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The acupuncture office of Deborah Hutchinson, PhD, LAc, DiplAc (NCCAOM)®. Located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, offering acupuncture and moxibustion according to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles

Chinese Culture

Chinese New Year 2022 – Year of the Tiger

Chinese New Year 2022 - Year of the Tiger

Chinese New Year is the most important holiday in China for good reason. Each new year brings new energies and opportunities. The celebration begins the day after the first new moon between January 21 and February 20 each year and lasts until the following full moon. These 2 weeks are a time of welcoming and aligning with the new energies. This year, the Chinese New Year falls on Feb 1st and festivities continue through Feb 15th, 2022. Each year has a corresponding element and animal of the Chinese zodiac.

This is the year of the water-tiger year that holds a lot of promise for an exciting, productive year. This indicates a new beginning, a fresh start, and it’s a year made for bold action. The Tiger is known for its power, daring, and ability to do everything on a grand scale. 

This water-tiger year is in gear to be a faster-paced, more passionate year after a slower year of the Ox (2021) and a very challenging year of the Rat (2020). The tiger has been sleeping, awaiting his time for action. 2022 has great potential to be a year of change because of the energy of the tiger: brave, self-assured and ready to pounce. Individually we might be inspired to embark on new adventures, such as travel or moving, or starting a new business. Collectively, there may be an energetic shaking off of stagnation brought on by the past couple years of the pandemic. It will be a year of exploring new ideas, and not shying away from challenges. If energy is not allowed to flow (individually and/or collectively) there may be some restlessness or unpredictable behaviors. It is also important to balance the aggressive energy of the tiger with times of rest. Even tigers take cat naps. This is a water year, so the yin energy of the water can help to balance the fierce fiery nature of the tiger. continue reading »

So what is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui Basics

You might have heard of Feng Shui referred to in the Western world as a tradition that’s similar to interior design. However, in Chinese culture, feng shui is understood as a far more complex and rich system. It is a practice intended to create harmony in our interior space, and relates to our personal energy, the natural world, and our environment.

 

The ultimate goal of feng shui is to create energized and balanced spaces by drawing in positive energy. It draws on a system of interactions and laws about how humans perceive our physical environment. The art of feng shui governs spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy or Qi (pronounced “chee”).

 

The terms Feng (meaning wind) and Shui (meaning water) in Chinese tradition are the two natural elements free to move and circulate everywhere on earth. They are also considered to be the two most basic elements required for human life: water and air. The combination of wind and water determines our climate, and therefore food supply. These two free-flowing elemental qualities have profound effects on individuals and society as they affect our mood, lifestyle, energy, and health.

 

Derived from the Taoist philosophy and seen throughout Traditional Chinese Medicine, feng shui also believes in the use of the “5 Element System.” These elements interact with one another constantly, creating balance and harmony or inciting chaos. Each element is associated with specific qualities, colors, and shapes that can then be used to influence qualities in your life and home.

 

Chart: Fire = Color: Red / Orange - Shape: Triangle - Season: Summer - Focus: Passion / High Energy. Earth = Color: Yellow- Shape: Square - Season: Transitional Periods - Focus: Stability / Nourishment. Metal = Color: White / Metalics - Shape: Circu…

5 Feng Shui Tips

Where you spend most of your time during the day has a massive impact on your emotional and physical health. If you are someone who sits at a desk each day, or maybe you are still working from home, consider these 5 simple tips to bring more life and energy back into your personal and professional spaces.

  1. Stay away from poison arrows. Angled furniture creates what is called poison arrows, the attacking energy in feng shui that can deplete and weaken your energy. Reposition your furniture so there are no sharp angles pointing at you while you work. You can also place a plant or another item in front of the sharp corners to neutralize this bad energy.

  2. Pay attention to what is called feng shui backing. If your back is to the door or a window, your energy will get weakened. You can create strong feng shui backing by placing a row of plants behind you or repositioning your office chair so you have a wall at your back.

  3. Create nourishing energy in your working space with high-energy images. Hang art or photos that bring you happy, uplifting memories to nourish your energy at work.

  4. Organize and de-clutter. Only leave the items you really need out on your desk to give your desk and yourself some room to breathe.

  5. Energize your space with plants. Plants bring energy from nature into your space and can also purify the air, depending on the species. There was even a NASA study on the best plants to reduce indoor air pollution. We suggest peace lilies (keep your pets away from them because lilies are toxic to eat!), snake plants, bamboo palms, dracaenas, and spider plants to help purify the air. You’ve probably noticed a few of these in our office.

If you would like a copy of this, download a PDF version here.

 

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2021 Year of the Metal Ox

新年快乐! (Happy New Year!)

Welcome to the Year of the Ox! Have a Happy Lunar New Year! Wishing you good health, happiness, and prosperity!
Welcome to the Year of the Ox! Have a Happy Lunar New Year! Wishing you good health, happiness, and prosperity!

February 12, 2021 was celebrated as the start of the New Year in the Chinese lunar calendar, which will last until January 31, 2022.

This is the Year of the Metal Ox. So what does that mean?

  • The Ox is the second animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac.
  • People born year of the Ox are the present of gold wrapped in brown paper; they are the pillars of society — intelligent, solid and stable, honest, loyal, hardworking, outlasting everyone to get the job done. However, the Ox can be overly cautious, stubborn, and unyielding.

In the Chinese calendar there are 5 phases named after natural phenomena: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These phases are used to categorize everything, not just years. It adds another layer of complexity to the traits of the different animals in the zodiac. This year is the Metal Ox. The Metal traits include being independent, authoritative, uncompromising possibly to the point of being stubborn, rigidity, and focused drive to achieve goals.

OK, I can hear the question, But wasn’t last year a Metal year? And we all know how 2020 turned out! Well a lot of Feng Shui specialists seem to agree that this Metal year will be tempered by the Earthly Ox and that is is a Yin Metal year — among the heavenly stems and earthly branches, the Ox is considered Yin Earth (Yi Chou 乙 丑’; the Rat is Yang Water, Jia Zi 甲 子). The characteristics associated with the Earth phase are nurturing, tolerance, cooperation, organization, and to a degree, passivity.

 

Famous Oxen — A lot of great actors, artists, musicians, athletes, writers, and innovators were born in an Ox year:

    • Actors: Anthony Hopkins, Morgan Freeman, George Clooney, Robert Redford, Angela Lansbury, Marlene Dietrich, George Takei, Peter Cushing, Jessica Lange.
    • Musicians & singers: B.B. King, Enya, Bruno Mars, Hank Williams Jr, Louis Armstrong, Sammy Davis Jr.
    • Athletes: Simone Biles, Naomi Osaka, Mark Spitz,
    • Artists & authors: Vincent vanGogh, Annie Liebovitz, Tang Dynasty poet Li Bai, Albert Camus.
    • Innovators & scholars: aviator Charles Lindbergh, Walt Disney, paleo-anthropologist Mary Leakey, chemist and two-time Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling
    • Famous political figures and activists include Barack Obama, Princess Diana, Margaret Thatcher, Malala Yousafzai, Malcolm X, Robert F Kennedy, Colin Powell, Benjamin Netanyahu

新年快乐! (Happy New Year!)

Today, January 25, 2020 is celebrated as the start of the New Year in the Chinese calendar.

This is the Year of the Metal Rat. So what does that mean?

 

This is the start of a new 12-year cycle in the Chinese zodiac — The rat is the first of the 12 animals associated with each year. There are many stories as to how the animals came to be in the order they are, but the most common element of the story is how the rat tricked the ox to be first to meet the Jade Emperor by hitching a ride on the ox only to jump over the ox to be first in line once they arrived.

 

In Chinese culture, people born year of the Rat are said to be clever and resourceful, cool under pressure, social, and agile. They take their work seriously and are open to new experiences. They excel at leadership and finding solutions to problems.

In the Chinese calendar there are 5 phases named after natural phenomena: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These phases are used to categorize everything, including years. It adds another layer of complexity to the traits of the different animals in the zodiac. This year is the Metal Rat. The metal traits include being independent, authoritative, uncompromising possibly to the point of being stubborn, rigidity, and focused drive to achieve goals.

Famous Rats — considering the personality description, it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that a lot of politicians are born in Rat years including George Washington, Richard Nixon, John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush, and John McCain. Other famous people born in the year of the rat include Mozart, Eminem, Madonna, Prince Charles, Shaquille O’Neal, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gable, and Marlon Brando.

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