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

Arthur “Link” will be teaching an interactive virtual workshop on Sunday January 17, 2021 from 3:33-6:33 pm EST on Your Chinese Astrology for 2021 – Align to the Year of the Yin Ox with your Ba Zi Chart!  Register HERE through our Mindbody scheduler.

You will need 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 class!

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 phenomenons, 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.


Synergy & Embodiment of Yin and Yang

written by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss, Licensed Acupuncturist

You’ve all seen the Yin Yang Symbol: ancient circular symbol of duality, interdependence, and change.  It is a symbol that is meant to be a way of creating/understanding order and also about moving out of duality, the second part of this sentence is where I am cultivating currently and I find myself speaking in ways that are still ingrained in gender duality and I am holding myself accountable for this as I interact with others.

On an energetic level when I’m with a client, I don’t make those distinctions. When I feel the belly, sense emotion in certain areas, connect to messages that come, feel the pulse, I am in the “breathe, sense, feel” mode, fully present.  It’s a very comfortable environment that I move in (thanks to these 15 years of being in professional practice and personal cultivation) as it’s very different from my mind chatter when I am solving administrative issues, coordinating between practitioners, responding to emails, and teaching through information.

As I find great joy in teaching and bringing a group together, Tones for your Bones virtually has been an outlet the past few months of sharing the wisdom of Chinese philosophy AND for me to stay practicing Qi Gong and mindfulness.  The last six week series I geared towards empaths, sensitives, and energy workers without a clear intention of why other than I am one myself and wanted to use the Five Element framework to delve into the pleasure of our senses.  More reasons became clear as the series progressed and the group came together…

From an earlier blog post Chinese Five Element Senses, I expressed that this sudden change worldwide way of doing things in 2020 shifted me into a state of slowing down, listening, and being in mystery, thus Tones for your Bones moved from a information-based virtual class earlier this year into being more in the present moment to allow me to be more fluid in what acupressure points, meditations, and intentions to use during the practice while still keeping to the framework.  This way of working has allowed Alex to find more flexibility in the music that he brings forth in Tones for your Bones as we continue to collaborate.  So this way of teaching mimics the Yang of excess (fast pace, information heavy, doing, action) moving into Yin (slower, intuitive, senses, being, waiting) and eventually…nonduality.

These two youtube TED talk videos I watched back to back this autumn equinox week and provide inspiration as they embody this Yin Yang play.  I see both aspects of what they speak of that I bring into Tones for your Bones and would like to continue to bring it into my practice more clearly.  I also see and intend Armonia Health LLC opening to assist, through its practitioners and services, to a wider scope of this Yin Yang play we call Life.

Master Shi Heng Yi on Being on the Journey of Life and Cultivation & 5 Hindrances to Self Mastery

Camille Litalien on being a Dancer and Embodied Learning

A new series facilitated by Li-Lan using Tones for your Bones Live practices will start on Monday October 19, stay tuned for more details!

Chinese Five Element Senses

Written by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss L.Ac. September 15, 2020

Graphic by Paget Fink of Paget Fink Designs


“Deep relaxation and listening for the Water element, guided visualization for the Wood element, taste and connection to the Heart for the Fire element, voice and food connection to Earth element, smell and touch for the Metal element”

As an ongoing blog series on the Chinese Five Elements, the current third edition of Tones for your Bones virtual series is geared towards Empaths, Sensitives, and Energy Workers and uses the Five Senses woven into Qi Gong, acupressure, and meditation practices set to live acoustic music.  This is the most channeled series as of yet.  What does that mean?  I guess I’m moving into another realm with teaching and my practice.

Tones for your Bones is a work in progress between Alex and I.  Creating art together is like life:  one is constantly learning from each other, communicating, practicing, discussing, impatience at times, exasperation at others times (mainly on my part), letting go, being in the moment, having fun, discipline, diligence.  Thus, maybe with this pandemic and different way of doing things, our co-creation and what we worked on thus far seems to have catapulted me into another realm of teaching and sharing.

I am listening to the universal message of slowing down, listening more acutely, holding my heart to react less while allowing it to be open, allowing the mystery to inform me, allowing the Divine to guide me as there is much not in my control, being with starting over but with more experience, more support, and hopefully some more wisdom.  I feel like I am flowing rather than fighting the current, thus this channeled series has a sense of ease.

After teaching two 5 week virtual series of Tones for your Bones this past spring and summer, I felt like I had the technology and set up down:  I had my weekly teaching material templates organized, I got a lot better at using zoom, we got our sound quality as good as it can be for now, we were finally able to buy a new webcam (they were out of stock a lot and choosing one was overwhelming), we set up our music room quickly with Chinese screens to create a less wild backdrop (we have a lot of color in our house). So towards the end of the second virtual series, I realized that as I have always resonated with working with clients who are sensitive and empaths as I am one myself, the way I teach a class is probably best appreciated by those who are similar in that way.

Why?  People who are sensitive and empaths tend to FEEL the body and the emotions, sometimes too acutely and that can be overwhelming.  So the beauty of Qi Gong, acupressure, and creating order thru the Five Elements and focusing on a particular sense in it’s various relationships brings the nervous system to a state of calm and clarity.  I find that empaths and energy workers benefit from movement, but a little of everything goes a long way.  So a flow of body movement, breath awareness, guided meditation, creativity, and acupressure; generally going from yin activity to yang and then back to yin, leaves one feeling the embodiment of the element and complete.  Tones for your Bones is not a high impact Zumba or Kickboxing session, the empaths in tune with themselves need more than just Yang type activities, the practice is about moving inwards deeper into ourselves to embrace the diamond within.

It’s felt great to channel ideas, see where they lead, and create.  Everything I do continues to influence all aspects of my life, including what is unfolding in Armonia Health LLC with our services…to be continued.

For more on the Chinese Five Elements, check out these other two blogs Intro to the Chinese Five Elements and Chinese Five Element Personality Types

For more on Judith Orloff MD extensive writing on Empaths, start at her website:

Beneficios del Cepillado de la Piel y Como Hacerlo

Compilacion de Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss Licencia en Acupuntura

Beneficios del cepillado de piel seca
Más que un tratamiento de belleza

  • Estimula el flujo sanguíneo y linfático. El sistema linfático es una parte importante de su
    limpieza y sistema inmunológico. Los glóbulos blancos llamados linfocitos transportan
    nutrientes a las células y eliminan los desechos. La linfa fluye fuera del sistema circulatorio para
    bañarse, limpiar y restaurar todas nuestras células, pero debe ser devuelta a los vasos
    sanguíneos para volcar sus residuos. Lo hace a través de pequeños vasos linfáticos con
    válvulas unidireccionales hacia el corazón. Si no movemos la linfa lo suficientemente rápido
    terminamos con tejidos hinchados, particularmente en los tobillos. Ejercicio, masaje y cepillado
    de la piel ayudan a acelerar el proceso y limpiar el sistema linfático.
  • Elimina las células muertas de la piel. La piel seca es un signo de desintoxicación. Es
    importante eliminar las células muertas para evitar obstruir el sistema. Esto también mejorará la
    textura de la piel y renovará las células de la piel.
  • Estimula la hormona y las glándulas sebáceas. Con el cepillado diario y el baño, la piel
    puede producir el aceite necesario para mantenerse saludable. La sudoración es una parte
    importante de la desintoxicación, pero cuando su sistema está obstruido, puede experimentar
    olor corporal fuerte y el trabajo extra se pasa a la vejiga, los riñones y el hígado. Con el
    ejercicio regular y la limpieza de la piel, notará que su sudor ya no huele. Sin embargo, con el
    aumento de la desintoxicación en todo su cuerpo al hacer una limpiarza corporal, usted puede encontrar que se agrava el olor corporal junto con otros procesos de eliminacion del cuerpo antes de que se estabilice.
  • Reduce las marcas de celulitis, estrías y “estancamiento de la sangre” (termino de medicina china):  Requiere cepillado diario durante varios meses para comenzar a ver los resultados. Cuando usted masaje y estimula la piel comienza a romper los depósitos tóxicos de los tejidos grasos almacenados en la piel. El masaje del tejido conectivo y la liberación de emociones
    almacenadas son también buenos tratamientos para la celulitis.
  • Fortalece el sistema inmunológico. El cepillado de la piel seca puede reducir la duración
    de las infecciones y las enfermedades al mover las toxinas más rápidamente a través del
    sistema y estimular la linfa para mover la materia de desecho.
  • Estimula el sistema nervioso, tonifica los músculos, aprieta la piel. Al estimular las
    terminaciones nerviosas en la piel, esta técnica rejuvenecerá los nervios y activará las fibras
    musculares individuales, dando como resultado los músculos del tóner. El aumento del flujo
    sanguíneo a la piel, y la eliminación de las células muertas, estimula la creación de nuevas
    células de la piel que aprieta y regenera la salud general de la piel.
  • Nutre su cuerpo. Tal vez uno de los beneficios más importantes de esta práctica es
    puramente el placer de nutrir su cuerpo. ¡Realmente se siente genial! ¡Relajante y energizante
    al mismo tiempo! Aprender a amar a su cuerpo es esencial para la pérdida de peso y la
    curación de cualquier “enfermedad” corporales, mental y emocional. Pasar este tiempo, 5-15 minutos por día, dando a su cuerpo la atención que anhela y se merece. Trabaja duro para apoyarte. ¡Dale el apoyo que te mereces!

Seleccionando un cepillo para piel seca

Elija un cepillo para piel seca que tiene cerdas naturales de fibra y una manija larga
para alcanzar toda su espalda. Algunos tienen una manija desprendible y la correa para
utilizar el cepillo sin la manija. Las cerdas pueden sentirse demasiado firmes al
principio, pero su piel se aclimatará a esto con el tiempo. Si usted tiene piel muy
sensible, es posible que desee comenzar con un cepillo más suave o usar una toalla
seca en el principio.  Tambien se puede usar un estropajo o toallita de algodon si no tienes un cepillo para la piel.

Cómo usar su cepillo para piel seca

1. Cepíllese el cuerpo seco antes de ducharse o bañarse.
2. Comience a sus pies y siempre cepille hacia su corazón. Utilice movimientos
circulares rápidos o largos, incluso golpes.
3. Cepille toda trajectoria de las piernas, luego sobre el abdomen, los glúteos y la
espalda. Si usted tiene celulitis en sus caderas y muslos, concentre alli un poco más.
Para la disolución completa de la celulitis, cepille durante 10 minutos diarios durante
varios meses.
4. Cepille ligeramente en áreas sensibles como pechos y más firmemente en áreas
como las plantas de los pies.
5. Cuando llegue a los brazos, comience por los dedos y cepille los brazos hacia el
corazón. Cepille los hombros y el pecho hacia su corazón.  Cepille la espalda hacia arriba a los hombros y hacia enfrente al corazon.
6. Evite cepillarse donde la piel esté rota o donde tenga una erupción, infección, corte o
7. Acabar tomando una ducha (no hay necesidad de jabón!) Y si lo desea, el uso de
terapia fría / caliente para estimular aún más el sistema linfático y mejorar la
circulación.  Seque su piel ligeramente y mientras humedo aplique un humectante natural a base de aceite vegetal.

Limpieza de su cepillo de piel seca

Dependiendo de la frecuencia con la que use su cepillo, limpie su cepillo una vez por
semana o una vez al mes. Remoje y lave las cerdas en una dilución de agua tibia, unas
gotas de jabón líquido y bicarbonato de sodio. Cuelgue para secar al aire.

Cinco Estrategias para Adoptar un Nuevo Habito

Este es un articulo traducido del ingles, el articulo original se encuentra aqui

Aquí hay cinco estrategias que Kris Kresser, del instituto de coaching Adapt180 y el Kresser Institute, usa personalmente y que también puedes usar para desarrollar un nuevo hábito, ya sea comenzar una práctica de meditación, adoptar una nueva rutina de ejercicios o acostarse más temprano.

# 1: Sepa Su Por Qué

Para tener éxito al adoptar un nuevo hábito, debes conectarte emocionalmente con las razones por las que quieres adoptarlo. “Debería hacer más ejercicio porque mi médico me dijo que lo hiciera” no va a ser suficiente. Hágase preguntas como “¿Cómo me sentiría si tuviera éxito con este nuevo hábito?”, “¿En quién podría convertirme si adoptara este comportamiento?”, “¿Cómo me ayudará esto a lograr otras metas importantes en mi vida?” Considere escribir las respuestas a estas preguntas y luego revíselas a diario a medida que crea el hábito.

# 2: Hacer cambios chiquitos y realistas

Tenemos una tendencia a establecer metas grandes e inalcanzables y luego renunciar cuando no podemos alcanzarlas. No estoy seguro de por qué, pero esto parece ser la naturaleza humana. Reducir el cambio que desea realizar en pequeños incrementos puede aumentar drásticamente sus posibilidades de éxito. Por ejemplo, si finalmente desea meditar todos los días durante 30 minutos, comience con solo dos minutos al día. A medida que tenga éxito, obtendrá la confianza y la motivación que necesita para aumentar gradualmente hasta alcanzar su objetivo completo.

# 3: Agregue su nuevo hábito en uno existente

La acumulación de hábitos es una estrategia probada para cambiar el comportamiento con éxito. Así es como funciona. Mide el nuevo hábito que quieres desarrollar justo antes o justo después de un hábito ya establecido. Por ejemplo, decidí meditar todos los días justo después de terminar mi café matutino y escribir, y justo antes de mi programa de entrenamiento de fuerza en casa.

# 4: Programe su hábito en su calendario

Es importante darle a su nuevo hábito el mismo peso visual y logístico que otras cosas importantes que hace cada semana. Para mí, eso significa programar hábitos directamente en mi calendario y configurar una alarma para que no me olvide de hacerlos. Si vieras mi calendario, verías 30 minutos bloqueados en la mañana para meditar, luego otros 30-45 minutos bloqueados para entrenamiento de fuerza, luego tiempo para un paseo en bicicleta de montaña más tarde en el día, etc.

# 5: Busque apoyo o alguien que te ayude tomar responsabilidad de tus metas

Un principio psicológico llamado efecto Hawthorne sostiene que nos desempeñamos mejor cuando sabemos que estamos bajo la observación de otros. Es por eso que la responsabilidad es tan poderosa cuando se trata de construir nuevos hábitos. Hay muchas formas de hacerlo. Escriba un contrato de compromiso (indicando a qué se compromete) y luego compártalo con su pareja, un amigo, una comunidad en línea relacionada con su hábito, sus seguidores en las redes sociales, un mentor o su asesor de salud.

Intro to the Chinese Five Elements

The Chinese Daoist Five Elements are based on thousands of years of observations of nature, its relationships, and the human body and spirit.  They form one of the foundations of Chinese medicine, which include acupuncture, Chinese herbal formulas, Qi Gong / Tai Chi, diet, meditation, bodywork.  One will also find the uses of these Five Elements in Feng Shui  (the art of placement) and the I-Ching (the Book of Changes).

An acupuncturist will use the Five Elements and their meridian and organ associations when listening to a patient’s symptoms, and start to develop a Chinese medicine diagnosis based on observing signs from the person’s voice, facial complexion, gait, tongue, and pulse.


Here is one way of looking at the associations of the Five Elements:

Once you have an idea of the associations, the fun part is to learn how they interact: how one element leads to another (called the Generative Cycle) and how one Element’s association can “backfire” and antagonize another.

To know a bit more about the Five Element personality types, check out this blog Chinese Five Element Personality Types

To experience the Five Elements and learn to embody them, Tones for your Bones is a workshop and practice that includes live music, Qi gong, acupressure, meditations, and self-reflections to use this system to help physical, mental, and emotional health.  If you have a spiritual practice, the use of the Five Element can work together to deepen your practice.   Tones for your Bones is a creation of Li-Lan with her multi-instrumentalist storyteller husband Alex Weiss, more info on this workshop is on the page Workshops with Li-Lan 

This is an series of blog posts by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss on the Chinese Daoist Five Elements and Tones for your Bones.  More self-care and Five Element blog posts are available on our side widget of blog categories titled Chinese Five Element & Self-care.  All blog posts by Armonia Health LLC practitioners are on our BLOG page





Chinese Five Element Personality Types


This is part of a series of blog posts by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss L.Ac. on the practical uses of the Chinese Daoist Five Elements and how they can be used as a fun and insightful way for self-reflection.  You can experience the associations of the Five Elements through Tones for your Bones, a online and virtual series created by Li-Lan and her musician husband Alex Weiss.  
“People like quizzes to know themselves better”, this was the message a client of mine said to me recently, she is also a business coach.  I agree that when I started acupuncture school, I was fascinated by the Five Element personality types.  Which am I??  It has taken me years to embody all of the five personality types, and it’s been totally worth the journey!   Do you like to know yourself better?  Read on.

The way someone in acupuncture schools learns the Five Elements is the way a new language is taught in school:  Learn all the verbs, their conjugations, and then put the nouns with the verbs, then learn the adjectives.  Ugh, it’s tedious if you ever tried to memorize and conjugate verbs!

So my intention with Tones for your Bones was always about being able to use the Elements and embody it more easily; so when it comes to learning a new language, it’s learning how to say phrases that you can use right away.

So here is an example of the Five Elements that we know as a truth: A seed, pertaining to the element of Water, grows into a plant or tree.  The Wood from the tree provides fuel for a Fire, the ashes of Fire dissolve into the Earth which, with time and pressure, create crystals, which pertains to the Metal element.  This cycle is generative and re-generative, the cycle of birth and death happens over and over again.  This we know as true, right?

Then the Five elements personality associations are:

  • Water is the philosopher/dreamer
  • Wood is the entrepreneur / goal-orientated
  • Fire is the entertainer / “life is fun!”
  • Earth is the caretaker
  • Metal is the perfectionist
The use of the Five element personalities is that we are not only ONE of these.  The balance is that we have ALL of these in ourselves and can summon them at various times.  So the way I’ve tuned into them myself during these times since we many of us are sheltering in:
  • Water: The philosopher in me reflected on the larger context of this whole pandemic (when I wasn’t anxious)
  • Wood: The entrepreneur in me saw the opportunities that were available as an acupuncturist and teacher
  • Fire:  The fun part of me reminded myself that I nee to have some fun, that I really enjoy connecting with friends, family, and my clients, and enjoy life’s pleasures to balance out the stress
  • Earth: The caretaker in me felt super protective of the Armonia Health community, of my friends and practitioners, and also knows that I need to take care of myself
  • Metal: The perfectionist in me comes out when I’ve been creating course content (like Tones for your Bones) and when I’m rehearsing with my musician husband (professional musicians and artist are notorious perfectionists!)
Do you enjoy this way of seeing the world?  Join me for Tones for your Bones and check out our other blog posts on the Chinese Five Elements.  There is a short description of Tones for your Bones on our page Workshops with Li-Lan


Chinese Lucky Foods

Chinese Lucky Foods by Lillian Bridges:

Licensed acupuncturist and leading authority on Chinese face reading and diagnosis

Chinese New Year is the biggest holiday celebrated by Chinese people around the world.  Here’s a list of lucky foods to eat during the Chinese New Year celebration period from New Year’s Eve to 15 days after New Year’s Day, which culminates in the Lantern Festival. The traditional Chinese New Year celebration begins with a New Year’s Eve Reunion Dinner, bringing together family and friends and of course eating lucky foods.  Then, what’s eaten on New Year’s Day is also very important.  You have 15 days to eat these lucky foods to bring you good fortune in the coming year, but of course you can enjoy them anytime!

Abalone – definite good fortune

Apple – wisdom, peace

Apricot, dried – gold, wealth

Arrowhead Roots– a good life

Bamboo Pith – long life

Bamboo Shoots – wealth, a new start, long life

Banana – brilliance at school or work

Bean Curd/Dried or Pressed Tofu – fulfillment of wealth and happiness

Bean Curd Sticks/Dried/Tofu Skin – blessings on the house

Bean Sprouts – positive start for the New Year, get your heart’s desire

Black Moss – growing wealth

Napa Cabbage – much prosperity and luck

Carrots – good luck and money

Cashew Nut – gold, money

Celery – good hard work

Chinese Chives/Garlic Chives – something good lasts forever, longevity

Cilantro/Coriander Leaves – serendipity

Chicken – happiness in marriage and togetherness

Chicken, whole – prosperity, togetherness of the family, joy

Chinese Garlic Chives – long life

Clams/Scallops – opening of new horizons, wealth

Coconut – promotes togetherness and family bonds

Corn – growth

Daikon Radish – good omens

Daylily Buds/Golden Needles – wealth

Duck – creativity and fertility

Dumplings – wealth and abundance and bringing in the new. Steamed and boiled represent silver, fried represent gold. Round Dumplings mean togetherness and heavenly blessings.

Eggs  – creativity and fertility

Egg Rolls/Spring Rolls – money, wealth and gold

Greens/Green Vegetables – abundance and longevity for parents

Fish, whole – an increase in prosperity and an abundance of extra wealth. The head and tail symbolize a good beginning and end of the year

Fish Balls – reunion

Five Vegetable Stir Fry – gives the Five Blessings of Longevity, Riches, Peace, Wisdom and Virtue

Gingko Nuts – wealth and good fortune

Glass Noodles/Bean Thread Noodles – silver chain

Grapes – wealth, abundance, fertility, creativity and family harmony

Greens – abundance

Jujubes/Chinese Dates – wealth, prosperity, fertility and creativity

Kumquat – gold, wealth and fortune

Leek – clever with money

Lettuce – prosperity and growing wealth, good for a fresh start. When used as a wrap, it means a baby may be conceived soon or creative inspiration will occur.

Longan – many good children or a lot of new creative ideas

Lotus Root – continuing wealth

Lotus Seeds – a lot of money in your wallet, many children

Lychees – close family ties

Meatballs – close family ties and reunion of family members

Melon – family unity and when candied, it also means growth and good health

Mu’er/Tree Ear or Wood Mushroom – longevity

Mung Bean Thread Noodles – Long Life when served uncut

Wheat or Rice Noodles – long life when served uncut

Onion – cleverness

Oranges and Tangerines – luck, wealth and gold. They are even better with the leaves attached, as this means longevity

Oysters – receptivity to good fortune, good business and when dried, it means good things are coming and good luck

Peach – immortality and brings increased beauty. A pair of Peaches means wealth, abundance, long healthy life and great fortune for many generations

Peanuts – health, long life, birth of prosperity, continuous growth, multiplication in wealth, good fortune and stability

Pineapple – wealth, luck, excellent fortune, gambling luck
Pistachios – happiness

Pomegranate – many offspring, increased creativity

Pomelo – continuous abundance, prosperity and status

Pork – strength, wealth, abundant blessing

Pumpkin – prosperity, abundance, descendant’s luck, illustrious children, enchantment, fruit draws the earth energy to manifest gold

Radish Cake/Turnip Cake – Good Omens

Rice – abundance, fertility, luck, wealth. Rice symbolizes the link between Heaven and Earth and when sticky means the family will stick together

Rice Cakes, both sweet and savory – increasing prosperity every year and higher position

Scallions/Green Onions – brings intelligence

Seaweed – prosperity, good luck and increased wealth

Seeds – lotus seeds, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds – many children and more creative ideas

Shitake Mushrooms/Dried Black Mushrooms – longevity, seizing opportunities

Shrimp – happiness and good fortune

Snow Peas– unity

Sweets – safety, good fortune and a sweet life in the New Year

Walnut – happiness for the entire family

Water Chestnuts – unity


  •       For fun, the Chinese will often add a small coin inside one of the New Year’s Dumplings so that the person who finds it is showered with good fortune and wealth. If you decide to do this, warn everyone to bite into his or her dumplings carefully!
  •      Often 8 snacks are served together and called the Tray of Togetherness. Eight is a lucky number and also is symbolic of wealth
  •      Tray of Togetherness – 8 snacks served together
  •      Serve Bean Curd fried, dried or marinated so that is not white in color
  •      Fresh Fruit symbolizes life and new beginning
  • The round shape of Chinese New Year’s foods symbolizes family reunions
  • Seeds of any kind enhance fertility and creativity

Visit Lillian’s Chinese Five Element Food blog ; she is the co-author of Chinese Divine Cuisine and founder of Lotus Institute