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newNY_2011Oriental Medicine Journal New Year 2011

The beginning of a new year always feels like such an auspicious time! Whether it is the beginning of the school year or the solar year or the lunar year, it feels as though we are being given another chance to start over, to make things better, to build on what we just learned.

As we enter the Year of the Metal Rabbit, I am coming to appreciate that the Chinese zodiac adds another layer of meaning to the idea of renewal and starting over. The Chinese zodiac is a 60-year cycle. One does not usually think about starting again at the age of 60.We are more preoccupied with issues of ending than with issues of beginning. But starting over again is exactly what the Chinese zodiac implies, as we return to the point in the cycle where we started at birth and we begin to go around again.

The Western astrological tradition also recognizes the significance of this point in life. In Western astrology, this point is known as the second Saturn return, referring to the fact that Saturn has returned for the second time in our lives to the place it occupied in the heavens when we were born. Saturn returns are also considered to be times of renewal and upheaval that provide an opportunity for change or for fixing things that we feel we did not do as well the first time around as we could have done. We now have the opportunity to try again.

The advantage of beginning again at 60 is that we have a much more realistic sense of what is possible and what resources we bring to the task. We also know that this is the last chance we have. While we may live to see one more Saturn return, we will never see the Metal Rabbit again. Whatever it is that we want to do with our lives, now is the time to do it.

In this issue, we are treated to two very appropriate articles for this time of year. In the first article, Donna Carey and Ellen Franklin discuss the sources and consequences of stress and share with us two intriguing and simple point protocols for treating it, The Three Treasures and Buddha’s Triangle. They show us how to stimulate these points using acupressure/acupuncture, sound vibration (Acutonics), and gems.

In the second article, Honora Wolfe reviews the importance of root treatments and identifies various root treatments she has used over the years. This is a splendid summary of her clinical experience, which will be useful to beginning practitioners and seasoned practitioners alike.

Happy New Year!