Climate, Health, Disease Predictions for the Year of the Pig
Trend forecast for the coming 350+ days based on ancient science (low tech, high wisdom).
Tuesday, 2/5/2019 was the first day of the new lunar calendar, a holiday also known as Chinese New Year that’s celebrated throughout Asia and around the world.
I currently host a pro bono holistic medicine consulting group on WeChat and have written a detailed WeChat post in Chinese about the predictions for Lunar New Year 2019 (a typo in subject cannot be edited per WeChat settings) based on the ancient theory and wisdom of Chinese Medicine and Book of Changes on December 31, 2018. I wrote that at the end of Gregorian calendar (a.k.a, Western or Christian calendar) year 2018 not because of my own faith, but because the first phase of the Chinese new year trends actually start before Chinese New Year. While the Year of Pig starts from February 5, 2019 and lasting to January 24, 2020 (a total of 354 days, same as the past Year of Dog), January 20, 2019.
While I was amazed by the power of Five Yun Six Qi (Chinese: 五运六气), simplified as Yun Qi (运气, figurative translation “Luck” 😄) Theory embedded in these ancient Classics, I noticed that there is no mention of information about this in any Integrative Medicine/Health Centers, Chinese Medicine Institutions, or even Researchers who study Chinese Classics and certified acupuncturists in the English-speaking world. The only text with an English title I found about the theory is here, but not only is the body of the text in Chinese, but also the content is too generic to help anyone who understands Chinese perfectly understand how the Yun Qi theory influences the earth’s climate, us human beings, epidemiological trends, and our health and diseases based on our own Yun Qi (“Luck at birth”, which I can write another article about). This is understandable because the complexity of translation from ancient Chinese in medical contexts to modern Chinese accurately is already difficult, not to mention translation to modern English. That said, I would like to translate at least the essence and major conclusions here, and hope that would help you and yours with preventive care in the 350+ days to come.
I’m NOT going to cover the foundations of Chinese medicine or Book of Changes, but here are words I have to use, which has different meaning than they are in conventional Western medicine or modern English.
- The Wu Xing (Chinese: 五行; pinyin: wǔxíng), also known as the Five Phases, Five Elements (incorrect translation), the Five Agents, the Five Movements, Five Processes, the Five Steps/Stages and the Five Planets of significant gravity: Mars-火, Mercury-水, Jupiter-木, Venus-金, Saturn-土 is the short form of 5 pandemic Qi energy (五种流行之气) or “the five types of Qi dominating at different times”. It is a fivefold conceptual scheme that many traditional Chinese fields used to explain a wide array of phenomena, from cosmic cycles to the interaction between internal organs, and from the succession of political regimes to the properties of natural medicinal drugs. The “Five Phases” are Wood (木 mù), Fire (火 huǒ), Earth or Soil (土 tǔ), Metal or Gold (金 jīn), and Water (水 shuǐ). This order of presentation is known as the “mutual generation” (相生 xiāngshēng) sequence. In the order of “mutual overcoming” (相剋/相克 xiāngkè), they are Wood, Earth (Soil), Water, Fire, and Metal (Gold).
2. Same word, different meaning. Be aware of the misleading organ translations.
The theories and vocabulary of Chinese medicine can sometimes seem very different from the medical knowledge that we have through Western medicine. One of the great strengths of Chinese medicine is its ability to detect disharmonies in someone’s health. Often, these disharmonies are seen in your internal organs. However, rather than seeing the organs as a fixed anatomical structure, as it is in Western medicine, Chinese medicine sees a series of functions that are joined together in one organ. Chinese medicine is able to see each organ “as a complex energetic system encompassing its anatomical entity and its mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects”.
Thus, it’s important to remember that when we talk about disharmony in an organ in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) terms, this does not mean that there is a disease in the related Western medical organ. For example, if your TCM practitioner diagnoses you with spleen Qi deficiency, it does not mean that you have a disease of the spleen. It only means that there is a disharmony seen in one of the functions attributed to the spleen by TCM. This could mean that you are experiencing bloating or loss of appetite, something that would likely not be attributed to any disease seen in your anatomical spleen by your Western medicine physician. Same with the use of organ names in summary of predictions in this article.
3. Host (Major) Yun, Guest (Minor) Yun, Host (Major) Qi, Guest (Minor) Qi
Although you do not need to understand these words fully to understand my conclusions, think of them as some dominant force, invisible but influential like wind and energy field.
When we look at the Five Yun (五运, 5 Trends or Flows) for 2019 Year of Pig:
Host Yun (major force): insufficient Wood, excessive Fire, insufficient Earth, excessive Metal, insufficient Water
Guest Yun (minor force) : insufficient Earth, excessive Metal, insufficient Water, insufficient Wood, excessive Fire
In sum, the following health conditions and diseases are most likely to occur:
- Gastrointestinal issues, including vomiting, diarrhea, and related problems as such. Enteritis, dysentery and other diseases will be more common. The main onset time should be in the summer.
- Abdominal pain related issues, such as abdominal pain caused by cold energy, dysmenorrhea in women and other diseases. The major time of onset should be spring.
- Muscle soreness. This disease is mainly manifested in the current ventilation, rheumatism and rheumatoid diseases. The main target point should be in the summer.
- Hepatobiliary issues, and all kinds of discomfort caused by liver and gallbladder, such as chest fullness, hypochondrium pain and other problems; hepatitis B, cirrhosis, liver ascites, liver cancer will also become a more prevalent disease, the main time point should be in the fall.
- Flu. The flu in the year of the Pig will not be inferior to Lunar Year 2017, so everyone with slightly weak immune system needs to prepare for the flu. Better be prepared starting end of year of Pig.
- Cerebral hemorrhage. Since this year’s spleen and stomach diseases are frequent, many people have weak spleen and stomach, plus a sputum spleen and wind sage, so elderly, patients with existing spleen and stomach issues, high blood pressure and other related weaknesses may have aggravated symptoms.
Six Qi for (六气, 6 Qi or Energy or Wind) for 2019 Year of Pig:
Spleen-Stomach issues were common and this has been reflected in the past year of Jihai (己亥) when a writer wrote a lot more than he usually did — likely because of Spleen-Stomach issues causing excessive thinking. Note again that the Spleen here is not synonymous with the Spleen in western medicine anatomically, physiologically or pathophysiologically.
Conceptually, Spleen-Stomach mainly involves the digestive system, its vegetative nervous system, immunologic function, hemopoiesis, muscle metabolism, endocrine function ( thyroid, adrenal cortex and medulla), hepatic metabolic function, protein, nucleotide, energy, water and salt metabolism. Experimental researches on animal models and clinical studies on Spleen deficiency syndrome have yielded fruitful results in this field which lead to a better understanding of its mechanism and help open a new avenue for treatment of diseases relevant to Spleen deficiency.
The “Jueyin masters the trend of Climate” (厥阴司天) will inevitably restrain the Earth of Spleen(脾土), so whenever the Jueyin(厥阴) is in order, such as spring season, many folks will suffer from problems in the Chinese meaning of spleen and stomach functions.
- The incidence of digestive tract diseases and evil winds (虚邪贼风) will be high in the Year of Pig due to lack of Earth Yun. Bloating and abdomen swelling would add discomfort. People with weak spleen and stomach should pay more attention. Therefore, it is important to maintain a healthy digestive system.
2. When Qi is stuck into abdominal issues, urination is also going to be unfavorable. This means that when the flow of Qi is not smooth, the water within human body gathers together to become sipping, the sipping could be solidified into a tumor. When Qi is impassable, the pores are not open, the bladder has no air pressure, and the urine would be dripping instead of smooth.
3. In the first half of Year of Pig, the chance of high blood pressure or hypertension and cerebrovascular disease occurrence is likely to be high.
4. The second half of year will be relatively warmer than other years.
Although my WeChat post in Chinese has covered all dates in detail, I’m going to mention only the current solar term as an example. Spring of 2019 would be a reverse spring coolness (倒春寒), when the Qi or energy stays dormant and does not rise, the liver and gallbladder (again, in TCM meaning) issues would become obvious. Because of the stagnation in Qi between heaven and earth, the Qi within human body will also be affected. In addition, there is a dry gold (燥金) guest Qi, a Shaogong (少宫) guest Yun, so the spring will be very cold, and that’s why I was not surprised to read that California saw a wintry blast that dusted the mountains with rare sight of snow Tuesday morning.
For patients with poor liver and gallbladder, it is recommended to prepare in advance, and be careful not to get angry or too much Fire energy (上火), since anger is the emotion associated with liver function in TCM terms. 😊
For all the other 9 time windows of the year, either see my original post in Chinese or I’ll be happy to translate and explain upon request.
Other Risks for this Lunar Year Ahead
In fact, in every year of Ji (己), there is a big food crisis. Because in the winter around end of 2019, the main Yun is insufficient Water, minor Yun is excessive fire is too much, insufficient water is already easy to have warm climate, but there is a fire too. The winter time would be uncomfortable, the whole winter will be very warm. If the six Qi is not balanced either in addition to that, then this year might have a worse food production than normal years. In ancient times, it was a disaster, and in winter, there acute diseases. Influenza is one of them, the whole could be a mess. Perhaps this is why the ancient saying that the year of Geng (庚) is the year of Genghua(庚化), and the possibility of an uprising or revolution in the year of Ji(己) is also great.
Given the shortage of oil supply such as a decline in soybean production, if agricultural production is low again in the Year of Pig, it is going to be uncomfortable at least for some people in the world. When there are additional acute diseases and flu in winter, there is a chance of food price skyrocketing. Sounds a little bit scary, doesn’t it?
Learning the Theory of 5 Yun and 6 Qi is a long-term project. Sometimes it takes a cycle of 60 years (甲子) or even 180 years to verify all kinds of phenomenon within the cycle.
My post in Chinese “己亥杂思: 从“五运六气”预测气候、疾病、经济形式”. which includes Five Yun Six Qi (the origin of Chinese word “Luck”) combinations in detail by dates included at the end. Published on WeChat on 12/31/2018.
My more recent post in Chinese on what health problems to watch out: https://mp.weixin.qq.com/s/I2HzV7RppmTzjMJvgnxH6A
Spleen-Stomach theory is an important constituent of the theoretical basis of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the…www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov