It was wonderful to have my sister with me for 3 months, and her husband and mother-in-law for a few weeks. Their trip was delayed waiting for Australian visas, but fortunately everything worked out in the end and they were able to make their planned trips to Tasmania and the Great Barrier Reef before hubby and his mother returned to China.
On the first day of the New Year, my sister, my Mum, and I dropped Wayne at his father’s farm in South Australia and then went on to visit Adelaide, Victor Harbour and Hahndorf – the perfect trip for a person like my sister who loves gardens and art galleries! We then returned to Melbourne via the Great Ocean Road. While in Melbourne we were able to visit the special exhibition at the National Gallery and make several trips to the Botanical Gardens as well.
As you can imagine, she loved the koalas, which is why we decided to export one to China as a memento of her trip. You can see from the photo that this particular koala won’t have any difficulties adjusting to the Chinese environment and won’t have any difficulty with strange food and a very different climate.
As we move further into the New Year (in keeping with this month’s theme), I’ve been thinking about the importance of emotional cleansing and the link between our emotions and our health. Just like we’re not always aware that our body is clogged with toxins, so our emotions can hold us back from creating new things and new pathways.
You often hear people say, “You have to get rid of the possessions that no longer mean anything to you to make room for the things you want.” Well, the same is true of emotions. If we just shove our old, unhealthy emotions and reactions to the back of our mind they will jump out at us one day and we’ll find ourselves wondering, “Where did that come from! I haven’t reacted like that in years.”
We need to make time for emotional cleansing, to ask some hard questions like: What’s not working? What is my role in this problem? What have I contributed to this situation? How can I create a healthy response?
Emotion is good. It’s part of being human, but sometimes we allow it to continue past the point of helpfulness. The antidote to this is reflection and cleansing. I also find that acupuncture and Chinese medicine are tremendously helpful for releasing emotion. Chinese tradition says that it creates a wormhole and opens the energy flow within ourselves and between us and others.
In the Chinese calendar, 2016 is the year of the Monkey and the Fire element. The year of the monkey comes around every 12 years. The last year of the monkey was in 2004 and the next year of the monkey will be in 2028.
What will the year of the Monkey be like?
This is destined to be a lively year where a lot can happen, especially on an individual level. This cheeky and energetic animal brings a boisterous and a faster pace to the year, with more communication, humour and wit. It will be an optimistic and progressive time, and most things should improve.
The Monkey is known for finding unusual solutions to old persistent problems, so daring to be different may lead to success. Be inventive and be creative. Start new endeavours and take calculated risks. It should be good for business.
Just be aware that talk can be fast and cheap this year, so be wary of trickery and deceptions. Look before you leap, and be careful to check the facts before making a decision.
On the health side, this is a year for movement and regular physical activity will be important to boost your body and burn off stress.
This is a great year for you, the individual, to move your life forward in leaps and bounds. Individual effort will be rewarded and things will get accomplished through personal work. Follow your heart and break free.
What if you were born in the year of the Monkey?
1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004
In Chinese astrology, people born in the year of the Monkey are generally lively, smart, quick-witted, versatile, curious, lucky, innovative and mischievous.
This year “Monkeys” can anticipate great and unexpected wealth, especially because they are fast learners and clever opportunists. However, the flip side of the coin is “Monkeys” need to stay away from gambling, illegal activities and greed because these are considered unlucky and they could lose everything.
Gongxi Facai (happiness and prosperity) in the year of the Monkey.
What if you could get rid of shoulder and neck pain immediately and improve your neck mobility – Yes, Traditional Chinese Medicine(TCM) Can Do That!
Robert thought shoulder and neck pain were something he would have to live with … the consequences of a busy lifestyle, and life as a professional in the computer age. He came into the clinic for another issue, but as we talked I realised that he was living with almost constant shoulder and neck tension which was often painful and he had trouble turning his head. He also frequently struggled to get to sleep at night.
We started a normal course of massage and acupuncture. I frequently do some massage before I use acupuncture, because I find that the feedback I get from my fingers works well as a diagnostic tool to discover areas of tension and that also helps me discover where the blockages really are.
In Robert’s case, he came in once a week for 3 weeks to get everything moving, and continued with posture exercises and stretches at home each day. He noticed an immediate improvement and after the initial course of treatment only needs to come in once every 8 weeks or so, to maintain his mobility and keep tension at bay.
Stretching Your Neck & Shoulders and Activating the Arm Meridians
Many people think that tai chi is just “that hand waving stuff that old people do in the park.” Yes, that is part of Tai Chi, but it is also a surprisingly rigorous stretching exercise, designed to challenge you both mentally and physically. It’s the only form of exercise that I have ever been able to pursue 3 times per week for several years without getting bored. With Tai Chi, I am always challenged, always learning, and always leave class with more energy than when I arrived.
The exercise helps you stretch your neck and shoulders, and expand your chest. It relieves tension, while also activating all of the meridians in your arms, releasing blockages and getting your energy moving again.
Release Tension in the Shoulders and Arms
1. Start with your feet parallel shoulder-width apart.
2. Lift your left hand above your head, with your palm facing upwards, and your fingers pointing to the right.
3. Push down with your right hand.
4. Hold for five seconds, then release.
5. Repeat for the other side.
“How serious are you about improving your own health?” That may sound like a strange question, but it’s one I often ask clients … and it’s even one I ask myself sometimes!
We all know how good massage feels when we’re tense and stressed, particularly when we have neck and shoulder pain. Massage and especially Chinese massage ( Tuina) is an important technique for moving energy through the body and releasing blockages, but it’s not necessarily the best, or the only technique you need us to use to help you.
Modern life is full of stress, and we spend so much time in the car or sitting at our computer that we end up with physical symptoms like headaches, wrist and finger pain, and a giant dose of neck and shoulder pain. Stretching and exercise help, but there is no substitute for the specific Traditional Chinese Medicine interventions including massage, acupuncture to release blockages and reduce inflammation in deep tissue where fingers cannot reach (or where it’s too painful to massage) and cupping to stimulate healing and energy flow across larger areas like the back and shoulders.
I also suggest to many of my clients that they incorporate exercise into their lives, as an ongoing out-of-clinic practice to address their neck and shoulder pain problems. The exercises that make up yoga, pilates, and tai chi are perfect, and designed to work every muscle and ligament in the body. Some people find that swimming or running work better for them; and really the best exercise is the one that you actually do!
Many couples have difficulty conceiving, and it can be a very emotional issue.
Sarah was frustrated with her difficulty conceiving. She had an earlier miscarriage and was also suffering grief over some family circumstances. Acupuncture enabled her to let go of the grief she was experiencing, and a combination of acupuncture and natural herbs regulated her periods and restored her energy.
Because of all she was going through we continued to see her at 2-week intervals throughout her whole pregnancy, and after an uncomplicated delivery she is the proud mother of a healthy boy.
Like many women, Karen felt her body clock ticking, and wanted to be pregnant yesterday! Her husband has a very stressful job with long hours and a lot of travel and that meant that she was stressed over the passing time, and diminishing opportunities for conception. After just a few treatments she conceived and she had a very healthy pregnancy and a safe delivery.
Anna already had a two-year old when she conceived. She had been a client for some time and came throughout her pregnancy for general care and relaxation because she found that acupuncture and herbal treatments gave her more energy for her busy daily life with a toddler and pregnancy. She was delighted with the ease of her pregnancy and delivery, and especially thrilled with her new daughter.
Please refer to our fertility page for more guidance, support and information.