Chinese New Year Traditions for Better Health in 2017
CHINESE NEW YEAR IS A GREAT TIME TO RESET, REBUILD AND RENEW THE MIND AND BODY.
In the West, when the earth finishes a rotation around the sun, people celebrate the New Year by making a list of resolutions, the most popular of which is to lose weight. In the East, when a new moon appears between late January and late February, people celebrate the New Year by refocusing on balance and setting the stage for more prosperous, healthy future.
The West follows the Gregorian calendar, based on the rotation of the sun, while the East follows the lunar calendar, based on the cycles of the moon. This year, Chinese New Year falls on the Western January 28, 2017, kicking off the year of the rooster.
The year of the rooster is considered a powerful year, one that leaves little room for indecision or lack of clarity. What does this mean for your health? Now is the time to identify anything that is fogging your mind, clouding your vision or impeding your ability to move forward. Chronic pain or stagnation, whether it be emotional or physical, can dampen your spirit – called shen in Traditional Chinese Medicine – and interrupt the flow of your energy, or Qi.
It is a Chinese tradition to clean house and pay off debts prior to the new year, making way for good fortune, happiness and longevity. The same could be said for your mind and body. What chronic burden, illness or pain would you like to unload this year? What health "debts" have you collected, for example, by not getting enough sleep, nourishment or movement? The answer could be as simple as clearing the dust in your home, or as complex as changing your lifestyle.
The most important thing this Chinese New Year is to make a plan for your health and stick to it, even if it requires embracing small steps. Be clear and practical, quick to forgive your mistakes and even quicker to get back on track. If you plan to take an herbal supplement or Balance Blend Extrapolent™ twice a day and forget, try again the next day. If your goal is to work out three times a week, start with once a week and build up. If you are unable to engage in rigorous exercise, practice yoga, tai chi or even regular walks to help stimulate qi.
Chinese New Year is a time to release tension and reduce toxic levels of stress. Schedule time on your calendar to rest. Stretch or sit quietly when you feel overwhelmed. Consider adding healthy, antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, beans, artichokes, dark green leafy vegetables, shiitake mushrooms and ginger to your diet to help support your immune system and promote longevity. See a nutritionist, herbalist or acupuncturist to help you structure a path to better health.