It may be the new year in western culture but in eastern culture and Chinese medicine, the 2023 new year begins on Sunday, January 22.
The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year, is traditionally a 16-day long celebration to mark the beginning of the new year. Its origin can be traced back 3,500 years and was for honoring deities and ancestors. The date of the Chinese New Year is determined by the Chinese lunar calendar and always falls between January 21st and February 20th whereas the new year in the western hemisphere is based on the solar calendar and is on the same date year after year. This is just one example of how eastern medicine and western medicine are different from each other, yet balance each other out like yin and yang.
Each year in the Chinese lunar calendar is associated with an animal sign from the Chinese zodiac cycle. This year, 2023, is the year of the Water Rabbit and is predicted to be a year of hope. The rabbit symbolizes peace, prosperity, and longevity.
The Chinese system of medicine is thousands of years old, and has strong ties to ancient cosmology and astrology. The basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is based in ancient cosmology, astrology, and mythology. For instance, it is no coincidence that there are 12 acupuncture meridians and 12 symbols of the Chinese Zodiac, with channels representing an early, elementary model of the body’s vascular system.
Each part of the body relates to one of the 12 Chinese zodiac symbols, named according to their degree of yin or yang. The system can be further broken down by the elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal, which correspond to the Chinese terms for Mercury, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn and Venus.
Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years to treat a wide range of conditions, but it's only in the last few decades that it has become recognized as a legitimate form of medicine.
The underlying theory behind acupuncture is rooted in ancient Chinese philosophy, which holds that energy flows through meridians in the body and can be blocked by disease and injury. Acupuncture attempts to unblock these channels to restore balance, energy flow, and health.
Today, modern acupuncture couples traditional theories with science-backed knowledge and much greater precision to open blocked channels of energy, boost blood flow, and spark healing in the body. Modern acupuncturists also use other methods such as herbal medicine & cupping therapy depending on the ailments being treated.