Happy Chinese New Year of the Dog

January 29, 2006 begins the Chinese New Year of the Dog. It is Year 4,704 of the Yellow Emperor’s reign. With 2005 Rooster year leaving us, let us do a retrospective on my predictions at the beginning of last year. Economically, I forecasted that the industries sure to benefit from the year of

the rooster included real estate, commodities, energy, transportation, travel and healthcare. By most accounts, with the exception of several high profile airline bankruptcies, all the other industries I listed had posted good growth and returns.

I also mentioned many potential conflicts and arguments arising from the “cocky” nature of the rooster. We saw political conflicts in the U.S., the Middle East, South America and Asia ranging from nuclear threats to unfriendly socialist regimes to ever-widening trade deficits. I also cautioned to be on the lookout for spinal problems, neurological diseases, liver and gall bladder diseases, and the year saw an upsurge in Parkinson’s disease, neuropathy and hepatitis C.

Now, you might ask what is going to happen in the Year of the Red Dog 2006. First, I must add a disclaimer that despite my predictions, how you handle opportunities and crisis can change the outcome of circumstances in your life. So, do not despair from any negative predictions or get too excited by any positive forecasts. Everything in life is relative to the context of the situation.

The new year of the dog is “red” to represent the color corresponding to the year’s energetic element of Fire. It also possesses the Earth elemental energy in a supportive role. Fire, symbolized by the sun, gives forth light, warmthand openness. The earth, with its contained quality causes introspection and the yearning for spiritual meaning. Therefore, the year 2006 shall bring more open dialogue among nations and between people, as well as a collective drive for spiritual meaning.

In nature, potentially disruptive fire and earth events, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes may be more prevalent in 2006. The weather pattern in North America, smarting from a record number of hurricanes in 2005 may exhibit more scorching, dry weather punctuated with dramatic lightening storms and landslides.

On the economic front, the first half of the year will be marked by optimism, but the latter half may experience substantial set backs. The sectors that should do well are finance, entertainment, energy, utilities, publishing and transportation. The M&A activities will continue to outpace the last few years.

In health, people will be more prone to diseases relating to the fire and earth elements including cardiovascular diseases, digestive problems, muscle inflammation (especially shoulder pain), kidney disease, diabetes and cancers. Here is my advice for your health in the upcoming year:

Prevent illness by balancing your fire and earth elements through appropriate dietary choices and lifestyle changes.

A diet rich in whole grains, fresh vegetables and fruits, beans and legumes, poultry and fish should form the foundation of your eating program. Make sure to have plenty of specific foods for heart and digestive health, such as the bran from rice, oats and wheat, ginger, garlic, turmeric, squash, pumpkin, yam/sweet potato, cherry, grape, garbanzo/ chickpea and adzuki beans. Lower your intake of fats and sweets.

Stress is a big cause of heart disease and digestive disorders. Therefore, work on reducing your stress through meditation, exercise, tai chi, journaling and artistic expressions. I strongly recommend the Emotional Tranquility Tea or Calmfort formula to keep you tranquil and serene. Naturally, seek treatment at the earliest opportunity if you suspect any of the conditions above in order to take care of problem while it’s still small.

In summary, the year of the Red Dog should bring more spiritual awareness and prompt communities to come together for common causes. Be on the lookout for cardiovascular conditions as well as digestive disorders. Work on your diet, exercise and stress reduction programs, smile a lot and move forward in your endeavors with optimism. Also, remember that the qualities of a dog  - loyalty, fidelity and commitment - will win you friends and influence people at the end of the day and bring harmony to all.

Don’t forget to stay flexible and adapt to all changes. You will find that health, happiness and success are within your grasp.

We wish you a Happy, Healthy and Peaceful New Year!