February 16th 2018 is the Chinese New Year and this is the
Year of the Dog.
You may be familiar with the concept of Year of the Dog but did you know the Chinese zodiac signs also pass through the 5 Elements of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). The 5 Elements, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water & Wood are a classification system. This is the year of the Earth Dog and the colour often associated with Earth is Brown. So it’s actually the Year of the Brown Earth Dog. And it’s a yang year making it a male dog, just in case you were interested.
Some characteristics of the Earth Dog include having good insight, being calm/serene, pragmatic and communicative. Although they may have a more gentle approach than their fellow Dogs, they don’t lose their ability to bite back if they feel betrayed or threatened. They are cautious and alert and often prone to anxiety and worry.
Whilst I don’t include the astrology side of things in my work I do incorporate the 5 Elements. They are fascinating and can provide real insight into what is going on for a person.
More about the 5 Elements
Because the 5 Elements are a classification system for the natural world they encompass aspects that influence our health and well-being. Examples of characteristics associated with the 5 elements are colours, seasons, sounds, tastes, smells, emotions all the way through to personality types and behaviours.
This system can be used to identify an area of imbalance within an individual and also the appropriate support to restore balance.
For example someone with a lot of Earth element influence will be well grounded, compassionate and nurturing. They are good peacemakers, mediators and make good friends. When the Earth energy is out of balance the same Earth people will become anxious and worry excessively. They are prone to pensiveness and may overwork. They’re vulnerable to digestive health issues, weight issues and overeating.
The seasons also fall onto the Elements. Winter time is associated with the Water element. Emotionally when the Water energy is strong we feel confident and able to persevere. We can maintain our perspective. When out of balance we may feel fearful, anxious, overwhelmed and lose our ability to trust that everything will be ok.
To help maintain balance at this time of year listen to your body. Rest, stay warm, spend more time at home and take time to look within and reflect. Eat warming foods and consider gentle internal based exercise such as yoga or Tai Chi (both of which can be practised indoors).
We usually know when we feel out of balance, or not quite ourselves. What we don’t always know is what we can do to get back into a balanced state and feel like ourselves again (or even better). If you feel this is something you’d like some help with get in contact to find out more.
And I hope this Year of the Dog is a good one for you :-)