2014: The Year of the Wood Horse

2014: The Year of the Wood Horse

January 31st marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Each year of the Chinese calendar is associated with one of the Five Elements and one of the Twelve Animals of the Zodiac, and this year is the Year of the Wood Horse! The Horse corresponds to the Chinese Organ Network of the Heart, and if we can understand the Heart as it is understood in Chinese Physiology, we can know a lot about the dynamics of the Year of the Wood Horse.

The Heart is associated with the Fire Element, and Wood engenders Fire, so a Wood Horse Year is considered to be one of good fortune because the energy is moving with the natural flow of things. The Heart is the Sovereign organ of our internal Universe. Just as a King and Queen sit on their thrones mandating how their lands are to be governed, so too do our Hearts sit in the center of our bodies circulating vital nutrients to every cell so that they may be able to carry out their proper functions.

The sense organ of the Heart is the Tongue and relates to our ability to communicate clearly and honestly, to speak from our Hearts. The Heart is the knower of truth, and keeper of the authentic self. Consider these phrases common in all cultures, “Deep in my heart I alwaysknew the truth” and “My heart just wasn’t in it”.  There is an intuitive knowing inside of each of us that resonates with those words, and according to Chinese Physiology, that knowing is referred to as the Heart. With just these few and simple things about the Heart, we can see how the dynamics of the Year of the Wood Horse begin to make themselves clear.

The Year of the Wood Horse is about stepping into a more full expression of who we truly are. The nature of a Wild Horse is to run free across an open plane, not to be penned up behind a fence. Let the nature of your Authentic Self be present in everything you do. Take the action you know you need to. Speak the truth that needs to be spoken. Honor your purpose and hold yourself to the standard of your own highest calling. This past year, the Year of the Water Snake, was about integrating lessons learned and shedding the skin that no longer serves. This year is about filling our new skins with the whole truth of who we are, whatever that truth may be. Let our words and actions be an extension of our Hearts. And let it be known that in the realm of the Heart, all truth is welcome.

Eastern Medicine Meets Southwest

Eastern Medicine Meets Southwest

Eastern Medicine meets Southwest

Local practitioners offering some free services Oct. 24

By Dale Rodebaugh, Herald staff writer

Originally published in the Durango Herald on October 16, 2011

A number of practitioners of Eastern medicine in Durango are offering free or fee-based classes and treatments to acquaint the public with their expertise on National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day, Oct. 24.

“We’re marking the transition into fall, National Oriental Medicine Day and the recent Chinese Moon Festival,” said Oley Smith of Namaste Health Center. The Moon Festival is celebrated in the middle of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar – late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar.

Oriental medicine includes a variety of procedures, including acupuncture, acupressure, Qigong, massage and herbal remedies to diagnose and treat health problems.

But it isn’t limited to practitioners of alternative medicine.

Dr. Pakhi Chaudhuri, who has a medical degree, will use traditional acupuncture and shonishin and needleless acupuncture using flat pieces of metal in some cases.

“I use shonishin, which has been very rewarding, in cases in which Western medicine had no effect,” Chaudhuri said. “It’s been effective with migraines, and sleep issues.”

Kristen Lum at Rivergate Natural Healthcare, 3750 Main Ave., is offering four free 45-minute acupuncture and consultation sessions Oct. 24 starting at 2:30 p.m. on a first-come, first-served basis. Call 382-9100 for an appointment.

“Acupuncture restores the flow of energy,” Lum said. “But we also offer naturopathic medicine, nutritional counseling, lab testing and herbal remedies, as well as acupuncture.”

Todd Flemion at Root and Branch Medicine will offer free group acupuncture from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and free classes on life-preservation exercises from 2 to 3 p.m. and health-related topics from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Group acupuncture, Flemion said, involves treating several people at the same time as he has done in methadone clinics or when treating military veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder.

The health-related class depends on topics suggested by the public, said Flemion, who can be reached at 426-2464.

“Our goal is to expose more people to Oriental medicine,” Flemion said.

Smith from Namaste Health Center is getting a jump on the observation by offering fee-based seminars Saturday and Sunday on nei yang gong, a form of Qigong, a discipline involving breathing and stretching that he calls Chinese yoga.

Smith, a licensed acupuncturist and a certified Qigong instructor, can be reached at 247-2043.

Durango city councilors are giving a nod to the observation with a proclamation awaiting council action Tuesday and the signature of Mayor Christina Rinderle.

Among the whereas clauses, the proclamation says: “The value of Oriental medicine is confirmed daily through cost-effective, successful clinical experiences in Durango” and “city and community leaders would support the advancement of public health by acknowledging, supporting and promoting Oriental medicine … I, Christina Rinderle, proclaim Oct. 24, 2011, as Durango Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Day.”