On Chinese New Year, what better time to explore the history of this deeply important cultural event, and its relationship to acupuncture?
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year, also known as the “Spring Festival” or “Lunar New Year” celebrates the turn of the traditional lunar calendar used in ancient China. Today the festival is celebrated around the world but is traditionally found in China, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Japan.
The festival generally runs from the 15th day of the first month of the Lunar New Year to the first day of the Lunar New Year. It is a time to honour deceased relatives and ancient deities. Other traditional celebrations include:
When is Chinese New Year?
Since the traditional Chinese calendar is based on the movement of the sun and moon, the specific dates change every year. In 2015 the New Year began on February 19th, in 2016 it began on February 8th, and this year (2017) it will fall on the 28th of January.
Each year has a specific Chinese Zodiac. 2016 was the year of the monkey, and 2017 will be the year of the rooster. There are 12 zodiacs which change every year.
According to tradition, people born in the year of the rooster tend to be observant, confident, talented, frank, honest, and hardworking.
Acupuncture also Rooted in Ancient Traditions
Like the Lunar New Year, acupuncture has its root in ancient traditions. Acupuncture is one of the oldest Chinese medical practices. Its exact origin is lost to time, but it has been practiced for at least 2000 years, (and likely considerably longer than that). The earliest recorded evidence of acupuncture comes from around 100 BC.
In the traditional Chinese tradition, needles are inserted along specific points on the body in order to alleviate a range of symptoms and ailments. The ancient practice used needles to balance qi (pronounced chee, a life force energy) which travelled through “meridians” in the body.
Modern acupuncture is not restricted to China - it spread rapidly throughout the world beginning in the 19th century (and is now available in Ancaster at Meadowlands Physiotherapy). Today, modern practitioners take a more scientific approach to acupuncture. Rather than ‘balancing qi’ the object of modern acupuncture is to alleviate a range of symptoms by increasing blood flow to specific points on the body and releasing muscle hypertension.
Acupuncture needles are sterile and used only once. Although acupuncture is virtually painless the process also releases plain blocking signals which spread to the targeted area. Micro abrasions caused by the needle also trigger natural healing processes in the body.
Chinese New Year and acupuncture both have ancient roots, but both also retain modern relevance. Chinese New Year is celebrated by billions of people every year, and today, modern acupuncture continues to help millions of people alleviate pain and recover from injury. Looking for a safe and effective way to remove pain and other ailments? Contact Meadowlands Physiotherapy to book your acupuncture consultation.
Staying fit isn’t always easy. Many of us spend most of our day behind a desk and in front of a computer. Fortunately, some technology is actually helping us get fitter, eat right, and exercise more.
Exercise is an important part of staying fit and healthy. If you live near Ancaster then you have access to some fantastic facilities, outdoor spaces, and the team at Meadowlands Physiotherapy. However, having access to great resources isn’t enough. You have to actually get up and use them! Need some support or encouragement to help you get out and get your daily exercise fix? These apps will help you stay on track to hit your 2017 fitness goals:
MyFitnessPal is probably the most popular fitness app in the world. It is free for both Android and iOS devices, and was rated the best fitness app over all by Consumer Reports.
MyFitnessPal allows you to track your food, so you know exactly how many calories and other nutrients you are eating at every meal – and how much you should be eating to meet your fitness goals. The app also tracks your daily exercise and can even be linked to a FitBit for maximum effectiveness.
RunKeeper tracks your runs so you can compete against yourself, track your progress, or even compare yourself to running buddies or monthly leaderboards. You’ll also benefit from training plans specifically built for the app, by some of the world’s best coaches. RunKeeper is available for both iOS and Android devices, and you have the option to share all of your activity on social media. Tag Meadowlands Physiotherapy on Facebook (@MeadowlandsPhysio) and we’ll encourage you to keep going!
Jillian Michaels Fitness Motivation
Jillian Michaels from The Biggest Loser has a new app that brings all of her expertise together in the palm of your hand. The app uses simple to follow video guides featuring Michaels herself, taking you through a range of her most effective exercises.
From stretches, to weights, to cardio, Jillian Michaels not only motivates you to exercise, but shows you exactly what you need to do to see results. You can mix and match exercises to build your own workout, tracks goals and progress, and even track your runs.
Six Pack App
Six Pack App is another exercise app, but it comes with a bit more intensity than the Jillian Michaels Fitness Motivation app. It is packed with exercises and workout routines that target your legs, abs, back, shoulders, chest, and more, as well as yoga and stretches to warm up and cool down. It features tips, tricks and advice. Unfortunately, the free version of the app features many ads, but buying the premium version eliminates this.
Not all health apps are about dieting and exercise. Sodium 101 is both a website and an app that helps you track your sodium intake. It is particularly useful for people who have, or are at risk of developing, high blood pressure.
Your first step to eating right and exercising more is to download which ever app best meets your need (or download a few and see what works best for you). The team at Meadowlands Physiotherapy is here to help support you with safe, effective exercise routines that will strengthen your body and help you prevent injury as you begin (or continue) on your road to better health.