Taking Care of Your Health in the New Year of the Pig
by Bing Qian
“In the Chinese zodiac, the pig (boar) is realistic, faithful in friendship, stylish, perfectionist and hard working. He is a tolerant – being recognised by his friends for his kindness and generosity.”
Happy New Year and Happy Chinese New Year! 2019 on the western calendar, is now more than one month old, so how are you doing so far?
Some of the benefits that arise from the separation of the western new year (signalling holidays and celebration) and the lunar one (which, here in Australia, coincides with back-to-school and busyness) is that you have another chance to reset. Hopefully, you had a change of pace and activity during January and are now feeling refreshed and energised.
The Year of the Pig… oink, oink
The Year of the Pig winds up the twelve-year Chinese zodiacal cycle. Pigs love their comfort and they are very sensitive creatures who generally do not seek to harm themselves or others. Thus, the Year of the Pig is generally a year of nurture and prosperity with no major shake-ups or catastrophes.
But, guess what? The danger of this is that you become complacent, especially about your health and diet, and don’t give your mind and body the attention they deserve.
Listen, Pay Attention, and Take Responsibility for Your Health
At Bing’s Natural Health we emphasise your involvement in your own health journey. Our practitioners are your partners in progress towards your goals, because what you do at home is an even more important part of your journey than what we do in the clinic.
It’s true that regular acupuncture, massage, cupping, herbal medicine, and other TCM treatments strengthen and balance your energies, but if you don’t develop regular habits of appropriate exercise, diet, thoughts, and remembering to take your prescription herbs at home, then your benefits will be limited. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the habits you practice every day are the foundation of your health and well-being, while visits to the clinic are essential to support your daily practices.
If you want to improve your health in the new year, so that you enjoy increasing levels of vitality, energy, and joy, then it’s your responsibility to find out what your body needs, and you also need to pay attention as those needs change. You’ve probably noticed that some days you really look forward to certain foods or activities and other days you don’t. It’s a good idea to pay attention to those cravings and desires because they can be important cues for your practitioner (and yourself).
Maybe your body really does need a break from your regular exercise routine or more sleep. While I don’t suggest that you succumb to that urge to eat the whole box of chocolates or 3 slices of cake, maybe your body (or your mind) is telling you something about its needs. Your awareness combined with your practitioner’s expertise can often disentangle apparently random urges and use them to diagnose and strengthen the appropriate channels.
Balance, Moderation, and Wisdom
In TCM, our focus is on strengthening and balancing your energies and providing support and healing to weaker areas rather than pushing compromised organs to perform better. That is why we ask so many questions in addition to our observation of your vital signs.
We want to teach you to understand your own body, read the signals it is sending you, and respond appropriately. You don’t need to know all about TCM, you just need to know what is relevant for your current state and participate in the ongoing journey of discovery. So it’s very important to listen to your body between consultations, to ask your practitioner questions, and to become an active partner in your own journey.
Wishing you every success with your health in the New Year.