Feb 8, 2016 is the start of the Chinese Year of the Yang Red Fire Monkey. The Monkey is a strong Metal energy so this year will feel autumnal. There will be a sense of turning inwards and letting go and, according to Chinese medicine, metal governs organization, communication, setting limits, and protecting boundaries. Yang energy is active and warming and this will be heightened by the heat of the Fire energy and the mischievous and changeable energy of the Monkey.

Metal energy also corresponds to your Lungs, Large Intestines and Skin in Chinese Medicine so what does this mean for your health?

In regard to your respiratory system this year could potentially be a bad year for colds and flu, throat infections, asthma, and allergies. So it will be important to work on supporting your immunity and keeping your lungs strong. You can do this with deep belly breathing exercises and good diet as well as having a course of acupuncture preventatively in autumn, the metal season, to help you cope better with winter colds and flu.

The fire energy is drying to the body and can stir up inflammation so you may find yourself more easily constipated this year.  Irritable Bowel or Inflammatory Bowel diseases may also play up more than usual. It will be important for you to nourish your Large Intestine with probiotics and fermented foods and be more mindful of your diet when your digestion or allergies are playing up. Staying well hydrated by drinking good quality spring water in this fire year will be crucial for supporting your health.

Skin problems reflect a deeper underlying imbalance within your body as well as problems at the surface of your body. As your skin is your biggest organ of elimination and is ruled by the lungs, from a Chinese medicine perspective, it is possible that if your bowels are playing up or your lungs are struggling that your skin too will suffer with more rashes, eczema, dermatitis, hives or allergies. Again watch your diet and keep your bowels regular. Dry skin brushing  is also great as it unclogs your pores and helps you to excrete toxins that become trapped in your  skin.

With Fire and Metal energies in conflict, an active yang or doing energy, and the trickster Monkey at play anything can happen this year and things can change quickly so you may find yourself ever on the alert. Watch your nervous system and make time to rest and recuperate. Remember that being is just as important as doing. If you are feeling stressed  or restless and having trouble sleeping then stop, take a few deep belly breaths and go for a walk in nature or download a mindfulness app, meditation is a great way to release stress.

The emotions related to the metal energy and your lungs are sadness, grief and disappointment. From this perspective the fiery energies of joy, optimism and playfulness will help to take the edge off these so open your heart and have fun this year.  If you want to find out more about the 5 elements and the 5 emotions watch my  Think Well, Feel Well webinar.

The energy of the lungs relate to the throat chakra so good communication will be important this year. Speak out or speak up for yourself by setting your limits and boundaries. Express yourself through writing, singing, dancing, or getting creative with your hairstyle or clothing.   Esoteric acupuncture is a gentle yet powerful way to clear your throat chakra and rebalance any emotional imbalances.

Last year we focused on the earth energy, since  it sits between Fire and Metal you can use this information to help you moderate any conflict that may arise  between these energies.  The Earth element also relates to nourishment so treating food as medicine as well as doing what you can to stay grounded will help to support your health this year. Acupuncture and Chinese herbs will also be of great help to strengthen your immunity,  reduce the severity and length of most colds and flu as well as helping with  digestive problems,  skin conditions  and relieving stress.

Have a wonderful year.

Your feedback and questions are welcome so please leave a comment below.

For further information on Chinese Medicine  contact  Tania Grasseschi (Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs and Wholefood counselling).    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.