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


Lo que hacen nuestros terapistas para protegerse y tratar condiciones virales respiratorias

Compilado por los terapistas de Armonia Health LLC

La siguiente información se basa en lo que los terapistas de Armonia Health LLC hacen por sí mismos, su pareja y para sus hijos, se basa en sus estudios profesionales, experiencia clinica, su propia investigación y su experiencia personal de usar remedios y suplementos para ellos y su familia. Consulte a un acupunturista autorizado con capacitación en hierbas chinas, un herbolario calificado, un naturópata, un homeópata o un médico capacitado en el uso de suplementos para usted y su constitución y para una dosis óptima, y ​​realice su propia investigación. Siempre lea las etiquetas de los productos y formulas. Ninguna parte de este artículo constituye recomendaciones personales ni tratamiento.

La intención de este artículo es proporcionar una idea de la gran cantidad de opciones que se pueden usar para proteger al cuerpo de un resfriado común, un virus o una gripa; para disminuir la severidad y acortar la duración de los síntomas y ayudar con los trastornos emocionales que surgen (podemos recordar lo horrible que se sintió tener fiebre cuando eramos mas joven y quedarse en casa y no ir a la escuela). Esperamos que este artículo despierte tu curiosidad, te inspire y te ayude a conectarte con otros profesionales que puedan darte recomendaciones específicas. Dado que somos varios profesionales, esta es una recopilación, no se tiene que hacer todo de una solo vez ni para una solo una persona, y algunas de estas prácticas toman tiempo para incorporar o ver si funcionan para usted y su familia. Esperamos que este artículo también funcione como un recordatorio de que su salud está en sus manos y que puede volver a estas prácticas una y otra vez. ¡Los mejores deseos!

Esto es lo que compilamos para protegernos y para prevencion a base a nuestra comprensión personal de nuestros cuerpos:

  • Descanse y duerma lo suficiente cuando esté cansado, limite las actividades sociales estresantes en la noche cuando se sienta agotado, relájese
  • Haz ejercicio y movimiento, camina entre 8,000-10,000 pasos por día
  • Consigue al menos 10 minutos de sol al día
  • Comer alimentos frescos y limite comida procesada. No le dé a su cuerpo más que hacer cuando está tratando de curarse (o mantenerse saludable). Cuanto más procesados ​​estén los alimentos, más duro tendrá que trabajar el cuerpo para digerirlos.
  • Beba / cocine con caldo de huesos hecho con huesos de médula de res, agregando ajo, cebolla, puerros, canela, anís estrellado, hierbas y/o verduras. Tome sopa de miso hecha con cebolla, jengibre, cebollin, champiñones y verduras. La Sidra de Fuego (remedio a base de vinagre de manzana organica con ajo, cebolla, cayena, rábano picante, varias hierbas) se puede tomar como una cucharada diluida en un poco de agua como el jarabe para la tos o se usa en alimentos como aderezo o adobo.
  • Manténgase hidratado con suficiente agua filtrada / de ósmosis inversa espaciada uniformemente a lo largo del día (la recomendación actual es, en onzas, la mitad de su peso corporal en libras.  Ejemplo: si estas en 150 libras de peso, tomas 75 onzas, que es como 9 vasos de agua)
  • Evita el azúcar, que disminuye la respuesta inmune de tu cuerpo durante varias horas.
  • Mantenga los pies calientes en todo momento y una bufanda alrededor del cuello cuando haya frío o viento afuera
  • Caliéntese con una ducha caliente y una taza de té de jengibre si se ha resfriado o llovido al estar afuera
  • Varios remedios herbales de apoyo inmune
  • Jarabe de saúco (elderberry) a diario (especialmente sabroso, muy fácil de tomar para los niños)
  • Lavarse las manos frecuentemente o llevar desinfectante de manos y aceites esenciales de aromaterapia para viajar.


Esto es lo que hacemos o tomamos durante las primeras etapas de sentirnos agotados con síntomas tales como dolor de garganta, congestión sinusal, tos leve, dolor de cabeza sinusal, fatiga con dolor de cuerpo, escalofríos:

  • Varios remedios a base de hierbas que son amargas, estos ayudan al cuerpo a sudar y / o tiene propiedades antivirales y antibacterianas:  ejemplos incluyen una sidra de fuego diluida endulzada con miel, Jackass Bitters de las selvas tropicales de Belice, hierbas berberinas comúnmente llamadas Tres Bitters/Tres amargas en la medicina china, Isatis (ban lan gen) una hierba de sabor suave, fórmula herbal de Gan Mao Ling (traducida del chino como remedio para el resfriado), Lomatium Dissectum
  • Aceites esenciales terapéuticos diluidos como el eucalipto, la menta y el árbol del té o el Vicks Vaporub en el pecho, la espalda y los pies durante la noche. Un ejemplo es el vapor de eucalipto para la congestión: vierta agua caliente al vapor en un recipiente, ponga 1-2 gotas de aceite esencial de eucalipto en agua. Cubra la cabeza con una manta / toalla, inclínese sobre el tazón, mantenga los ojos cerrados e inhale por la nariz durante varios minutos. Esto debería ayudar a limpiar los canales nasales y aflojar el moco en la nariz y los pulmones para que sea más fácil de expectorar.
  • Formas de sudar y bajar la fiebre leve: 1) Frotar alcohol en el cuerpo cuando hay fiebre leve (un remedio casero común para los hispanos) que ayuda a enfriar el cuerpo. 2) Tomarse un baño por la noche con un té de cebollín / jengibre fuerte mientras bebe una taza del te, meterse debajo de las mantas y esperar a que el cuerpo sude (no duerma con ropa húmeda / mojada).
  • Alterne la vitamina C y el zinc a lo largo del día, o aumente la vitamina C.
  • Aumente las dosis de los remedios herbales que se tomaron para la prevención (consulte a su médico para obtener dosis específicas).
  • Miel y varios jarabes para la tos a base de hierbas tienen un sabor excelente y no son sedantes.
  • Para los niños, Gentle Warriors es una línea de fórmulas de hierbas chinas hechas en los Estados Unidos para varias condiciones pediatricas comunes.
  • Remedios homeopáticos para la gripe y sus síntomas asociados.

Armonia Health LLC es un centro de salud natural en Durham, Carolina del Norte, EEUU enfocada en la medicina china, acupuntura, herbolaria, masaje abdominal maya de la doctora Rosita Arvigo®, masaje terapeutico y Reiki.  Es un centro con terapistas profesionales que hablan español, establecida por la acupunturista Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss.  

What our practitioners do for themselves to protect from & treat common viral respiratory conditions

Compiled by Armonia Health LLC practitioners

Disclaimer:  The following information is based on what Armonia Health LLC practitioners do for themselves, their spouse, and their children, it is based on their professional Chinese medicine training, recommendations from trained herbalists, naturopaths, homeopaths; their own research, and their personal experience of using remedies and supplements for themselves and their family.  Please consult a licensed acupuncturist with training in Chinese herbs, a trained herbalist, naturopath, homeopath, or a medical physician trained in use of supplements for your particular presentation and constitution and for optimum dosaging, and do your own research. Always read product labels. No part of this article constitutes personal recommendations nor treatment.

The intention of this article is to provide an idea of the wealth of options that can be used to protect the body from suffering from a common cold, virus, or flu; to diminish the severity of symptoms, shorten the duration of the progression, and help with the emotional dis-ease (we may remember how awful it felt to have a fever when young and staying home from school).  We hope this article sparks your curiosity, inspires you, and helps you connect to other practitioners that can give you specific recommendations. Since we are several practitioners, this is a compilation, it is not all to be done at once nor for one person, and some of these practices take time to incorporate or see if they work for you and your family. We hope this article also works as a reminder that your health is in your hands and you can come back to these practices time and again.   Best wishes!

Here is what we compiled to protect ourselves and for prevention, based on our personal understanding of our bodies:

  • Get enough rest and sleep when tired, limit stressful social activities at night when feeling run down, relax
  • Get exercise and movement, walk between 8,000-10,000 steps per day
  • Get at least 10 minutes of sun daily
  • Eat whole foods. Don’t give your body more to do when you are trying to heal (or stay healthy). The more processed the food the harder the body has to work to break it down and digest it.
  • Drink/cook with bone broth made from beef marrow bones, adding garlic, onion, leeks, cinnamon, star anise, herbs, veggies.  Drink miso soup made with onion, ginger, scallions, mushrooms, and veggies. Fire Cider (herbal remedy made from apple cider vinegar steeped with, garlic, onion, cayenne, horseradish, various herbs) may be taken as a diluted spoonful like cough syrup or used in food like as a dressing or marinade.  
  • Stay hydrated with enough filtered/reverse osmosis water evenly spaced out throughout the day (The current recommendation is: Divide your body weight in pounds by 2, and drink that much water in ounces per day)
  • Avoid sugar, it decreases your body’s immune response for several hours
  • Keep feet warm at all times and a scarf around the neck whenever there is a chill or windy outside
  • Warm up with a hot shower and a cup of ginger tea if one has gotten chilled or rained on being outside
  • Various immune-supportive herbal remedies, example is Jade Windscreen (Chinese classical herbal formula)
  • Elderberry syrup daily (particularly tasty, so easy for children to take)
  • Hand sanitizer and essential oils for travelling


This is what we do or take during the early stages of feeling run down and “coming down with something”, with symptoms like sore throat, sinus congestion, slight cough, sinus headache, fatigue with body ache, chills:

  • Various herbal remedies that may have bitter qualities, help the body sweat, and/or have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties:  examples include diluted Fire Cider sweetened with honey, Jackass Bitters from the rainforests of Belize, berberine herbs commonly called Three Bitters in Chinese medicine, Isatis (ban lan gen) a mild tasting herb, Gan Mao Ling herbal formula (translated from the Chinese as Cold Remedy), Lomatium Dissectum
  • Diluted therapeutic essential oils such eucalyptus, peppermint, and or tea tree or rubbing VicksVaporub on the chest, back and feet at night.  Example: Eucalyptus Steam for congestion- Pour steaming hot water into a bowl, put 1-2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in water. Cover head with blanket/towel, lean over bowl, keep eyes closed and inhale through nose for several minutes. This should aid in clearing sinuses and loosen mucus in nose and lungs to be  more easily expectorated.
  • Ways to sweat and lower a mild fever:  1) Rubbing alcohol on the body when there is a mild fever (common Hispanic home remedy) helps cool the body. 2) Taking a bath at night in a strong scallion/ginger tea while drinking the broth, getting under the covers and waiting for the body to sweat (do not sleep in wet/damp clothes).
  • Alternate Vitamin C and Zinc throughout the day, or increase vitamin C intake.
  • Increase dosages of the herbal remedies that were taken for prevention (consult your practitioner for specific dosages).
  • Honey and various herbal cough syrups that are great tasting and non-drowsy.
  • For children, Gentle Warriors is a line of Chinese herbal formulas made in the USA for common pediatric presentations.
  • Homeopathic remedies for flu and its associated symptoms

Pronóstico del año nuevo chino del cerdo 2019

La pareja de canchitos junto con las naranjas son simbolos de prosperidad y abundancia

El 5 de febrero de 2019 marcó el inicio del año chino del cerdo marrón. Este es un año del elemento de Tierra Yin con el Agua Yin del Cerdo, lo que significa que se verán las influencias de la Tierra y los elementos del Agua. La combinación de la Tierra y el Agua crea barro, que podría ser literal, así como significar una propensión al pensamiento “confuso”.

El cerdo es el último animal del sistema chino de 12 animales zodiacos, lo que significa que los proyectos a largo plazo, las investigaciones y las demoras en los juicios se finalizarán. Habrá una energía de finalización y un cierre de las cosas que no pueden continuar en el siguiente ciclo. Los cerdos suelen ser animales pacíficos y simbolizan el valor de la familia, los amigos, el hogar y la buena comida.

La letra de cerdo en chino es un techo con un cerdo debajo. Esto se debe a que el cerdo en muchas culturas y países aporta riqueza y alimento, ya que la carne, la grasa y los órganos de un cerdo son muy aromaticos y tienen un alto contenido de calorías y grasa, ¡Un poco rinde mucho!

Un año de agua Yin significa lluvia constante durante un largo período de tiempo, lo que será excelente para la agricultura, la agricultura biodinámica y la industria de la agricultura orgánica. Los restaurantes caseros y los que compran de agricultores locales les irán bien. A los animales de pasto libre beneficiarán de la lluvia constante. Por otro lado, los deslizamientos de lodo, la erosión y la inundación de arroyos, lagos y regiones costeras pueden ser prominentes. Es un buen año para preparar el hogar y los cimientos/fundacion para que se vea menos afectado por el movimiento de la tierra y el agua.

En general, este es un buen año para los negocios, ya que tanto los elementos de la Tierra como los del Agua alimentan el elemento de crecimiento de Madera en el que operan las empresas. La energía relajante del Cerdo explica el dicho chino: “Las empresas deben planificar en el año del Cerdo y lanzar nuevos proyectos y expandirse en el año de la Rata (2020)”. La construcción de casas, la publicación, las industrias ecológicas y las empresas basadas en ciencias naturales deberían tener buenos años. Los negocios del elemento de Tierra, como los bienes raíces y todos los negocios relacionados con alimentos, recibirán un impulso. Los productos de belleza y los tratamientos de spa que utilizan barro, arcilla, algas y piedras calientes serán muy populares. Las asociaciones y los negocios que trabajen juntos y unen sus fuerzas se fortalecerán y obtendrán beneficios mutuos. Es un buen año para los programas que benefician a niños, mujeres, LGBT y personas marginadas.

Con el poder ascendente de lo femenino, en un año Yin es importante encontrar fuerza de una forma Yin, no en una forma Yang de confrontación, especialmente para las mujeres. De modo que la escuchando atentamente a otros, la comunicación no violenta, la comprensión del “otro” serán mutuamente beneficiosas. Las habilidades proporcionadas por los terapeutas de platica, las prácticas de atención plena y la mediación llegarán a una amplia audiencia. También habrá una expectativa para que los hombres expresen más de su naturaleza Yin. Los hombres deben ser lo suficientemente valientes como para comenzar a explorar su ser interior, el rango de sus emociones y presentar más acciones Yin, como la compasión. Este es un año de enfoque en la familia, amigos y comunidad.

Recomendaciones de alimento y estilo de vida:
1) Comer más alimentos cocidos en lugar de demasiado crudo
2) Las frutas, vegetales de raíz y carbohidratos complejos en cantidades equilibradas serán nutritivos
3) Los alimentos dulces en pequeñas porciones serán populares, por lo que se espera un aumento de peso, pero será gradual
4) El ejercicio liviano es beneficioso para el año de la Tierra Yin: rebotar en el mini-trampolin, el Qi gong, estiramientos, yoga, pilates, Tai Chi y caminatas frecuentes.
5) Mover la linfa es importante ya que habrá una propensión a la humedad, por lo que las saunas, los paquetes de aceite de ricino y el masaje linfático serán útiles.
6) El elemento Tierra se conecta con el Bazo / Estómago / Páncreas, así que cuide los órganos digestivos comiendo comidas regulares, evite comer en exceso, concéntrese en sopas y guisos, considere el masaje abdominal y aprenda técnicas de autocuidado para el sistema digestivo. .
7) El elemento agua se conecta con los riñones y la vejiga, por lo que estos órganos también pueden necesitar más atención, con posibilidades de cálculos renales pequeños.

A un nivel espiritual, considera conectarte a la Tierra por medio de tu hogar, tu cuerpo, tu comunidad; juntando con familia y amistades que beneficien a todos. Es un buen año para enfrentar los temores y despejar la energía ancestral que tuvo mérito en la vida pasada pero que ya no es útil. Uno puede hacer esto físicamente trabajando con el sistema linfático, emocional y mentalmente a través de la meditación, retiros silenciosos y actividades y talleres reflexivos. Las cargas y los patornos que uno lleva físicamente, emocionalmente y espiritualmente puede entenderse practicando discernimiento. Todo esto se hace en el año del cerdo de una manera relajada y placentera, no te estreses demasiado, ¡Disfruta tambien =)!

Nos puedes contactar para mayor informacion sobre cualquiera de nuestras terapias y eventos para la comunidad. ¡Estamos aqui para apoyarte!

Si te interesa leer en ingles el pronostico completo del año nuevo Chino del cerdo, visita la pagina de Lillian Bridges y

2019 Chinese New Year Forecast

excerpt from Lillian Bridges’ Year of the Pig Predictions               

February 5, 2019 marked the start of the Chinese Year of the Brown Pig.  This is a Yin Earth year with the Yin Water of the Pig below, which means both the influences of the Earth and the Water elements will be seen.  The combination of Earth and Water create mud,, which could be literal as well as meaning a propensity to “muddled” thinking. 

                The Pig is the last animal of the Chinese 12 animal system, which means long term projects, ongoing investigations, and delayed lawsuits will be finalized.  There will be an energy of completion and an ending of things that can’t continue for another cycle.  Pigs are usually peaceful animals and symbolize the value of family, friends, home, and good food.

                The character for pig in Chinese is a roof with a pig under it!  This is because the pig in many cultures and countries bring wealth and nourishment as the meat, fat, and organs of a pig are very rich and high in calories and fat and a little goes a long way!

                A Yin Water year means steady rain over a long period of time, which will be great for the agriculture, biodynamic, and the organic farming industry.  Family restaurants and Farm to Table projects will do well.  Grass that feeds free rang and migrating animals will benefit from the steady rain.  On the other hand, mudslides, erosion, and flooding of streams, lakes, and coastal regions may be prominent.  It is a good year to prepare the home and foundation so it is less affected by moving earth and water. 

                Overall this is a good year for business because both the Earth and Water elements feed the Wood element of growth that businesses run on.  The more contained energy of the Pig explains the Chinese saying, “Businesses should plan in the Pig year and launch new projects and expand in the Rat year (2020)”.  Home building, publishing, environmental/ecology industries and businesses based on natural sciences should all have good years.  Earth businesses like real estate and all businesses involving food will get a boost.  Beauty products and spa treatments using mud, clay, seaweed and stones will be very popular.  Partnerships and business working together and joining forces will become stronger and gain mutual benefit.  It is a good year for programs that benefit children, women, LGBT, and the disenfranchised.

                With the rising power of the feminine, in a Yin year it is important to find strength in a Yin way, not in a confrontational Yang way, particularly for women.  So compassionate listening, non-violent communication, understanding of the “other” will be mutually beneficial.  The skills given by talk therapists, mindfulness practices, and mediation will reach a wide audience. There will also be an expectation for men to express more of their Yin nature. Men need to be brave enough to start exploring their inner selves and bring forward more Yin actions, like compassion. This is a year of focusing on family, friends and community.

                Food and lifestyle recommendations:

1) Eat more cooked foods instead of too much raw

2)  Fruits, root vegetables, and complex carbohydrates in balanced quantities will be nourishing

3) Sweet foods in small portions will be popular, so weight gain is to be expected, but it will be gradual

4)  Light exercise is beneficial for Yin Earth year:  rebounding, Shaking Qi gong, stretching, yoga, pilates, Tai Chi, Qi Gong and frequent strolls.

5)  Moving lymph is important as there will be a propensity for dampness, so saunas, castor oil packs, lymphatic massage will be helpful.

6)  Earth element connects to the Spleen/Stomach/Pancreas, so take care of the digestive organs by eating regular meals, take care to not overeat, focus on soups and stews, consider abdominal massage and learning self-care techniques for the digestive system. 

7) Water element connects to the Kidneys and Bladder, so these organs may also need more attention, with possibilities of small kidney stones.

                On a spiritual level, consider grounding yourself in your home space, your body, your community.  It is a good year to face ones fears and clear ancestral energy that had merit in their lifetime but is no longer useful.  One can do this physically by working with the lymphatic system, emotionally and mentally through meditation, silent retreats, and reflective activities and workshops.  The baggage that one is carrying physically, emotionally, and spiritually can be understood by practicing clear discernment.  This is all done in the year of the pig in a relaxed and pleasurable manner, so don’t worry, Be Happy! =)

For more information on the Earth element, visit our blog

For more information on the Water element, visit our

For more information on the Arvigo® Techniques and Mayan abdominal massage, visit

For the complete predictions and some insight for your particular animal from Lillian Bridges, visit where you will find a link for Year of the Pig Forecast on the Welcome page

Let It Go

Blog post by Austin Dixon L.Ac.

My wise friend, Mischa Decker, recently posted the quote “We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.” I saw this post on Instagram and scribbled it down on a sticky pad next to my computer. I am not one to collect quotes, in fact, I am not one to collect anything at all so it surprised me that I took the time to write it down. Over the last couple weeks I have thought about this quote many times. I was not quite sure why I kept coming back to it then it dawned on me…it is Fall! Now, this took me a second to realize because it is still so hot here in North Carolina, but it is in fact the Fall season. Nature is in the process of changing and dying and shifting to prepare for winter. It is only natural that we humans feel that same pull to shed what is unnecessary, let the parts of us that are holding us back die off and prepare for a more harmonious future.

So. Yeah. Duh. It makes sense. We are part of nature. Nature is making these changes. I guess it is time for us to do the same.

Ok. So how do we do that?

Listen. I am no expert on this but I do know the only way we will ever see improvements in our lives is if we open ourselves up and allow change to come in and rearrange some things. I know it sounds scary and sometimes easier said than done, but if you are willing to put in the work the reward is so worth it. We have to start with our thoughts.

“We cannot become what we want by remaining what we are.”

What I find most often holds my patients back from creating real change is the idea that they are who they are (or have what they have) and there is little they can do about it. This kind of definitive thinking holds us back and blocks change from coming in. I often hear patients say things like…

“I am a perfectionist, it’s just how I am.”

“I am type A, I can’t help it.”

“I have XYZ.”

I am sure we can all identify with these types of excuses, I mean, declarations (hint hint). But what happens if we don’t hide behind excuses? What happens if we don’t own these declarations as our present self? What if we change the way we tell our story? What if we start by saying…

“I have had perfectionist tendencies.”

“I have behaved in a type A way.”

“In the past I was like that.”

“I am living with XYZ.”

“I have experienced XYZ.”

By changing a couple words in each sentence we have shared our experience without allowing it to define us. We do not have to be the person we were in the past. Becoming a better version of ourselves means letting go of who we think we are and allowing space for new thoughts and ideas about ourselves. It opens us up for the possibility that we might one day become what we want to be.

Image (c) Gajus

What do you want to let go of this Fall season?


Our Integrative Treatment of Chronic Menstrual Pain

Gynecological conditions require treating the whole woman, taking into account her emotions, the situations in her life, the phase of life she is in, her physical state of health, her mental state, the stressors in her life, how much motivation she has to improve and heal her condition and all the details of her symptoms. That is why we provide an integrative treatment to care and to take into account all these aspects of a woman, it takes time. The therapist inquires about many aspects of the woman and she herself needs to be able to communicate freely at the same time. Does this sound like being in an intimate relationship?    Because it is.   

Here I share the story of one of the women who came first with me, Li-Lan, and has taken advantage of the resources we offer at Armonia Health LLC over the past two years. She is Hispanic and I thank her for telling us her story:

My first sessions when I first met Li Lan were to treat my anxiety because having just arrived in this country everything was new and the lifestyle was very different. I also faced the diagnosis of multiple fibroids to which I was proposed a hysterectomy in my country, a solution too extreme at my age of 28 years, which led me to look for other alternatives. The symptom that worried me about my fibroids was throbbing pain that hit me in the lower pelvis beginning one or two weeks before my period, those pains were so strong, though momentary, that they made me bend in pain and I had to stop my activities until the pain would pass. I needed to take very strong prescription painkillers during my menstruation so I could go to work.

When I came to the US I was worried that I would not find someone suitable to treat my fibroids in a natural way. A short time later I met Li Lan and I felt very happy to meet her and I still am, I loved that she spoke Spanish and realized the great human being that she is. She recommended me to receive acupuncture sessions and Dr. Rosita Arvigo’s Mayan abdominal massage, both of which I did not know much about.

I felt that the Arvigo® abdominal massage would have a direct impact on my reproductive organs since one of its focuses is the womb. As part of my treatment I have maintained my Arvigo massage sessions once a month and it has been two years since I started. I have come to acupuncture when I experience allergies, mainly during the winter and spring months, and I have also treated my left shoulder and arm, because when I am very stressed, I unconsciously sleep with my fist closed and tensed during the whole night which causes me pain the next day. I have taken herbal formulas regularly for a year and a half for my fibroids. Li-Lan has taught me the Arvigo abdominal massage to do it myself along with the use of topical castor oil to soften the fibroids and she also suggested trying the pelvic steams.

Another recommendation that Li Lan made was for me to modify my diet: remove dairy products and cow’s milk products, which has not been easy. She explained to me that dairy products produce phlegm and contribute to the congestion of the reproductive, digestive and respiratory organs. I have noticed a better functioning of my body to have replaced cow’s milk with almond milk, to integrate more vegetables, to pay attention to the consumption of bread and flour and in general to balance what I eat. With these dietary changes, I have noticed better digestion: less bloating of my abdomen, less constipation and less phlegm when I catch a cold.

I also took coaching sessions to help me get better organized and be consistent with taking supplements and herbal formulas. Raquel gave me several techniques to remind myself of taking my herbs and supplements, and I noticed I could easily implement them. I also received Reiki with Raquel, it was a unique and different experience to be able to feel the flow of energy in my body and my mood changed immediately after the session: if I arrived sad, I felt more cheerful or if I felt depressed, I left with more energy .

Over time I discovered the changes in my body, one of the symptoms that disappeared were those stabbing pains that I had in my womb area one or two weeks before my menstruation and in recent months I have noticed that just a relaxing body massage with Jess days before my menstruation has helped my menstruation to flow red within a few hours and not brown and dry for the first 24 hours and with less pain the first day. Li-Lan has explained to me that everything I have done for myself: eating healthier, using herbal formulas, coming to the sessions and paying more attention to my body and thoughts have resulted in healing not only menstrual cramps, but also harmonized my body, mind and emotions.

Today, having a more tranquil lifestyle, I have been very alert of all the changes that are in my body and of each sensation, which I did not have before because I lived such a hurried lifestyle that I was not aware of how I was eating or how my body was reacting to what I ate.  I have learned to listen more to my body and to know how it reacts when I have anxiety, anger, worry, rage or any other feeling that does not do me good. I have learned to discern which foods I do not like and which ones help my body a lot. One result of all these dietary changes and lifestyle has been weight loss, although it was not my main motivation to go to these natural therapies.

I liked taking several of the workshops at Armonia Health LLC in which I learned a lot about the female body and about my body. An example is the book club of Chinese medicine in Spanish where we read the book by Dr. Xiaolan Zhao Traditional Chinese Medicine for Women. Through the book and the discussions, I have realized how a negative opinion at the cultural and family level towards the changes and natural stages of a woman’s life can affect one’s body and psyche.

I am very grateful to be able to find Li-Lan and what he has created at Armonia Health LLC. It is a great contribution to the Hispanic community and the community in general.

Nuestro tratamiento integrativo para dolores menstruales

Condiciones ginecológicas requieren tratar a la mujer de una manera completa, tomando en cuenta sus emociones, las situaciones en su vida, la etapa en que se encuentra, su estado de salud física, su estado mental, cuanta motivación tiene ella misma para mejorar y sanar su condición y todos los detalles de sus síntomas.  Es por eso que proveemos un tratamiento integrativo y para tomar en cuenta todos estos aspectos de la mujer, se requiere tiempo.  Hay que conocer a fondo a la mujer y ella a la vez se comunica libremente.  ¿Esto suena como estar en una relación íntima, no?  Es por que lo és.  Aquí te comparto la historia de una de las mujeres que acudió primero conmigo, Li-Lan, y ha aprovechado de los recursos que ofrecemos en Armonía Health LLC por el transcurso de dos años.  Ella es hispana y doy gracias que nos cuenta su historia:

Mis primeras sesiones cuando recien conoci a Li Lan fueron para tratar mi ansiedad ya que al haber recién llegado a este país todo era nuevo y el estilo de vida era muy diferente.  También me enfrentaba a la idea de un diagnóstico de múltiples fibromas al cual me propusieron una histerectomía en mi país, una solución demasiado extremo a mi edad de 28 años, lo cual me llevó a buscar otras alternativas.  El síntoma que me preocupaba de mis fibromas eran dolores punzantes que me daban en el vientre comenzando una o dos semanas antes de mi periodo, esos dolores eran tan fuertes, aunque momentáneos, que me hacían doblarme del dolor y tenía que parar mis actividades hasta que pasara el dolor.  Necesitaba tomar analgesicos muy fuertes de prescripcion durante mi menstruacion para que pudiera ir al trabajo.

Al venir a EUA me preocupaba que no encontrara a alguien adecuado para seguir mi tratamiento para los fibromas de una manera natural; poco tiempo despues conoci a Li Lan y me sentí muy contenta de conocerla y lo sigo estando, me encantó que hablara español y darme cuenta del gran ser humano que es; ella me recomendó tomar sesiones de acupuntura y del masaje abdominal maya de la Dr. Rosita Arvigo, el cual no tenía idea de que se trataba.

Sentía que el masaje abdominal Arvigo® tendría un impacto directo en mi organos reproductivos. Como parte de mi tratamiento he mantenido mis sesiones de masaje Arvigo una vez por mes y ha sido dos años desde que comencé.   He acudido a la acupuntura cuando traigo muy fuerte una alergia principalmente durante los meses del invierno y primavera y también me he tratado mi hombro y brazo izquierdo, ya que por temporadas cuando estoy muy estresada inconscientemente duermo con el puño cerrado y lo tenso durante toda la noche lo cual me provoca dolor durante el dia.   He tomado fórmulas herbales regularmente por un año y medio para mis fibromas. Li-Lan me ha enseñado el masaje abdominal Arvigo para hacermelo yo misma junto con el uso del aceite de ricino tópico para suavizar los fibromas y también me sugerio probar el vapor pélvico.

Otra de las recomendaciones que me hizo Li Lan fue cambiar mi dieta: quitar los lácteos y derivados de la leche de vaca, lo cual no ha sido fácil. Ella me explicaba que los lácteos producen flemas y que contribuyen al congestionamiento de los órganos reproductivos, digestivo y respiratorio.  Yo he notado un mejor funcionamiento de mi organismo al haber sustituido la leche de vaca por la de almendra, al integrar más verduras, al poner atención al consumo de pan y harinas y en general a balancear lo que como. Con estos cambios dietéticos, he notado mejor digestion: menos inflamacion de mi abdomen, menos estreñimiento y menos flemas cuando me resfrío.

También tome sesiones de coaching para ayudar a organizarme mejor y estar pendiente de tomar mis suplementos y fórmulas herbales.  Raquel me dio varias técnicas de recordatorio para mí misma que pude implementar fácilmente. También tome Reiki con Raquel, fue una experiencia única y diferente al poder sentir el fluir de energía en mi cuerpo y mi humor cambiaba inmediatamente después de la sesión: si llegaba triste, me sentía más alegre o si me sentia deprimida, salía con mas energia.    

Al pasar el tiempo he descubierto los cambios en mi cuerpo, uno de los síntomas que desaparecieron fueron esos dolores punzantes que me daban en el vientre una o dos semanas antes de mi menstruación y en los últimos meses he notado que un masaje corporal de relajación con Jess días antes de mi menstruación ha ayudado que mi menstruacion fluya rojo dentro de unas horas y no café y seco por 24 horas y con menos dolor el primer dia. Li-Lan me ha explicado que todo lo que he hecho por mi misma: comer más sano, usar fórmulas herbales, venir a las sesiones y poner mas atencion a mi cuerpo y mente han resultado en sanar no solamente los cólicos menstruales, pero también armonizar mi cuerpo, mente y emociones.

Hoy en día al tener un estilo de vida más tranquilo he estado muy alerta de todos los cambios que hay en mi cuerpo y de cada sensación, lo cual antes no tenía pues vivía tan acelerada y apresurada que no estaba consciente de cómo lo que comía o pensaba me provocaba una reacción.  He aprendido a escuchar más mi cuerpo y saber cómo reacciona cuando tengo ansiedad, enojo, preocupación, ira o cualquier otro sentimiento que no me hace bien; he aprendido a especificar qué alimentos no me caen bien y cuales ayudan mucho a mi organismo. Un resultado de todos estos cambios alimenticios y de estilo de vida ha sido la pérdida de peso, aunque no fue mi principal motivación de acudir a estas terapias naturales.

Me ha gustado tomar varios de los talleres en Armonía Health LLC en los cuales he aprendido mucho del organismo femenino y a conocer más mi cuerpo.  Un ejemplo es el club de lectura de medicina china en español donde leímos el libro de la doctora Xiaolan Zhao Medicina Tradicional China para la mujer.  Por medio del libro y las discusiones, he realizado como un concepto negativo a nivel cultural y de la familia hacia los cambios y etapas naturales de la mujer pueden afectar el cuerpo de uno mismo al crecer, escuchar y absorber esas opiniones y pensamientos.  

Estoy muy agradecida de poder encontrar a Li-Lan y lo que ha creado en Armonia Health LLC.  Es un gran aporte a la comunidad hispana y a la comunidad en general.

Cupping Therapy / Ventosas

written by Li-Lan Hsiang Weiss L.Ac.

Cupping is a form of therapy widely used in Chinese Medicine and now is commonly incorporated into bodywork sessions.  Cupping has a long history. The Ebers Papyrus, written c. 1550 BC, considered one of the oldest medical textbooks in the Western world, describes how the Egyptians used cupping to help cure some frequent medical issues and how it was also used by people in the Saharan. Hippocrates, a Greek physician (400 BC), also used this technique to treat internal disease and some structural problems.

Ge Hong (281-341 A.D.), a southern Chinese official during the Jin Dynasty, wrote about it. He was interested in alchemy, herbalism and techniques of longevity. Ge Hong popularized the saying “Acupuncture and cupping, more than half of the ills cured.” Later on, this method found its way throughout Asia, Europe and is commonly known in Mexico and Central America.

In the dry cupping procedure, practitioners place specialized cups on the skin, they can be glass, bamboo, porcelain, plastic, or silicone. They then use either heat, an air pump, or manually to create a suction between the cup and the skin. As a result, a vacuum is created on the patient’s skin to draw out toxins from the tissues, dispel stagnant blood and lymph, and soothe muscle pain thereby improving the flow of Qi (energy) and blood.  Moving cups are used with oil first applied to the skin, so that the cups can glide over a larger muscle area, like the muscles lateral to the spine and the top of the shoulders.

At Armonía Health cupping therapy is used in conjunction with the massage session when the therapists deems it useful at no additional charge.  The cups are washed in hot water, soap, and disinfected after each use.

Please note since cupping pulls “toxins and stagnant blood” (traditional Chinese medicine concept) aka inflammation and lymph congestion, up to the surface of the body, this may cause a ring or purplish red discoloration to appear on the skin.  These marks usually dissipate within 1-5 days of treatment and are a normal part of the cupping process. Generally, these marks will only be experienced during the first few treatments or in areas of great restriction.

Maybe it’s time to try something new in your healing regimen if you haven’t had cupping before!”