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New Year of the Ox

Hello friends – wishing you a happy upcoming Chinese new year of the metal ox, which will begin on February 12th. Our last year of the ox was 2009, Obama’s first year in office, which seems conspicuously fitting. 2009 was also my first year in Chinese medical school, and on the hopeful heels of the pandemic, colleagues and I do, in many ways feel like we are starting over.

Another manner in which the ox’s significance seems conveniently accommodating is in its value placed on hard work. As Americans, most of us are already conditioned to work hard, making the years of other animals more of a challenge for our type A psyches. But this year, especially in the wake of having to stop and rest against many of our wills, hard work might be as welcome as it is necessary in the interest of rebuilding. The ox is said to reward discipline and diligence with success, which contrary to popular belief, does not always yield a 1:1 correlation. In the coming year it should, though of course a proper attitude and self-care are still helpful. Hard work does not mean going non-stop until midnight, sacrificing sleep, and forgetting to eat or exercise.

In other news, I have received the first of my two vaccines and have the second one scheduled. I did experience some mild side effects and would be happy to discuss directly with anyone who contacts me. Calling back to the discipline of the ox, I would strongly urge everyone to prepare for the vaccine by eating extremely cleanly (mostly warm, nourishing foods) and getting plenty of sleep in the weeks leading up to and afterwards. Acupuncture is obviously highly recommended to modulate immune function, and one study I read recommended some form of vigorous exercise any time in the 24 hours leading up to your vaccine (NOT AFTER). * “Vigorous exercise” should also be interpreted relative to your present regimen. If you almost never exercise then light exercise will be more beneficial.

I recently had my first article published in our national periodical, Acupuncture Today, which I’m quite proud of and you can purchase or read online here:

At least until I am fully vaccinated and local levels decrease, my office hours will continue at the bare minimum: Mondays and Wednesdays only, from 9am-8pm, with virtual visits available on all other weekdays. As always, your support and patience are appreciated. Wishing everyone well!

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