acupuncture chinese medicine UK

Fire Monkey 2016: the right Chinese medicine for a better year.

Today I have invited Alex Kolaczynski, doctor in Chinese medicine, to explain how we can all better balance our health and the energy of this Yang Fire Monkey year 2016 through Chinese medicine. Alex and I sometimes work together for clients who wants a complete package: Feng Shui, Bazi & Chinese medicine. While Alex is the medical expert, the Bazi can inform the underlying problem that you might have with your health, as it is truly a “spiritual DNA” on top of your biological one. Here is Alex’s guest post in Chinese medicine for 2016.

The year is dominated by Fire putting pressure on Metal. Water is around to keep the Fire in check. The year is full of life; the circulation is under full pressure as are the Lungs, respiratory system, skin and bowels. It’s a year to celebrate although it will become exhausting for some. All this pressure is asking us to dig deeper as opportunities are available below the surface.

Strong Fire means the heart is in full party mode, lots of energy available. Many people, especially athletes will feel younger and think they have more energy than they have. They are at risk of over doing things and will likely pay later.People with weak hearts will be prone to angina or even minor heart attacks due to strong Fire energy. Being at odds with the Metal of the Monkey, strokes are also possible mainly due to bleeds in the brain or sheer exhaustion. Circulation problems or red blood cell problems such as hemochromatosis may be aggravated. The heat could dehydrate and thicken or congeal the blood; infections could develop at the deepest level.

With all this Fire in a Metal year, the Lungs, skin and bowels are going to be tested. Chest problems such as bronchitis, whooping cough and even tuberculosis are very possible. Adults and children with coughs, tight chests, asthma are already struggling. Any ear, nose and throat disorders will come and go more than usual. Dryness is the step before inflammation, so ensure good hydration. The fire could throw water out of balance leading to kidney stones or irritations such as UTI’s. Coconut water will be a perfect drink for this year being a cooling drink.

Paired to the Lung is the skin. Dermatologists will be busy this year. Eczema, psoriasis, itching are all likely to flare, as will herpetic eruptions, impetigo and other skin infections. Moisturizing is going to be essential this year.

Diet will also be important to prevent constipation; habits that form this year could become recalcitrant quite quickly. Prevent them rather than trying to cure.

Auto immune disorders that affect the joints could flare, as will allergies. The cure will be to get stronger with the help of a practitioner that can balance your elements rather than just trying to remove the offending irritants from your diet or environment. Disease often signifies that you are not strong enough rather than just sick.

Insomnia, nervous exhaustion, emotional meltdowns from children or your boss are likely. The relentless party spirit will test nervous systems, leaving people feeling scattered or exhausted. This is the year to learn to meditate. Go on a retreat if life feels overwhelming or learns to breathe.

A bonus year for those seeking to get pregnant; fertility is high! If you do conceive please consider working with an experienced practitioner during the first three months, as it there will be some risk of miscarriage if you get too stressed or overtired.

I don’t like to go on too much generalizing about health especially the possible problems. Creating health is more my mandate. Getting adequate exercise, nutrition and sleep is always the key. It is a party year, so relax and enjoy the invites, no need to make extra effort. If the year is adverse for you then enjoy a few parties and rest more, if it’s going your way then you get extra parties this year but will still need the rest somewhere.

It really is a year to eat your way to health. The heavens will lay on the fun, and all you have to do is turn up having ensured adequate rest and nutrition. If you put on an extra few pounds, so be it. You can work it off next year.

Dietary advice is eating all things red to nourish Fire, tomatoes, strawberries, raspberries, peppers, red wine, lamb or venison. Add to this the bitter flavor such as green lettuce leaves, watercress. Easy on the coffee, chilies, dark chocolate unless you are very overweight or slow. To keep up with the Fire, Metal foods, which are generally pungent and spicy (not hot) or savory also white food. Rich white sauces, parmesan, rice, raw milk and cream if you can handle dairy, daikon, cauliflower, pears with herbs such as cinnamon, mint, coriander, fennel, horseradish, onion, thyme, dill to disperse any congestion and ease circulation.

Stir frying, sautéing, deep frying, snacks feed the fire, while steaming, poaching, soupy foods will temper health when the partying gets too much and help you to refresh. Sweet and moist deserts will help prevent dehydration. A lot of nutrients will be required so over eat rather than under eat this year to protect yourself. If your worrying already about weight gain, then up the spices and fiery foods to make sure you have plenty of metabolism.

Alex Kolaczynski is the owner of Apricot Forest, a leading Chinese Medicine clinic which offers consultation in Wales, London and through Skype worlwide. If you have health problems or simply want to improve your life with the right Chinese medicine, contact him now through

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Facial acupuncture treatment that Alex gave me in his Wales clinic. Credit: Laurent Langlais.