The Month of the Monkey

The last time that you ate at a Chinese restaurant you may have looked at the place mat and read about your personal life challenges and luck described according to what year you were born.  Many know the Chinese zodiac year that they were born in and wear the badge of being born an ox, rabbit, or tiger, proudly.  The 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac is an observation of natural cycles that occur in an annual rhythm.  These same rhythms of change in a cycle of 12 are happening within the calendar year as the months pass.  Each month has a dominance of energy that is associated with one of the 12 animal signs.  Each day we pass through the influence of the 12 animal signs in 2 hour intervals (12 hours X 2 = 24 hours in a day).  Most of the month of August is influenced by 申 Shen (the Monkey).  

The energy of the Monkey brings the beginning of the Autumn month.  You might be think wait a minute it is August, this is still Summer.  Chinese astrologers observed that in August “the Qi of Autumn is in the sky”.  The angle of the Sun with the earth has shifted enough that these changes can be detected in the heavenly bodies.  During the month of August if you pay attention to the rising, the setting, and the intensity of the Sun you can observe the Qi of Autumn in the sky.  No worries, there are plenty more hot days for playing in the water, with friends, with family, and with the outdoors.  

Play is a good single word that describes the energy or the influence of the Monkey.  The Monkey is energetic in nature.  Positive attributes of Monkey energy include flexibility, confidence, and being inventive.  Challenges of Monkey energy include arrogance, snobbery and restlessness.  Embracing these positive influences and avoiding the harboring of these negative influences can support a productive and satisfying month of August. 

The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine is an ancient treatise on health and disease written around 2600 BC.  The treatise begins with a discussion about in “the days of old” when everyone lived 100 years without showing the typical signs of aging.  The people of “the days of old” were known to live life in balance with yin and yang which can be observed in the transformation of energy in the universe.  The treatise describes an understanding of the human body having rhythms, transformations, and temperaments like the physical environment we live in.  Thus the energy of the 12 years, months, and days is also moving through our bodies in the 12 meridians.

By analyzing the cycles of energy of the year, months, days, and hours acupuncture points of high potency can be identified.  For the month of the Monkey 申  during the year of the Tiger 寅 the Acupuncture point *St 42 Chong Yang 冲陽 (Rushing Yang) is in greater resonance and packed with bound potential.  To unleash this potential the point can be needled by an acupuncturist.  Alternately it can be stimulated with pressure, heat, or meditation.   From August 4th through September 6th if you are feeling discomfort, having a bad day, or just feel out of rhythm with yourself apply pressure or heat to this point and observe the changes in how you feel.  Alternately, have a discussion with your acupuncturist about what you are experiencing and allow them to asses if this an appropriate point for stimulating a more harmonious state.


*Finding ST42 Chong Yang 冲陽 (Rushing Yang) – The point is found on the top of the foot.  With your foot relaxed on a level surface, glide your fingers in the space between the third and fourth toes.  Once your finger is about 2 inches away from your ankle it will be on top of the ankle bones.  A small depression can be felt here.  With a light yet firm touch the pulsation of the dorsals pedis artery can be felt.

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Joshua Herr L.Ac

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