The Dragon 2024 – A story

2/10/24  Chinese Lunar New Year, Aquarius season, New Moon in Aquarius

The Dragon is free to roam at night, attracted by the familiar crackling of Chinese firecrackers, staying in the dark, lulled by the melodic frogs of prosperity.  These firecrackers are mildly startling compared to the ones lit and thrown into the sewage hole outside our home, remember that?   Remember the exhilaration of detonating them as the cars drove by?   The “Happy New Year” Chinese characters above our garage stayed there all year round, each day a wish for prosperity, each day no better than the next.  

The demon Nian (Year/Time) either looms over us spewing condescending thoughts of hurry and more and not enough, constricts us into believing Time is of essence, scaring us into action, even making the Dragon believe love is meant to be pressing, urgent, and must be executed immediately with Death looming ever present.  The metaphor of the Demon of Time, though, is that time is timeless, reminding us to stay present in our heart/mind (Xin), dedicating 110% to being fully Committed to Stay, Here, Notice, Release, Be Present Now, in our center; like in Wu Ji stance. 

The baby Dragon that was born innocent in a fit of fear and frustration in the Dragon’s nest nearly three years ago near a river was a mirror of the noose that had wrapped around its neck, of being pulled out rather than coaxed out, of the constrictions all around it making it feel it was not strong enough, of being cursed to not overstep society’s boundaries on it.  Once cracked of its egg shell, it quickly flew through lands that only a mythical creature can traverse and not lose itself.   It flew high above the canyon, up to a bridge, became a bridge, turned into a two-legged human and walked across, trying to return to the Earthly plane; a  vision while lying on the forest floor being a metaphor not understood until maybe now. 

Coming back to Earth proved emotionally painful and mentally confusing as the Dragon wondered how all its insights and adventures could be explained and be of use, how the expansive power of love felt could be shared.  The Dragon does not know how to speak the human language of the mind and has realized the language of the Heart in a human form is limited.   It does not know that emotional pain always exists, that trauma and Nian are not friends, that the human mind always plays tricks, that childhood egos and hurts play out in the adult world.  

As a respite, on the cusp of this Aquarius and Pisces moon, it remembers Earthly enjoyments and its belly is satisfied by a fresh dim sum meal served by familiar women in red and the one who has been its company in many adventures for three complete cycles of seven.   

On this foreign voyage through these turbulent waves, the Dragon dreams of resting and healing as it pulls hundreds of small twig nails off its skin, small wounds embedded from this life, totally unaware of the many wounds it has sustained as resiliency appears as Earthly success and caring for others.  It has grown scales of rainbow light that have magnetized those it cares for but there are too many thorns beneath this garment.   It is time to shed old scales, seeing during this New Aquarius moon that there was once a tattoo on the right forearm of the character Xi (happiness) that has since almost faded, covered over by even older transparent scales that peel off easily without pain, revealing the antique thorn underneath of emotional pain and past hurts.  Life has made its outer skin tough, and yet it remains soft, gentle and insecure on the inside just like the shaman has described the Dragon.

If in the past the Dragon always felt alone in its quest to save the world, even if ancestors and angels were its company; now, there are earthly Angels that surround it.  From a caring hand and look of concern, to an always open hug that says “lean on me”, a hidden angel in the CD box of a totaled car, a “let me take care of this?” right hand person, one with listening ears who creates a different world from what it was born into, strangers on a Sunday night offering help and kindness, gentle eyes of vulnerability, the laughter with an Aquarian friend from the remote mountains of Mexico who has always thought differently, insight from a wise eighty year old fellow Dragon who creates art and words from Ether, and so many others who care.  

The Dragon retreats to its island cave, praying for An Mian, peaceful slumber, to please be its company, and breathing its next Dream, for it and for others?  It now waits to be invited in, to learn to be human…

The Demon Nian and the story of Lunar New Year


How do you motivate your movement routine?

posted by Li-Lan Hui-Chun L.Ac.and inspired by Natasha’s Virgo season email

September is the month of Virgo, a grounded Earth sign but one that could be too preoccupied with minute details; Virgo rules the Sixth House, the house of daily routines.  It is no coincidence that Natasha McCurley, who offers Movement, posture, and pelvic floor exercises as has in person sessions at Armonia Health on Sundays, offered some tips to help us stay accountable and motivated to our movement goals.

Here is what works for her and what she shared with her email list:

Have y’all been successful at meeting your intentions with strength training this month?  If you are like me and struggle to be consistent or create this habit here are a few things that have been working for me:  
1. Figure out in advance exactly what exercises you are doing for each workout so that you don’t have to think about what you are doing.  That is why strength club is so cool!  When it’s time to workout, either watch the recording or write down the moves in advance just do those.    
2. Include your strength training sessions in your calendar.  For me, I schedule Mon-Wed-Fri  and if I really, really don’t want to do it or can’t for whatever reason on one of those days, I can push it to the next day, which I did a couple of times over the last few weeks.  
3. Set an alarm for half an hour before your training sesh so that you can transition, finish whatever you are doing, eat a snack and drink water, get to your workout space, whatever transitioning means.  
4. Have a space that is always clear and weights accessible. It is important for me to eliminate barriers to working out so in my tiny house there is a small space that is (almost) always clear (of legos and other sh*t), and my weights are close by.
5. If I don’t feel like working out, I do it anyway, and if I still want to quit before finishing what I have planned, then I quit 🙂

What works for you?

Li-Lan’s sixth house is in Gemini, an Air sign that is fun and lighthearted, but can quickly change to serious.   For years, Li-Lan puzzled over why she couldn’t dedicate herself to the same movement routine on a regular basis, even though Tai Chi, Qi Gong, and dance of some sort have been part of her life since teenage years.  It took until her 30s that she finally accepted that she does not have regular movement routine, but it can be consistent anywhere from one week, to six months, to a year tops.  She has never been one to be motivated to go movement classes on a consistent basis or to a gym either.  She has always moved in ways that feel good to her, which the East Asian movement arts have always satisfied that, and she has also learned that the best form of movement for her body is one of ease and one she can do anywhere, without the need for props or a mat.  She has also noticed over the years that when she pushes her body too abruptly, it tends to tighten up or get hurt (Crossfit? No way!)

So now that she is in her mid-40s, movement for sure becomes more important, as the stiffness becomes more obvious and aches and pains are more obvious.  Her hormones are also changing and she notices the loss of muscle build, she now sees it’s even more useful to pay attention to her core muscles, which Natasha has helped her with some very simple exercises that she has built into her routine that isn’t even about movement, like a core postural hold before and after her sitting meditation.  More static poses, like standing Qi Gong, and paying attention to her sitting posture have become an integral part of her routine of well-being, out of necessity to calm her mind.

So learning western astrology in an embodied way the past three years with Link has helped Li-Lan see that her movement routine over the years has fit exactly her Gemini sensibility!  And that realization has lifted her own self-imposed pressure to conform to another person’s or western society’s portrayal of a movement routine, and to keep staying in touch to her own strengths. No wonder competitive sports never worked for her, nor a coach that would be at her side egging her on; no more Fire needed, thank you! (there is plenty of that Element in both her Chinese and Western astrology charts)!

See how fun, useful, and empowering astrology can be?!

So what works for Li-Lan to keep her motivated in paying attention to her body:

  1. it’s gotta feel good to the body, mind, and emotions
  2. no pressure, do it with ease, no or minimal props required
  3. slow and consistent
  4. have a wide variety to choose from
  5. get serious when needed and there is personal accountability (grounding the Air with Earth)
  6. make time to get out of the daily routine (this seems contradictory, but that’s the two faced twin.  She is most likely to be in conscious movement at random times and places like the airport, when on vacation, when sick, when in line, when washing the dishes, together with a business conversation with an Armonia Health practitioner, when at the river impromptu after a day of seeing clients)

Reach out to Natasha for an individual movement class on Sunday, join her monthly Strength Training club on zoom, reach out to her with questions or get to know her!

Did this article perk your interest in how to apply Astrology into your every day life?   Join our monthly in-person Astro Dream Support Circle or contact Link for an individual astrology reading or private Qi Gong instruction.


“Catch your Dreams”  Collaborative painting facilitated by Judith Winston LMBT during her Creativity through the Polarity Elements workshop spring 2023

Inspirations for the Heart

During the Month of February, our in-person events brought people together for both learning and self-reflection.   There is a thread that unites them all:  love, compassion, heart matters, creativity, and moving past mind’s obstacles.  Check out the workshops hosted by Armonia Health on our mindbody widget as well as others that are hosted by practitioners on this website.  These include Heart-Centered Creative Entrepreneurs’ Support Circle, Elements for the Creative Heart with Judith Winston, T-Group with Benji Whitehurst, AstroDream and Ba Zi Astrology zoom circles with Arthur-Link, Strengt Club on zoom with Natasha.

The following poem was creating using words and worlds from the Heart-Centered Creative Entrepreneur’s Support Circle where Rinah presented on: Being Love Driven in a Fear Driven World on 2/12/23.  Enjoy, reflect, be inspired, join us!   Sign up for our monthly newsletters that are usually delivered around the new and full moon.

Photo by Alli Remler on UnSplash


by Rinah Rachel Galper

Entering portals of peace and awe                                                                                                      With crystaliine clarity and curiosity                                                                                                      we cross thresholds into the heartlands                                                                                                  to witness in wonder                                                                                                                                  Courage’s fierce and tender lotus laboring to blossom                                                                            amidst the shadows and lights of forgetting and re-membering                                                              our gifts and gentle intentions                                                                                                              our love and fear melting magic                                                                                                                and life’s water beads                                                                                                                        expanding, contracting, reshaping and revelling in their rainbow wet wildness.

Steadily (though not always soon enough for some)                                                                           the  heartlands become our breath                                                                                                        rooted in the spaces and worlds between                                                                                                  inhale and exhale                                                                                                                                  life and death.                                                                                                                                            And finally (or maybe just again)                                                                                                              We awaken and become                                                                                                                        the Changes we must Be and Make.

And so it is, and so it is, and so it shall ever be                                                                                        that we of the heartlands                                                                                                                    roam and dance                                                                                                                                  create and curate                                                                                                                                sacred circles that heal and hold                                                                                                            us and the world                                                                                                                                        as we usher all through portals                                                                                                            and across thresholds where infinite love                                                                                                can survive and thrive                                                                                                                    always and forever.

Antiviral & Respiratory Herbal Formulas

by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss, Licensed Acupuncturist NC #355 on 11/23/22

Antiviral and respiratory herbal formulas is the first chapter of an extensive compendium of single herbs and specific formulas that may date back hundreds of years that a Master’s in Oriental/Chinese medicine requires of study.  When I was in the Master’s program in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2002, my first experience of benefiting myself from the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese herbal formulas was when I had a cold or flu.  Since then, almost 20 years of experience following the various signs and symptoms of the common cold and flu over the years comes down to the same principle always:  If you would like to help your system and that of your family to shorten the duration of a viral infection without suppressing your immune system, become familiarized with the following herbal formulas so you can make use of them as soon there are signs of an immune response to viral overload.  Consult your personal acupuncturist or Chinese herbalist for day to day follow up of herbal formulas and their doses if you have a viral infection.   

This post shares with you my experience of the herbal formulas that I have used consistently with results over the past 3 years.  I have tried to summarize and consolidate the formulas that are most effective.  If you look up the Chinese names of the formulas, you’ll find different brands that one may respond slightly different to as the herbal combinations may vary slightly.  I have listed the Chinese names as they provide more consistency is their formulations.  Like anything in life, this is a relationship one develops with herbs and specific formulas; it takes study, time, and experience to learn its intricacies.   As a general recommendation for dosages, a 50 lb child would use half the dose of that listed.  The brands listed are most convenient for those that are generally older than 14 years of age; younger than this are pediatric herbal brands that are made to include glycerin or honey to ease their take.  This post includes herbal teas that younger folks can find palatable.  

GO TO herbal formula for first signs of viral infection:  Gan Mao Ling.  We use Great Nature Classics tablets or Far East Summit herbal extract.   Those who have used Ilex in tablets is similar to Gan Mao Ling.   What are first signs?  Being exposed to the virus, scratchy sore throat, worn down/fatigued, drastic weather temperature changes, sinus congestion while also having hay fever “allergies”.  Take within four hours of feeling first signs at the dose on bottle every two hours for the first 12 hours.

If your sign is headache at the back of your neck or top of the head and feel fatigued and achy:  Chuan Xiong Cha Tiao San, this can be taken together with Gan Mao Ling.   Remember there were viral strains in 2021 where this was a symptom?  It was very debilitating for those who experienced this.   

If you tend towards stomach virus even if the same viral strain might affect others differently, have Huo Xiang Zheng Qi San ready.   I’ll write about the herbal equivalent from the rainforest regions of Southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize later in this post that can also be used.   

Herbal remedy for fevers: Zhong Gan Ling.   If fever over 100F is present, the viral infection has already been present for more than 2-3 days.   So if you can catch the first signs by using another herbal formula first, one wouldn’t need Zhong Gan Ling or as much of it.  This formula is not a fever suppressant, so it won’t lover the fever and then the person feels worse after the effect is diminished (this is what usually happens when taken acetaminofen/Tylenol, which lowers fevers but does not help the immune system fight the virus and the inflammation).  Children are different generally as the first signs an adult may notice they have a virus is because they are having a fever, but if a child is aware of what are the first signs, they might be able to communicate how they feel before a fever develops.  

At the tail end of certain viral strains, especially in 2022, sinus congestion resumes or is worse after the initial stages.  I have found that Bi Yan Pian, which is traditionally a sinusitis, hay fever, seasonal allergy formula, is very beneficial to clear the lingering mucus and phlegm.  A capsule version of this formula we carry is Plantiva’s Allerdx.   Unsure if one has seasonal/environmental allergies or a viral infection at the beginning or you think you have allergies but it doesn’t seem to get better with antihistamines?  Try Bi Yan Pian or Gan Mao Ling, the one that works will give you the answer, it’s ok to take both if unsure.

Cough?  Our Go To herbal formula is Respiratory Tonic by Equinox Botanicals, a company in the western side of the Appalachian range.  This extract is excellent for a cough with phlegm and it smells fabulous (elecampane is the herb I’d look for if you are browsing through the cough formulas at the natural foods store).  For a dry cough, I prefer honey-based syrups that include fritillaria and loquat, two Chinese herbs that are great for soothing the bronchioles and healing the mucosal lining, but Chinese herbal based cough syrups seems difficult to find nowadays at the natural foods stores.  Once there is a cough, you have to take a formula that focuses on the lungs, and the other formulas based on what other symptoms are presenting.  For constant cough that impedes sleep, I would suggest a cough suppressant from the pharmacy at night, while taking the herbal cough formula during the day.   If one treats the viral presentation early enough or the viral strain doesn’t affect one too deeply, one can prevent cough from presenting and symptoms just stay in the throat, muscle ache, and sinuses.  Once phlegm presents in the body for several days, it can be harder to treat and may require herbal antibiotics to prevent phlegm from harboring a bacterial infection which one prolong the malaise and the recovery process.

Post viral infection and still fatigued?   Use Astragalus (Huang Qi), which we have available as dry herb to cook in broth, soup, or as a very mild tasting tea.  This is an tonic food grade herb, meaning it is commonly used in many Asian countries for cooking or how one may drink green tea.   At various times we have Astragalus in dry herb, liquid extract, or tablets as part of a classic formula that can be used for preventing viral infection or post infection recovery known as Yu Ping Feng San/Jade Windscreen.   

Another common herb that can be used in the very early stages (pre-symptom, or within the first 4 hours) or towards the tail end that is effectively mainly if the person tends towards a strong immune system is Chinese chrysanthemum/Ju Hua.  There is yellow and white varieties, they vary slightly in taste and properties, but can be used interchangeably.   We purchase Ju Hua from a local grower Maple Spring Gardens.  This herb can also be taken as a tea to help hydrate the body when one has sweated a lot, has night sweats post viral infection, has red itchy eyes from allergies, and for children for mild fever.   It makes a tasty tea warm or cold and can be sweetened with honey.  I like to combine Ju Hua with home grown dried Lemon balm (Melissa) as both are mildly antiviral.  If Ju Hua doesn’t effect improvement in symptoms within 30-1 hour of taking a strong tea, it is best to use the above formulas that will have a more profound systemic support.   

I have used Rainforest Remedies, and continue to carry them at Armonia Health, which are the herbs sourced from Belize that Dr. Rosita Arvigo learned and helped formulate from her years of living and studying herbal remedies of Belize since the 1980s.  I have found them effective and easy to use and I appreciate that they are ethically sourced and wildcrafted.  Jungle Juice is a palatable tea that includes hibiscus/Rosa de Jamaica, it can be used upon the first signs of a common cold, a urinary tract infection, and to provide absorbable iron for those anemic and during pregnancy, it tastes nice with apple or pineapple juice if ones wants to sweeten it.  Immune Boost includes Jackass Bitters, a potent antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and antiparasitic leaf.   This formula can also be used as a daily respiratory virus preventative as an option to Yu Ping Feng San or Ju Hua by taken it once per day, it is slightly bitter which has general health benefits for the liver and gallbladder.   Jackass Bitters can be a go to herb to have on hand as it has many uses, including for a stomach virus.  It is very bitter, but when needed, it actually doesn’t taste very bitter at all!!

A note of consideration, some herbal formulas can be taken six months ahead of the viral infection season as a preventative, but do not solely rely on herbs or supplements to provide this preventative support.  As we have all learned and experienced from 2020 to now, there are various factors involved and nothing is foolproof.   This doesn’t mean that herbs don’t work, it is more about understanding the complexities of each person’s system and adjust accordingly.  Hope you find this article helpful! 

This is another article that was written by our practitioner before 2020 What our practitioners do for themselves to protect from & treat common viral respiratory conditions

You’ll find uses of some of the above formulas with this article that I wrote in 2021 Li-Lan’s Covid-19 vaccine self-care

To learn more about the holistic approach to health using the Chinese Five Elements/Phases for seasonal attunement, our Blog has a Chinese Elements and Self Care category as well as our Youtube Channel Tones for your Bones

Honeysuckle’s Sunshine

by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss L.Ac.

May is the beginning of summer and the Fire Phase as the month moves us into the summer solstice.  Here in the Triangle area of North Carolina, the honeysuckle vine has been in bloom for over a week, marking its appearance in backyards, trails, and on the sides of the road.  It’s considered an invasive species as it’s resilience to grow quickly and climb up and take over a small tree can suffocate its host.  In Chinese medicine, it is a very common and popular herb for fevers and clearing Heat.

This year, I woke up one morning in the middle of May and decided I would make a flower essence from this luxuriously divine-smelling flower.  I google its significance, as flower essences are for emotional support:  Letting go of re-living past hurts.   As I had been feeling and reflecting on a particularly deep soul wound, I felt this was a sign for me to garner some more support.

As I stood on a log to reach the flowers on a vine that were about 8 feet high, this poem started composing itself as I, with gratitude, picked each open flower and placed it in a glass bowl.

Strong vine

Divine scent

Reaching always for the light

You, honeysuckle, have anchored yourself on cedar,

your scents mingling as I pick your flowers.

Joy, Grief, Joy, Grief

Joy in gratitude for such a wondrous plant

Grief for feeling the pain of suffering

Joy for your capacity to help us let go of re-living past hurts.

Grief…not as much at this moment of our communion.

Fever, in the morning, fever all through the night

Sings in my head as I pick you.

The Sun shines on my face today,

I am with Mother Nature, productive and relaxed

I’ve come through from the deep inner reflections and gloom of yesterday.

Today, is another day.

May you find joy and release in your communion with Mother Nature.

More 2022 Plant poetry to come.  For more poetry from Nature and the Chinese Five Elements from Li-Lan in 2021: Sacredness of Cycles & Nature

Sacredness of Cycles & Nature

by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss L.Ac.

Past blog posts have focused on the Chinese Five Phases, self care tools, integrative approach to pain…and the underlying message of all of these resources is the capacity, complexity, and creativity of the human experience.   The healing process must be a creative process if it’s meant to address the nuances of each person.  I came to this realization several years ago as I reflected on my personal journey of self care and self learning through Chinese and Maya medicine and my connection to the sacred. I tell folks, it’s a beautiful AND intense process.

I also saw these cycles in clients over the years, those who delved deeper into their own self, those who managed bit by bit due to circumstances of life and age, those who constantly came upon personal blockages that felt like set backs but really weren’t in the larger scheme, those who just weren’t interested in personal growth and were happy to have us give them some respite from their pain, and at some point later came back wanting to focus on healing another layer of their soul.  Everything is a cycle along a spiral web…

Soul work and personal growth requires patience, diligence, love, humility, and humor.  My husband, who is a musician, likes to say “Health through creativity, Creativity for Health”.

So through creativity, I have woven several aspects of my learning, embodiment, and Heart connection process into writing poetry that just started to flow through me as of the New Moon in April.  Here is the first one I’m making public, which I feel ties into how the material of Tones for your Bones, the Chinese Five Element embodiment workshop, the understanding of cycles, honoring our emotions, and reverence to Nature can become a natural part of the healing process.  It is part poetry, part prose.  Other poems added below.

To the River Goddess (written on the 4th week of my moon cycle, the Enchantress week)

At the rock where the River Goddess speaks,

by the tulip poplar that grows between stone and water,

with the setting sun and aloeswood incense,

my salty tears mingle with your sweet flow.


Of what I cry I do not yet know,

It is not sadness, nor anger, nor longing.

Maybe it is the sacredness of place 

and You.


My hands and feet meet Your coolness and yin, 

And the clearing begins as I listen,

“You will be allright,” the rapids speak, 

“I have greater things in store for you.  

You have entered the turbulence of My rapids the past two days,

but look at Me before and after,

I am gentle and quiet.  

Learn what I have to teach you, flow over these rocks.”


Tears of understanding trickle down to meet You.

My heart begins to lighten when I didn’t know it felt heavy.

I remember how You have taught me to merge with you,

Seeing You deeply in your ever changing flow,

Hearing Your music drown out my thoughts of worry,

Feeling my arms and hands be as fluid as You are.

I merge with you Goddess so You can teach me more.


A stronger wave of emotion arises as I allow the spontaneous to surface,

as I consciously let go of self imposed resistance,

as that is the path to the True Heart.

As the tears flow, I understand it’s the mind that clings, out of fear.


I continue to have You wash me,

and polish the protective armouring of my Pericardium,

So that my True Heart doesn’t have to “bear the unbearable”.

“I will be allright”


You lighten me River Goddess by bringing three white men in their donut tubes holding beer and water.  I chuckle at the look of nervousness of the first as he anticipates your rapids and you swirl him around and down.  The second one is not as anxious as he sees you didn’t capsize his friend.  The third one totally relaxes as you gently carry him over the rocks.

I know You brought this lightness at this moment to lift the clouds over my heart.  In gratitude, I wash my face, sipping your sweetness and chuckle as I continuously blow my nose to expel the congested emotions that “mist the mind”.  I giggle as I imagine you carrying my snot down river to catch up with the three men gently caressing you.

In one last ceremony of connection, I smile with joy as I splash You over me nine times, in gratitude to Rosita Arvigo who taught me Maya medicine, the medicine of the land that raised me.  Your rainbow droplets extinguish my aloeswood incense, perfect!


I stand to greet the setting Fire in the Sky,

To honor Earth, Metal, and Water at my feet,

To embrace Wood & Wind that surrounds me in the vibrancy of early summer.

I honor Self with Tree Receives Buddha Light 

As I lift strong arms and bring down the energy of the Sun;

and I bow in gratitude to the unmeasurable support that Nature provides. 


7/21/21  (written in five minutes after a morning of being submerged in the river current, on the week of Arthur “Link” Freeman’s Elemental Playshop Water week, on full moon in Aquarius week, with a friend doing her own mikvah immersion before her wedding).  Another blog post on what True Yin means is forthcoming…but the teachings are still being integrated…

True Yin 

The River Goddess Speaks:

“Harness the power of the ever constant current

Allow it to pummel and cleanse deeply

every cell of your wounded heart.

Set free


Let go.”


A twist of longing and loneliness creeps in

It’s the longing to share the beauty of Nature with another.

It’s the longing of sharing this deep intimacy of merging with the River with another.

But a louder voice speaks up,

“You are not alone”

“Who are you?” I ask.

“The Goddess, the true Yin.

You are not alone because I am with you,

I am in you, I am you.

The True Yin is self-sustaining,


remember this whether you are born male or female.

The True Yin is always self-sustaining.”

Li-Lan’s Covid-19 vaccine self-care

I was grateful for having received my first dose of the Covid-19 moderna vaccine on Tuesday February 9, 2021 in Durham, NC; though I was anxious with being around so many people in close quarters, Alex on the other hand had a great time at the vaccine clinic and even got on the evening news playing Latin songs on his recorder while he waited outside for me to receive my surprise 1st dose.  For the second dose I was much more apprehensive, but let me start from the beginning.

February was a time where there was a shortage of vaccines for certain clinics and populations and I was on a vaccine wait list at a local hospital with no known date of being able to receive it.  We heard of a pop up Latinx clinic February 7 from Armonia Health’s connections to grassroot organizations and NGOs to which my husband qualified and I went with him in case he needed translation (which I didn’t think he would), but it felt right to accompany him, I mean, it was kinda like a date, we hadn’t been anywhere in public together since March 2020 so might as well go to a Covid-19 vaccine clinic together!  lol!

We arrived to a full Cooperativa Latina credit union parking lot and there was a socially distanced line of to-be-vaccinated people going around the building.  This was more people than I had been around in public and it kinda made me nervous.  It was amusing hearing an elderly woman ask the volunteers if the shot hurt and being told it wasn’t a big deal.  There was an elegant Black woman in her 90s dressed up like going to church, accompanied by a middle aged woman; it was real sweet to see them all dressed up to get their vaccine. I saw a long time Mexican client friend who was working for the NGO that was checking us in and it was such a joy to open our arms in excitement as if to give a distance hug, I hadn’t seen her in about six years.  This was the most social I had been in public, even though I have been seeing 15-20 clients per week at Armonia Health since last August and I go on walks but just with one other person.

I hung around outside waiting for my husband while he went in for his vaccine after having his temperature checked, his hands sanitized, and answered negative to 1) any viral signs and symptoms 2) exposure to covid 3) having received another vaccine.  I was told by my friend that there might be left over vaccines that would need to be thrown away if the people registered didn’t show up and for me to get on the wait list.  Thanks to her insistence, I got my vaccine and have lived to tell about it =)

That same week there was another pop up vaccine clinic for health care providers and our same contact asked if Armonia’s practitioners wanted to get vaccinated, two of them did that Thursday.  We all felt lucky we got our vaccines despite not being in the age bracket to receive and not being affiliated with any qualifying organization since we are all self-employed.

My reaction to this first shot was a rash on my clavicle that got more itchy most nights (I later learned that all vaccines can create a histamine reaction) and a little “out of it”, tired the day after, a right temporal headache that was better with lying down, but by the third day I felt fairly non-influenced. It was similar for my husband and the other practitioners.  Our injection muscle hurt more than we expected though, for three nights I couldn’t lie on my right side. I had heard from clients who had already received their second vaccine dose that the effects were stronger.  So I prepared a month ahead by taking two days away from seeing clients after my vaccine and started making note of what helped me.  With a choice, I would’ve taken the day after my first dose away from seeing clients, but none of us practitioners knew we were getting our vaccine that same week.  I noticed that a chrysanthemum/lemon balm tea felt refreshing to drink the day after my first dose, and doing the Qi Gong I call Rooted to Earth, Swinging with Heaven or Children at the Bus Stop felt really good to move my Qi and lymph on Day 3 and I made a facebook live video of that.  You will find that Youtube link as well as what I did before and after the second dose below.

Like I mentioned, I was apprehensive about the second dose, the anxiety was obvious enough getting closer to the date that I knew that what was arising was more than just about the vaccine itself as this has happened to me before; medical procedures that most people consider no big deal to me can be a trigger, like needing my wisdom tooth pulled in my mid-30s when I thought they weren’t going to come out anymore. It reminds me of Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron’s saying “Practice mindfulness and awareness when things are well, so that when situations are not well, you’ll be able to more easily access the tools you practiced”.  So I dove into what was arising.

Over the two weeks before the second dose I noticed that though my mind felt getting the vaccine was the right thing do to for reasons such as helping decrease the spread of this virus that have killed many, including my father in law, my heart was not excited about it.  I had deliberately not received a flu vaccine in 20 years and if my circumstances were different, I would be less inclined to get this vaccine. I was apprehensive that my histamine response would be worse, and my previous history of skin itching and hives that I worked through for several years still elicits that wired-anxious-my-system-is-moving-too-fast feeling that gets me into shallow breathing when I remember the feeling.  I was resisting this second dose, thinking early on I could postpone the shot to 42 days instead of the 30 days in between to give my system more time.  I realized that though I have accepted and allowed my body to possibly live with this virus in our environment and being ok with the risk of possibly being exposed to it in miniscule amounts and maybe very slowly build resistance that way, I wasn’t ready to let myself be injected by a man-made creation related to this virus.  As I walked with a neighbor and we were talking about our resistance to receiving this vaccine, I vocalized that I felt I was letting myself be injected with a poison.  And after all I’ve done the past 20 years of cleaning my body and mind (well, that’s an ego trip!). There! That was it! I said it and came to terms with why I strongly felt anxious about this second dose!

Still, I was going to move along with it and take the risk of whatever comes.  In meditation closer to the second dose, I also realized that the only way I was going to move through this anxiety was step into whatever was going to arise afterwards, I knew I wasn’t going to die, but it is curious that one waits 15 minutes post injection to make sure one doesn’t have an anaphylactic shock, that’s pretty risky, don’t you think?  But then again, we live with risks every day that our system has to get used to.

The private acupuncturist forums discussing the effects post covid vaccine conclude that the Covid-19 vaccine presents the same as a Chinese medicine diagnosis of a viral infection (wind heat/wind cold), with additional ones that fall under the category of Liver wind and Yin deficient heat.
From reading this forum’s responses:

Common signs and symptoms after second covid vaccine, usually Day2-3: fatigue, fever & chills, headache, malaise, body ache

Less common signs and symptoms:  skin itchiness/mild rash, appetite changes coupled with diarrhea, brain fog, malaise that lasts longer than 3 days, frequent urination, dizziness/vertigo
Everyone’s response is different, it seems age may decrease effects felt post vaccine but it’s variable, just like Covid-19 signs and symptoms are very varied too.   It seems like the general consensus with the acupuncturists is not to treat a mild fever as it produces more antibodies to the vaccine when one has a mild fever but can treat all other effects with natural remedies.  The medical profession suggests taking tylenol, ibuprofen, or benadryl/antihistamine for post vaccine malaise and lots of rest and fluids.
So this is what I prepared for myself before the second dose and for our practitioners who were interested in herbs:
1) A formula that is a combo of Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao and modern antiviral herbs.  Gan Mao Ling, Yin Qiao San, or Zhong Gan Ling are also options.  Take a dose right after vaccine and 2-3 doses before fever kicks in (12-18 hours after injection).  Let fever run if it’s not too high, a fever results in more antibodies to Covid-19.  It seems people who have fever it’s only for 1 day, mine was for about 2 hours and it was less than 99F, Alex didn’t feel a fever.
2) Chrysanthemum/lemon balm tea – can drink 3-4 cups per day, clear heat benefits the head and lymph.  Add grated ginger and steep when feel the chills post vaccine.
3) Essential oils for diffuser, sinus steam, for lymph massage, alleviate headache and for local injection site to diminish soreness and for emotional balance:  options are frankincense, helichrysum, respiratory/lungs oils, antimicrobe oils.  Pain patch for the injection site, massage before and after.
4) acupressure points to massage when not feeling well
Large Intestine 4- immune system, headache
Taiyang – Lateral to eyes, temple, for headache
Lung 1 – facilitates breathing
Kidney 27 – lateral to thymus, tap to stimulate white blood cell release
Kidney 9 – moves external pathogens
San Jiao/Triple Burner 5 and 6 for fever and chills
Spleen 9 and Stomach 36 for lethargy and digestive symptoms, moxa would be great if have diarrhea
Neck massage
5) Qi Gong when feel well enough to move:  Rooted in Earth, Swinging with Heaven/ Children at the Bus stop:
6) Dry skin brushing
7) Have fruit, soups, broths, miso, rice congee with vegetables available.   Onion and ginger broth and soups are good for chills (cover up after drinking to sweat anything out through the pores), smoothies are better for heat signs
8) vitamin C and vitamin D
The week before the second dose I made sure to eat plenty of vegetables, soups, tried to get enough sleep and modulated how hyped up I might get with what I had to get done.
And this is what I ended up doing for self care from my second dose:
  • 8:30 pm night of shot 7:30 pm- took Chinese antiviral formula
  • 9 pm rubbed helicyrsum and frankincense EO on injection site (any muscle rub will also work), rubbed them on Lung 1, Kidney 27, and thymus.  Massaged left trapezius as it was noticeable tense (Gallblader 21), so pressed hard.  Started to sweat a bit and trapezius released, that felt good. Tapped thymus to stimulate white blood cells.
  • Went to bed with loving blessing for my body.  Did not sleep well.  We seemed to wake up every two hours.  Had sudden chills twice that woke me up.  Each time I brought loving kindness to my heart and thymus, grateful I’ll be resting the next day.  Bodily response was not too intense but the chills were interesting.
  • Woke up about 7 am, did light acupressure on Lung 1 and Kidney 27 in bed
  • Had miso soup with vegetables and poached egg for breakfast.  Made Chrysanthemum and lemon balm tea with honey, drank 1 cup.
  • Rubbed EO on injection site and behind ears.  Didn’t feel bad, but didn’t want to do anything physical either.
  • 9 am felt good enough to do promotion work on computer for Tones for your Bones
  • 10:15 am, felt onset of fatigue and more achy.  Sent one email and checked texts, Have to rest.   Took Chinese antiviral formula, self muscle-testing confirmed that taking this formula does not decrease antibodies at this time (make note of later in the afternoon)
  • 10:30 am massaged juniper and ginger EO on soles of feet Kidney 1 because I felt chilled.  Massaged Kidney 9 on my right calf very sore (this point expels external pathogens, maybe sore because my shot was on my right glute?).  Dabbed pinon pine (one of my favorite Liver/Lung EO) on Lung 9 and held in lovingkindness for my breathing.  Massage Large Intestine 4, is sore.  Light lymph massage on thighs, which were sore, lymph massage on groin caused immediate temporal headache (women have more lymph glands here).  Rubbed temples to ease headache.
  • Rested for 20 minutes
  • 11 am drank another cup of Ju Hua Chrysanthemum/Lemon balm tea with a bit of steeped ginger (feeling more chilled).  Snack of 1/2 apple, dates, raw pumpkin seeds
  • Joined Tibetan Buddhist meditation on zoom: 20th Tara of infectious diseases and social justice felt particularly appropriate and good.  Followed by meditation on Prajnapamarita on the Ocean of Awareness, Vastness of Potentiality, Mother/Yin.  Sent the merits of this practice to the Armonia practitioners receiving the vaccine later that week, Alex and the other Armonia practitioners.  Had to stop there, couldn’t send to more people.
  • 12:30 Had lunch: lentil soup, black bean enchiladas, a bit of guacamole.
  • Read for 45 minutes, had another cup of Ju Hua/Lemon balm tea
  • 2 pm felt more achy and tired, lay down, mild fever for about an hour, napped a bit, Did acupressure on Large INtestine 4, Lung 10, San Jiao/triple burner 6 (excellent for the fever/chills)  amazing how acupressure works as I felt better immediately with the acupressure massage!
  • Muscle tested Chinese antiviral formula upon getting up, still have mild fever, said NO, do not take, let fever run, hmm, interesting.
  • Alex slept for two long hours that afternoon, a longer nap than usual for him.
  • 4:00 pm went for a slow 20 minute walk outside, came back with temporal headache, didn’t feel like doing Qi Gong
  • Lay down for 30 minutes, massaged temples again.
  • 6:20 pm Hungry again.  Had minestrone soup with white rice that made me sweat out the rest of the fever, yay!
  • slept soooo much better second night
  • woke up feeling fairly refreshed
  • muscle texted Chinese antiviral formula: not necessary to take this morning
  • Had fruit smoothie, ate a heartier breakfast: potatoe asparagus omelet with feta cheese
  • We both had enough energy that Alex started drumming to African music first thing and I decided to record an improptu fb live to talk of us drumming together and about post vaccine and the upcoming immune class in Spanish, we also had enough energy to bicker at the end of the video haha!
  • Felt a little heavy body and missed the retreat like pace from yesterday, but what can I expect from dancing to African music first thing in the morning!
  • My menses came first thing this morning (surprise to me, though I was expecting it this week) so it’s still time to keep my pace toned down.
  • Did computer work at home
  • Came in to Armonia Health to see clients the next day, felt just mildly tired, but manageable.

Observations from Day 4 onward:

  • Had two nights of night sweats Day 4 and 5, this indicated the tail end of a viral infection and is the Chinese medicine diagnosis of temporary yin deficiency, which translates to fluid deficiency/dehydration
  • Experienced mild pollen allergies subsequent week, which for me only happens when I’m tired and my immune system is taxed.  I usually don’t have hay fever.
  • Continued to experience mild hydrations imbalances:  increased thirst, dry skin, tight muscles, calf cramping at night
  • Noticed shifts in hormones: emotional PMS in the wrong time of the month; knowing my patterns, this happens to me when my system is taxed, my Blood is deficienct (Chinese medicine terms), and I feel “stretched thin”.  I have been following menstrual cycle patterns for women post vaccine, and there does seem to show some non-usual changes to the cycle over the few weeks post second dose of vaccine.

So that’s been my experience of the vaccine, like I mentioned, everyone is different.  I followed with three other practitioners by text with their vaccine experience later that week and all were different.  I didn’t feel terrible so I took the dose of the antiviral formula appropriate for my level of discomfort but in retrospect, they could’ve taken more of the Chinese antiviral herbs than I because they seemed to feel the effect more than was communicated accurately by text, they took my dose only, thus I like have a phone conversation and look at the morning tongue when doing an official herbal consultation. They also took tylenol or ibuprofen on Day 2 to ease the discomforts.  I don’t have experience with either of those OTC medications for myself.

Glad this is over!  The above strategy is also similar to treating a viral infection with Chinese herbs and natural remedies, though there are more Chinese herbal formulas than I have written about since the formulas are meant to be paired as accurately to the person’s presentations as possible.  Consult Li-Lan for a private herbal phone consult or to purchase the herbs, they are available from Golden Needle Online or directly from Armonia Health.

This is the article that was co-written by practitioners at Armonia Health several years ago if you are interested in knowing more options:  What our practitioners do for themselves to protect from & treat common viral respiratory conditions

Skin Consultations & Alywillow Products now available!

Written by Channa Pickett LMBT

As a massage therapist, I wash my hands A LOT and even more nowadays with COVID. Going into fall and winter, my skin gets so dry. Fortunately, I’ve found great skin care products at Alywillow, a local, woman-owned small business. Many clients I see could benefit from Alywillow’s regenerative and therapeutic products. Our skin is the first line of defense against germs and viruses. Our bodies absorb whatever we put on our skin, so we need to look carefully at the ingredients in our skin care products. Alywillow products have vitamins A through E, so every time you wash or moisturize, you are getting vital nutrients.

If you are looking for help with a skin care issue or want to lessen the amount of synthetic chemicals in your personal care products, check out Alywillow. I’m offering free skin care consultations until January 30, 2021 to help you find the right products. You can sample many of the products at Armonia Health LLC.

Here are the top reasons I love Alywillow products:

  1. They are affordable and last a long time – compared to similar products, Alywillow is very affordable. The products are concentrated, so a little goes a long way. For example, their most expensive product is a regenerative eye cream. It costs $59 but will last you at least one year. That’s only $5 a month! 
  2. They are 100% natural – Alywillow products are made without any synthetic chemicals, synthetic fragrances, or synthetic colors. There are no sulfates, no parabens, no phthalates, no paraffin, no gluten, no propylene glycol, no alcohol, no mineral oil, no DEA, no DEET, no animal testing, and no other artificial ingredients. The products are made with top quality plants in small batches at the time of ordering.
  3. They work and smell amazing – read the online reviews or come by Armonia Health to sample the products yourself. I’ve used the products within my family to help with fungal skin/nail issues, dry/oily skin, acne, dandruff, and more. 
  4. Alywillow is a local, woman-owned small business – The owner makes conscientious decisions about product packaging to reduce environmental impact. Alywillow extensively trains the Independent Specialists and employees before entrusting them to sell the products. I spent about 20 hours studying to become an Alywillow Independent Specialist, and I continue to receive support from Alywillow.


I’m excited to share the wonderful world of Alywillow products! I would love to help you with your skin care needs – eczema, cystic acne, dry skin, itchy skin, scars, fine lines, etc.. Give me a call, text, or email to set up a time for a free consultation – or ask me at your next massage or coaching session.  My contact info is on the Armonia Health LLC website.

Oh! And Alywillow is releasing a new product for PSORIASIS in January – taking pre-orders now. 


Five Elements and Chinese Astrology Ba Zi Charts

Written by Arthur-Link Freeman and Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss

It would be helpful to read over this blog post to familiarize yourself with the language of your Ba Zi Chart.  Don’t worry!  It will make more sense when you attend the monthly classes.   Join Arthur-Link the first Sundays of 2022 for the virtual, and possibly future in-person monthly classes on Ba Zi and for group support for your monthly intentions and projects!  Drop ins welcome.   Check out his Healcyon Youtube Channel for informative and fun videos on Ba Zi Astrology.

Five Elements Theory is a Chinese philosophy used to describe interactions and relationships between things. The Five Elements — Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water — are representations in nature that have been observed over time to help humans explain and understand the interactions of phenomenon, situations, and human interactions.

  • Chinese: 五行 Wǔ Xing /woo sshing/ ‘Five Actions’

The History of Five Elements Theory

Five Elements Theory first appeared during the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC). It became widespread: mostly used in Chinese medicine, philosophy, feng-shui, life consultations, and martial arts.

Associations of the Five Elements

Each element has its own characteristics and associations with different aspects of nature, such as direction, season, color, shape, and so on.  Our website has blog posts on various aspects of the Five Elements and how to apply them in every day life; you will find the links at the bottom of this post.

Interactions Between the Five Elements

Five Element Theory asserts that the world changes according to the five elements’ generating or overcoming relationships. Generating and overcoming are the complementary processes — the yin and yang — of Five Element Theory.

Generating processes promote development, while overcoming processes control development. By promoting and restraining, systems are harmonized and balance is maintained.

Generating Interactions

The generating interactions of the five elements are like the conception, gestation, birth, and nurture relationship between a mother and a baby. Such element pairs are deeply attached, and together imply success and luck.

The five generating interactions are fueling, forming, containing, carrying, and feeding:

  • Wood fuels fire.
  • Fire forms earth (volcanoes, ash, etc.).
  • Earth contains metal.
  • Metal carries water (buckets, pipes, etc.).
  • Water feeds wood (trees, plants, etc.).

Overcoming Interactions

The overcoming interactions of the five elements are like the acts of hostility between two sides in a war.

The five overcoming interactions are melting, penetrating, separating, absorbing, and quenching:

  • Fire melts metal
  • Metal penetrates wood (chopping, sawing, drilling, nailing, screwing).
  • Wood separates earth (tree roots breaking up soil/rock).
  • Earth absorbs water.
  • Water quenches fire.



Is a unique system that can help uncover your Life Potential by analyzing the blueprint of your personal birth data. … The 4 Pillars are composed of the year of birth, month, day, and hour. Each “pillar” holds two words, hence the 8 Characters (Ba).  A common misconception is that Chinese Astrology is all about the “Animal Year Sign” when this gives even less information than a Sun Sign in Western Astrology. Each Animal is paired with a different Element which can be further divided into either Yang or Yin. 

You can print out your personal BaZi birth chart by going to the following site:

Day Master

If you’ve looked up your BaZi chart online, you’ll notice it has a LOT of information. Let’s focus on the important aspect which is at the hub of Bazi theory: Your Daymaster.

This is a sample chart from Joey Yap’s free online calculator. Notice there is a top row, and a bottom row, along with 4 “pillars.” This gives us a total of 8 squares of information (ignore the bottom third row for now), which is why Ba Zi translates as Ba (Eight) Zi (Characters).

It’s easy to remember that the Top Row characters are called the Heavenly Stems, as Top is closer to Heaven. The Bottom Row characters are called the Earthly Branches. The Earthly Branches are where you find the Animal signs you may be familiar with.

The Day Master however is the Heavenly Stem of your Day Pillar. The Four pillars are organized by Hour, Day, Month, Year. The Day Pillar is highlighted gold in this chart, and as you can see the top character is called “Geng” or Yang Metal.

The Day Master is You! In Bazi theory this is actually the character that represents us, not our Animal Year (or Earthly branch of Year pillar), and there are 10 types of Day Masters. The 5 Elements: Fire, Wood, Water, Metal. Earth x2 for Yin and Yang.

5 Element Interactions

So review the interactions of the 5 elements again. Draw a clockwise circle through the colors (Red is Fire, Yellow-Earth, Grey-Metal, Blue-Water, Green-Wood) to understand how the Elements Produce or transform into one another. The imagery commonly used is that Water grows Wood, Wood is used to create Fire, Fire turns to Ash (Earth), Earth condenses to Metal, and Metal filters Water.

The star in the middle showcases how the elements ‘control’ or Influence each other. I prefer the term control to Destructive, because in BaZi and in Chinese Medicine this interaction is balancing in a different type of way-one of limiting or preventing excess. Imagery here is that Water Extinguishes Fire, Fire Melts Metal, Metal Chops Wood, Wood breaks through Earth, Earth Dams Water.

Be familiar with this theory, as reading your Bazi chart comes down to understanding how the other elements relate to YOU-your Day Master. So for Instance, or Geng (Yang Metal) chart above has an Influencing effect on Wood Element, and is Influenced by Fire. Earth is what Generates this sample person’s energy, and is this a resource.

Reference Guide for the Elements

Using the theory above you can figure out why each Element is named what it is. Look a the Metal Row- we see that our Metal Day master has Fire as its “Influence Element”, and the element which it controls is Wood which is called the “Wealth Element.” The Element that shares its type is called the “Companion Element” (think birds of a feather), and the Element which it produces is called it’s “Output Element.” Finally the Element which Generates Metal (Earth) is called its “Resource Element.”

I’ll go over all these elements in the class, since there are actually 10 (Two kinds of Wealth, Influence, Friends, etc.). Having this chart pulled up will help you get familiar with how you personally interact with each of the elements, which gives you a rough guide to understanding how other people (their Day Masters) impact your life.

These maybe are useful to know when understanding Chinese Astrology and your personal Ba Zi chart:

Astrology Associations

Characteristic Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
Planets Venus Jupiter Mercury Mars Saturn
Heavenly Creatures Azure Dragon(青龙) Vermilion Bird (朱雀) Yellow Dragon (黄龙) White Tiger (白虎) Black Tortoise (玄武)
Heavenly Stems 1st (Jia 甲), 2nd (Yi 乙) 3rd (Bing 丙), 4th (Ding丁) 5th (Wu 戊), 6th (Ji 己) 7th (Geng 庚), 8th (Xin 辛) 9th (Ren 壬), 10th (Gui 癸)
Virtue Benevolence Propriety Fidelity/ Honesty Righteousness Wisdom
Represents Creativity, luxuriance, blooming, and flourishing Enthusiasm and passion Nurturing, stability, and security Ambition, determination, progress, and persistence Aptitude, brightness, agile mind, and mental strength

For more introductory information on the the Chinese Five Elements and how they can be applied to self, check out our posts Chinese Five Element Personality TypesChinese Five Element & our SensesIntro to the Chinese Five Elements & its associations

Our blog posts are categorized on the right side widget under various categories, check out the Chinese Five Elements and Self Care for ways to use each particular Element in your life.  For experiencing the Five Elements through music, Qi Gong, acupressure, and meditations, check out Tones for your Bones workshops.

Embodying Chinese Five Elements: Creativity of Fire coming together with Earth

Here is a recent creative approach, shortly before the Nov 3 presidential elections, amidst the uncertainty and turmoil leading up to the final days and post election week.  It embodies the joy of creating attributed to the Fire Element in Chinese medicine and the coming together of the Earth element through cooking and eating.  These two elements are right next to each other, in a generative cycle.

Alex and Li-Lan took this picture one morning of their breakfast of two fried eggs, potatoes with onions and bell peppers, and independently (at least on the linear plane) decided to create a story from the photo.  We agreed we wouldn’t tell each other the story, we even posted it on facebook without reading each other’s story, and THEN read it after it was posted.  It was a fun endeavor and speaks to the Yin and Yang of opposite interconnectedness.  Enjoy!

One Breakfast, Two Stories
Two Eggs in a Pod by Li-Lan: There was once 2 eggs from different places and different parents who came together by fate into the same egg carton. They had their own yolk but were of different colored shells. One morning, crack, open & sizzle, they found themselves cooking together and their whites blended into one another, not knowing that when they ended up on a plate, it would form a heart. United, Unique, the Same.
Divining Breakfast by Alex
I used to go to my Turkish friends house when I was a teenager. His mother would make me coffee and then turn my empty cup upside down and read my fortune through the coffee grounds. When we were in Ollantaytambo, Peru I encountered a coca leaf reader from the Q’ero tribe who did a divination for me reading the leaves. Gypsies use a crystal ball and the ancient I Ching used yarrow sticks to form hexagrams and read and bring understanding.
Here at the peaceful piedmont retreat we look at our breakfast and ask, what’s going to happen?
My breakfast looks back at me and begins – the two yolks are going to come apart and be scrambled in the courts, there will be mixed vegetables taking to the streets in protest, and confusion will reign! But, high in Himalayas there is a king who rules his country with a priority on “Gross national Happiness” all is tranquil in Bhutan
If you’d like to know more about the Chinese Five Elements, we have a series of blog post on this site Chinese Five Elements and Self Care that is categorized on the right side widget.
If you’d like to know more about Tones for your Bones: Embodying Chinese Five Elements through live acoustic music, Qi Gong, acupressure, meditations, and reflections, check out Workshops with Li-Lan, Tones for your Bones YouTube channel for meditations, Qi Gong, music by Alex and Li-Lan, and Five Element music playlists of contemporary music.  Tones for your Bones is also on Facebook with fun, practical, and beautiful ways of remembering and learning the elements.
Contact Li-Lan for individual Chinese Five Element coaching for physical, emotional, and mental health as well as to understand a model that can be applied to business and creative projects.