is important to nourish yourself at all of these levels. It can be helpful to focus on your 5 senses for this:

  • Sight – hang cheerful pictures on your walls, clear clutter, read inspiring books, watch inspiring films
  • Sound – listen to relaxing music, and positive and supporting words. Listen also to your intuition – your gut response.
  • Touch – surround yourself with wonderful fabrics in your clothes, sheets and furniture. Give lots of hugs as that is a great way to receive them. Spend some time grounding yourself – take off your shoes and feel the grass, earth or sand between your toes.
  • Smell – fill your home with the scent of aromatherapy oils or incense or fresh flowers
  • Taste – it is time to reassess what you are eating, keep it simple and nourishing – my Food as Medicine webinar can help with that

So in 2015 get grounded, allow yourself time to rest and nourish yourself at all levels and you’ll have a great year.

Happy Chinese New Year!

For further information on Chinese Medicine  contact  Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture and Chinese Herbs).    Tania  is a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine  (AHPRA  registered) in  Kingsford  and  is a Contract Academic  at the  Endeavour College of Natural Health  Sydney campus.