Tag Archives: AmandaBarone

Fertility Hormones and Their Reference Ranges

You know the drill when it comes to hormonal blood work; it’s a lot of poking and prodding on multiple days of your menstrual cycle. In my experience, my patients have had all the right testing done (mostly), but no one has taken the time to sit down with them and explain what the results truly mean.

The biggest pitfall of serum (blood) hormone testing is that the reference ranges are MASSIVE. Which means it is highly unlikely that your results will be deemed “abnormal” even though you know something is wrong. So that’s what this blog is for; I’m going to break it all down for you and discuss what the results mean and the REAL range you’re looking for. Note: the following reference ranges are for women and are Canadian units. 

1) Estradiol 
What it isEstradiol, along with LH and FSH, stimulate follicle (egg) maturation. It’s also responsible for female sex characteristics, thickening of the endometrial lining, and bone protection. Estrogen can also be converted from fat, in both males and females, by an enzyme called aromatase.
What it meansLow estradiol is present in peri-menopause and menopause. Elevated estrogen is present in early premature ovarian insufficiency (followed by low levels), and in estrogen dominant conditions like: PMS, endometriosis, PCOS, and obesity.
Reference Range:
Follicular 77-921 pmol/L
Luteal 77-1145 pmol/L
The “real” range: The width of the above ranges is ridiculous! Estradiol should be tested on day 3 and should be lower than 200 pmol/L and higher than 80 pmol/L. A level higher than this is a sign that the body is trying too hard to stimulate egg development, and the ovaries are not responding. In this case, you will likely see elevated FSH too.

2) FSH (follicle-stimulating hormone)
What it isThe name says it all. FSH is in charge of the development and maturation of follicles.
What it meansHigh levels are diagnostic of menopause, ranging from 27-133 IU/L. When your body is pumping out more FSH than normal, it’s a sign that the ovaries are not responding (just like estrogen). Low levels of FSH are typically present in PCOS.
Reference Range:
Follicular 3-8 IU/L
Mid-cycle 3-22 IU/L
Luteal 1.5-5.5 IU/L
The “real” range: Higher than 8 IU/L on day 3 (that’s the 3rd day of your period) is too high and the value is only going up from there. 6 IU/L is as good as it gets on day 3.

3) LH (Luteinizing hormone)
What it isAh, the hormone everyone knows and loves! The LH surge triggers ovulation and is measured by urine strips. LH also contributes to the maturation of eggs. You may not know that estrogen surges right before LH, which can also be used to detect ovulation.
What it meansOn day 3, an LH to FSH ratio greater than 2:1 is indicative of PCOS. LH is elevated in PCOS for so many reasons I’ll need to dedicate another blog to it. Elevated LH also stimulates elevated testosterone production, and in turn estrogen production. Contrary to what you may think, high LH actually inhibits ovulation instead of stimulating it.
Reference Range:
Follicular 2-12 IU/L
Mid-cycle 8-90 IU/L
Luteal 1-14 IU/L
The “real” range: LH should be almost equivalent to FSH on day 3.  6-8 IU/L is ideal.

4) Progesterone
What it isMost of the body’s progesterone is produced by the outer coating of the egg, called the corpus luteum. After you ovulate, progesterone levels increase to maintain the endometrial lining and prepare for embryo implantation. Progesterone also stimulates the production of a thick mucous that covers the cervix so no sperm can enter the uterus (FYI this is the basis of hormonal birth control).
What it meansA low level of mid-luteal progesterone indicates anovulation and luteal phase defect (short luteal phase) and predicts implantation failure/ early miscarriage.
Reference Range:
Luteal 4-50 nmol/L
The “real” range: On day 21 the minimum value is 10 nmol/L to have ovulated and 20 nmol/L to carry a pregnancy. Day 21 is arbitrary if you don’t ovulate on day 14. Progesterone is best-tested 7 days after you ovulate.

5) Prolactin 
What it isThe main function of prolactin is to stimulate breast milk production. However, elevation can also occur due to the following: benign pituitary tumor, periods of high stress, hypothyroidism, PCOS, and certain medications.
What it meansElevated prolactin inhibits the release of GnRH, which then inhibits the release of LH and FSH. Without LH and FSH, follicles will not develop.
Reference Range:
5-30 ug/L
The “real” range: Prolactin levels as high as 50 ug/L can inhibit ovulation, but small increases by a few points are relatively harmless. One-time elevation should be followed by repeat testing. As mentioned, stress is a major influence on this hormone.

6) DHEA 
What it isA precursor hormone to both estrogen and testosterone.
What it meansDHEA is often evaluated in PCOS, as elevations in this hormone increase androgen levels. It may be prescribed to improve ovarian reserve (but not without fun side-effects).
Reference Range: <9.8 umol/L

7) Androstenodione 
What it isProduced from DHEA, this hormone is the precursor to testosterone.
What it meansElevated androstenedione is found in PCOS and adrenal hyperplasia. Both conditions inhibit ovulation. It may be elevated in isolation, or with testosterone.
Reference Range:
Follicular 1.2-8.7 nmol/L
Luteal 1.1-8.2 nmol/L

8) Testosterone 
What it isYou know this hormone for its role as the primary male sex hormone, but it’s important for women too! In the ovaries, testosterone is produced by the stromal cells and converted to estrogen. It participates in follicle growth and development, not to mention male and female libido.
What it meansToo much is present in PCOS which is far from ideal, but too little can inhibit ovulation and egg development.
Reference Range:
Total testosterone 0.3- 1.8 nmol/L (some labs up to 4 nmol/L)
The “real” range: Testosterone is extremely tricky to test accurately. Free testosterone is a better measurement than total and the reference ranges (depending on the lab) have huge variability. In order to test free testosterone you need to test total testosterone and sex hormone binding globulin.

9) AMH (Anti-Mullerian Hormone) 
What it is: It’s a hormone that can depict the female egg reserve because it is secreted by the eggs in the ovaries. The more eggs you have, the higher the value will be. Not surprisingly, AMH decreases with age. This is the only hormone test we have for predicting ovarian reserve.
What it meansA lower value for your age means you have a lower number of eggs than the average female. A much higher value for your age is indicative of PCOS, as the cystic ovaries in PCOS secrete excess AMH.
Reference Range: The numbers are averages based on age:
< 33 = 2.1 ng/mL
33-37 = 1.7 ng/mL
38-40 = 1.1 ng/mL
> 41 = 0.5 ng/mL
The “real” range: At any age, a value > 3.15 – 4.45 ng/mL warrants further testing for PCOS. A value of 6.8-10 ng/mL is diagnostic.

10) TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) & Antibodies (anti-TPO, anti-TG, anti-TSH) 
What it isTSH is released by the anterior pituitary, which then stimulates the release of thyroid hormones (T3, T4) from the thyroid gland. TSH above the reference range with symptoms present is diagnostic of hypothyroidism, and below is hyperthyroidism. TPO and TG antibodies cause the thyroid condition known as Hashimoto’s, anti-TSH is more commonly present in Graves’.
What it meansDeficient thyroid function affects egg quality, embryo quality, and implantation rates. Combine that with thyroid antibodies, and there’s an increased risk of miscarriage.
Reference Range:
TSH 0.32-4.0 mIU/L
Antibodies should all be negative
The “real” range: TSH should be < 2.5 to prevent miscarriage. A full thyroid lab panel (with individual thyroid hormones) is certainly necessary in cases of recurrent miscarriage.

Have more questions? Meet with me!
Wondering about your own lab results? Need a little help wading through the information and finding the useful parts? I offer a free 30 min consultation to all new patients. Click below to book yours today. I look forward to seeing you soon!

About the Author

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​Dr Caleigh Sumner is a Naturopathic Doctor
at the Toronto Reproductive Acupuncture Clinic.

http://www.toronto-fertility.com/blog/the-top-10-hormones-worth-testing-for-fertility-the-exact-results-you-want-to-see-dr-caleigh-sumner-nd

Guest Post From sleephelp.org

Acupuncture Helps Ease Insomnia Symptoms

Wouldn’t it be nice to “Sleep like a baby?”

Do you struggle to get to sleep at night? If you do, you’re not alone. While the exact numbers aren’t known, many, many people find it hard to fall asleep, stay asleep, or sleep as long as they want to in the morning. This lack of sleep can become chronic, leading to reduced productivity, lower engagement in life, and even drowsy driving accidents.


Most people who struggle with insomnia feel like they have tried everything. Maybe they’ve purchased a new mattress or invested in a noise machine, but they still can’t stay asleep at night. If this describes you, consider acupuncture as your next step in fighting insomnia. It has been shown to help people sleep in a variety of ways, for several different reasons.

Acupuncture Increases Melatonin

You may know melatonin as a jet lag cure, but it is more than that. Melatonin is the chemical that tells your brain it is time to get sleepy. If you don’t produce enough of it, you will struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep at night. All sorts of things can limit melatonin production, from the blue lights emitted by screens to stress and more.


Acupuncture raises melatonin levels, according to a 2004 study. As a result of the acupuncture they received and their higher levels of the chemical, subjects in the study fell asleep faster, experienced fewer sleep disturbances through the night, and slept longer than they did before they had acupuncture.

Acupuncture Reduces Anxiety

Many people struggle to fall asleep at night because they are anxious. They worry about everything from money to relationships to things that happened during the previous day. It’s like their brains don’t have time to process these things until they are trying to fall asleep.


In the same 2004 study as was mentioned above, researchers found that acupuncture reduced anxiety. People felt less anxious when they were trying to fall asleep, and they experienced less stress in their lives overall. This finding is in line with the relaxing effects of acupuncture that have been documented before.

Acupuncture Pairs with Medication and Herbs

You don’t have to give up your sleep medication or any herbs you use to fall asleep when you try acupuncture. If these are working for you, keep using them. In fact, acupuncture can work alongside these things to improve your sleep even more.


When they are used separately, studies show that acupuncture and medications have similar levels of effectiveness on sleep. However, the combined effect of the two used together produces better sleep then either do when used independently. Similarly, acupuncture combined with herbs results in better sleep than herbs do when used alone. Since acupuncture doesn’t have any long-term adverse effects, there’s no reason not to try it alongside your current sleep aids to see if it produces even better rest for you.


You don’t have to struggle with insomnia anymore. Even if you feel like you’ve tried a lot of things and nothing has worked, consider acupuncture as your next step.

To book an appointment:

Call: 905.5536.9255

Online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com

Email: amanda@besthealthacupuncture.com

Allergies & Acupuncture

https://www.acufinder.com/Acupuncture+Information/Detail/Allergic+Rhinitis+Try+Acupuncture+for+Relief!

For many sufferers of allergic rhinitis, there’s no need to hear a news report detailing the pollen count outside, as their runny nose, sneezing and itchy eyes will let them know. Often these symptoms strike in the summer and spring, but some patients also have symptoms due to an allergy to dust, mites or dander, to name a few. This condition is more commonly referred to as hay fever, seasonal allergies, or just plain allergies.

Symptoms typically include sneezing, runny nose, postnasal drip, and irritated eyes, ears, nose and throat. Normally, when a healthy body comes into contact with foreign particles in the air (allergens), the immune system initiates a response to neatly and harmlessly dispose of the allergens-not so for sufferers of hay fever. In their case, the immune system becomes hyperactive and destructive to the body, causing the symptoms of allergic rhinitis.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) philosophy explains why this medical condition occurs. It is recognized as a condition that is provoked by an external pathogen (the Western medicine equivalent term is “allergens”), although it generally occurs because the body already has a pre-existing deficiency. For example, some patients with a long-standing lung Qi deficiency are more susceptible to dust, dander, pollen, etc. in the air.

Qi is an invisible, fundamental energy needed for all of life to exist. The Qi circulating in the lungs and its corresponding meridians is called Lung Qi. Meridians provide the pathways on which Qi flows throughout the body. When Lung Qi is not strong, problems with breathing, coughing and general immunity may arise. This is because according to TCM philosophy, the lungs are related to Defensive Qi. As the name implies, this Qi functions in the same capacity as our immune system.

The nose is the sense organ corresponding to the lungs, so when there are blockages in the lung meridian, the nose also may be obstructed. The emotions associated with the lungs are grief and sadness. Sometimes after crying or an attack of allergic rhinitis, one may experience a stuffy nose, red eyes and irregular breathing, which reflects the strain on the lungs. A good way to counter these symptoms is to concentrate on deep, regular breaths. This can help stabilize the emotions as well. In general, aerobic exercise is an excellent way to strengthen Lung Qi, which in turn helps strengthen general immunity.

Dietary recommendations according to TCM suggest restricting the amount of dairy products, refined sugar, alcohol, caffeine and fatty foods, in an effort to keep the body from producing too much phlegm. Phlegm is a thick, sticky substance that can worsen the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. Drinking a warm herbal tea after meals, or in between meals, can also help lessen the production of phlegm. There is a saying in TCM that states, ‘phlegm is produced in the stomach but stored in the lungs.’ This is why diet plays an important in role when combating allergies.

Acupuncture treatments may be used year-round, even if your allergies only occur in certain seasons or in the presence of certain allergens. When your symptoms are not active, your acupuncturist can treat any underlying deficiency you have. When they are active, your practitioner can help bring relief from any of the issues you may be currently experiencing.

Call today to schedule your appointment with Amanda Barone, Registered Acupuncturist 905.553.9255 or book online www.besthealthacupuncture.com

Happy Lunar New Year!

Happy Lunar New Year! Welcome the Year Of The Dog 🐕 If you are born in 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982 or 1994 this is your year to SHINE!
Based on 5 Element Theory this is an Earth Dog year. This is a good year to ground yourself and reconnect with nature 🌍
The colour associated with the Earth element is Yellow, so yellow will be the lucky colour this year ⚂
Dogs are known for their loyalty and this will be a common theme this year. Think: loyalty, honesty, friendship and being responsible for the welfare of others (i.e service dogs).
Negative traits of a dog are that they can be impulsive and aggressive. So this year you may find it difficult to control your emotions. But just as a dog can be trained, you too can train yourself to keep your cool in stressful situations.
Dogs are often referred to as “man’s best friend” making people born in the year of the dog to be awesome friends to have. Consider yourself lucky if you have a dog-person in your life!
Wishing you all the best for the year ahead!

You’re Going to Love this…. HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!

This Valentine’s Day we are sharing our love of Acupuncture with you by offering a discount off an Initial Visit for New Patients or a Re-assessment for patients who have not been at the clinic in the past 6 months.

ENJOY
$30 OFF Or $20 OFF!
New Patients will receive $30 Off the cost of an Initial Visit (Assessment plus Treatment). Patient’s who have not been at the clinic in more than 6 months will receive $20 off a Re-assessment (including treatment).
By appointment only.
Call to book: 905.553.9255
Offer expires March 31, 2018
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Fresh or Frozen IVF Embryo Transfer – Which is better?

The main take away points for this article (below) is that whatever protocol is used should be specific and individualized to you. As this article states, there is no difference in pregnancy or live birth rates between a fresh or frozen IVF embryo transfer. The problem arises when certain clinics decide to run their practices by exclusively doing one or the other. There are pros and cons to both and it is important for the Reproductive Endocrinologists to take the time to review your case and figure out what is best for YOU! This is where alternative medicines, such as acupuncture and traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has it’s strength. We take the time to sit down with our patients and get to know them and their unique bodies. We ask questions about their menstrual cycle and any hormonal issues, but we also take into consideration their bodily function as a whole (sleep, stress, digestion, bowel movements, appetite, emotional state, etc). This is important because sometimes the answers lie outside the reproductive system and by creating an acupuncture treatment that is tailored to their specific body constitution patients are more likely to respond to treatment with their fertility clinic (IUI, IVF or other ART).

For more information or to book an appointment:

Call: 905.553.9255

Email: amanda@besthealthacupuncture.com

Book online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com

Check out the full article on frozen vs fresh transfers here:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/dr-caitlin-dunne/you-now-have-more-reasons-to-freeze-embryos-for-infertility-treatment_a_23330442/?utm_content=65707768&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter

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Fall is all about the PUMPKIN!

Check out these 7 healthy pumpkin recipes. We just can’t get enough!

http://us8.campaign-archive2.com/?u=01f7128bcb8486eed23bd4691&id=2a1067280d&e=fee349ff57

Use It or Lose It!

It’s that time of year….the clinic gets flooded with phone calls from people trying to use their extended health benefits before they expire at the end of the year. Appointments are limited, so I always suggest patients start booking their sessions NOW in order to maximize their treatment. Call: 905.553.9255 or book online at www.besthealthacupuncture.com#UseItOrLoseIt #Insurance #ExtendedHealthBenefits #Acupuncture#ChineseMedicine #VaughanAcupunctureClinic

extendedhealthbenefits2016

Acupuncture for the Treatment of Migraines and Headaches – It Really Works!

migraine-men-pain-400x400

Are you plagued by chronic headaches?
About 1 in 6 Canadians suffer from chronic headaches, women more so than men. Scientific research indicates  that acupuncture can be more effective than medication in reducing the severity and frequency of chronic headaches.
The pain that headache and migraine sufferers endure can impact every aspect of their lives. Acupuncture is a widely accepted form of treatment for headaches and can offer powerful relief without the side effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Headaches and migraines, as well as their underlying causes have been treated successfully with acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for thousands of years.  Acupuncture and TCM can be used alone in the management and treatment of headaches, or as part of a comprehensive treatment program.

TCM does not recognize migraines and chronic headaches as one particular syndrome. Instead, it aims to treat the specific symptoms that are unique to each individual in order to restore imbalances found in the body. Therefore, your diagnosis and treatment will depend on a number of variables including:

  • Location of the headache: Is the headache behind your eyes and temples, or is it located more on the top of your head?
  • Time of day or season: When do your headaches occur (i.e. night, morning, after eating)? Are they worse in the summer or winter months?
  • Alleviating and contributing factors: Do you find that a cold compress or a darkened room can alleviate some of the pain? Do you have sensitivity to sound?
  • Accompanying symptoms: Do you have a loss of appetite, nausea or vomiting? Do you have neck tension or muscles stiffness?
  • Nature of the pain: Is the pain dull and throbbing, or sharp and piercing?

Your answers to these questions will help your Registered Acupuncturist create a treatment plan specific to your needs. The more customized the treatment plan is the greater your success. The basis for an effective treatment always starts with a thorough assessment on the Initial Visit. This allows the Acupuncturist to determine your body’s “constitution” and select appropriate acupuncture points that will yield the best results. Acupuncture stimulates specific points all over one’s body to alter various biochemical and physiological conditions that cause aches and pains or illness. The purpose of treatment is to promote your body’s own self-healing mechanisms and completely eliminate your headaches and migraines or at the very least reduce the frequency and intensity.

The length, number and frequency of treatments will vary form person to person. Typical treatments last from 20 to 30 minutes, with the patient being treated one or two times per week. Some headaches, migraines and related symptoms are relieved after the first few sessions, while more severe or chronic ailments often require multiple treatments.

Call today to book an appointment: 905.993.5255 or book online: www.besthealthacupuncture.com 

Happy Chinese New Year!

Welcome the Year of the Monkey!

Lunar New Year 2016. The Year of the Fire Monkey!

Lunar New Year 2016. The Year of the Fire Monkey!

by John Stan | Jan 27, 2016

Written by Lillian Bridges

February 8, 2016 ushers in the Year of the Red Monkey. Monkeys are considered the tricksters of the Chinese Twelve Animal Signs and this means it is likely to be an exciting and “interesting” year. But remember that the fortune cookie proverb, “May you Live in Interesting Times” is actually considered a curse!

The elements of this year are Yang Fire over Metal, which means there is automatically a clash as Fire melts and weakens Metal. This Yang Fire is not that dangerous because the Monkey is such a strong Metal Element. However, when there is a clash of this kind, there will be opposing energies and you can expect governments and people taking different sides. So there is a high probability that there will be a war of mostly words between people, politicians running for office and internationally between countries. There will be more threats than action.

Political fights, especially infighting is expected, as the Fire Element is involved with words and speaking. Certain world leaders will be acting even more provocatively than usual and their posturing and saber rattling will be more amusing than dangerous. People, especially already famous ones, need to be careful about acting and looking ridiculous this year, as notoriety will definitely bring a kind of exaggerated fame that is troubling to their reputation long-term.

It is also expected that there will be sudden instability in many formerly solid governments and leaders that previously looked impervious to criticism will be challenged as the Monkey makes the stable suddenly unstable for short periods of time. Therefore, international conflicts are likely, but the good news is that disputes can be settled rather easily and most conflicts will be short-lived.

The balance of these two elements – Fire over Metal – also means that it is likely to be an expensive year, as money is Metal and Fire melts it. People will spend exponentially more than usual, especially for travel, trendy items such as clothing and whatever becomes an “it” product phenomenon. Stock Markets are likely to fluctuate rapidly, but economic growth is expected overall globally by the end of the year.

Metal is solid until it becomes liquid and that means things change quickly this year and anything can happen. Adaptability and versatility are traits that will be of great value in this Monkey Year. Expect the unexpected and don’t become complacent. There will be more trickery, deception and opportunism than usual. Watch out for con artists and hucksters, as it is easier to be persuaded, fooled or taken advantage of this year.

There will be enhanced communication and motivation – especially if it involves fun. People will become wittier and being serious will not be as beneficial as usual. Comedians will become more popular and stand up comedy will be revitalized. People will be funnier by accident and humor will be more appreciated. Many clever inventions, especially those that are new and different are likely to catch on and unplanned success is quite possible. There is great luck in this year, but it is quite random and currencies will fluctuate. Creativity and imagination will be admired and rewarded. This is a good year for taking small risks and for non-conformity, especially in thinking and dress. Ultimately, progress will be made although it won’t be evident until later in the year exactly how far things have actually progressed.

Yang Fire is symbolized by the Sun and it will burn bright and hot this year in many places. Weather will change rapidly. As the Monkey loves change, places that are usually wet will be dry and places that are usually dry will be wet. This has already started showing with the massive El Nino phenomenon currently reaching it’s peak at the start of this new year and will change, reversing into a La Nina later this year. Weather will be very hard to predict and rainfall, drought and heat waves will be scattered, even within one country or region. The Metal Element is also Air, which condenses to make rain or melts to make water, so there will be lots of rain in areas completely unused to so much rain or snow and ice will melt unexpectedly, which will cause flash flooding. Some areas will become excessively hot and the infrastructure of the electric utility grids in these areas will become severely challenged. With fires and heated air, it will be a hard year for birds and other airborne creatures like bats and insects. With heated oceans and lakes in some areas, it will also be difficult for many sea creatures.

Natural disasters will happen very suddenly and without much warning. Expect more dramatic storms, more lightning and lightning sparked fires and fires in many places that spread easily and are hard to contain. The good news is that the Earth Element will be fed, so there will not be as many earthquakes. However, volcanic eruptions and melting snow are both likely. There will be more Northern Lights as we are at the peak of Solar Flares, so expect disruptions in the electrical grid system from this as well in many places for short periods of time. These Auroras are expected to be seen further south than usual as well, and sunsets will be especially vivid and beautiful as Metal is the direction of the West and the setting sun.

In business, the High Tech industry will likely suffer some setbacks, as it is considered part of the futuristic Metal Element that may come under attack. Expect Tech companies to face consumer backlash, and new products will be popular for a shorter period of time than expected. New products of all kinds will be discarded easily. Unexpected and quirky products will become a temporary craze and must-have items. People will buy impulsively and they will be particularly interested in new scientific inventions and creative solutions. Crafts and craftsmanship will be more appreciated.

This is a great year for Marketing and Advertising. Humorous and/or heartwarming ads/commercials will be valued. Sales will increase, as people will be in a buying mood so the retail sector is expected to do well. Personal spending is expected to increase exponentially so this is a hard year to save money and banks may be affected. Start-ups will get more traction than usual and Entrepreneurs will be celebrated. There will be more hiring and it will be much easier to get temporary jobs and contract jobs.

Since Fire Monkeys love to learn, this is a particularly good year for education as well as for the arts and culture. There will be a push to make learning more fun and campaigns to make art, crafts, physical education, music and fun electives a bigger part of the curriculum in schools. Students will have livelier minds and curiosity should be rewarded.

The Entertainment Industry gets a big boost. People will want to see more movies and television, and comedies, including romantic comedies and parodies will be popular. Audiences will appreciate having a good time. And, people will listen to more music; especially music with a strong beat, and dancing of all kinds will become more popular, as this is strong part of the Fire Energy of the year.

The Fashion industry will also have a great year, as people will want very colorful, trendy and playful clothing. Resort wear – sundresses, shorts, t-shirts, swimwear, lingerie, pajamas and even sunglasses will be big sellers. This is a year for colorful patterns and mixing and matching styles. Furs, sequins, embroidery, playful glamour and glitz, and any kind of quirky fashion will be hot, but trends will be short-lived and replaced by another one swiftly.

This is a great year for restaurants, as eating out is part of the Fire Element. Appetizers, Tapas, Dim Sum and Small Plates, along with unusual, exotic and even relatively unknown cuisines will have their day in the sun. Finger foods and snacks, especially hot and spicy foods will also become more popular. People will drink more alcohol and particularly enjoy cocktails and mixed drinks along with sparkling beverages of all kinds – especially Champagne, Wine and Coffee, which are quintessential Fire drinks.

People will want to travel more, especially to fun destinations and will take more short trips and quick road trips. They will want to have fun as the main objective. So it is also a good year for the Gaming Industry, which includes video games as well as gambling and betting. People will also want to have more parties so Party Planners and Party Stores will also do well.

However, this is not a good year for the airline industry and there will likely be more accidents and mechanical problems. All machinery involving metal and electricity, engines and batteries will have problems. There will be a chance of more fires and explosions. Office buildings (particularly Skyscrapers) and Power Plants are also not considered as safe this year and need to be protected. There will be more fires in houses and explosions too, so make sure you have a fire extinguisher handy and put fresh batteries in your smoke alarms.

The strong Fire Energy will feed the Earth Element so there will be an increase in crop production and the food industry should see a boom, especially with the sales of new products and exotic foods. It is also a good year for real estate. Expect quick sales of homes – fire sales as well as a return to flipping houses. There will be an increase in the rental market as the Fire Element is about temporary housing and moving around. Relocation experts and Real Estate Agents should do well.

Healthwise, there will be problems with the Metal Organs; particularly the Lungs and Respiratory System, the Large Intestines and the Skin. It is wise to watch your diet and eat carefully if and when digestive problems occur. Dehydration, Constipation and IBS will be particularly problematic as the Fire Element is so drying. Respiratory illnesses are expected to be widespread this year so it looks to be a particularly bad cold and flu season. These can more easily turn into inflammatory conditions like pink eye, ear infections, bronchitis, sinus infections and pneumonia. There may also be a resurgence of Tuberculosis. More throat infections and an increase in coughing are also expected with more laryngitis.

Allergies and Asthma will flare up and worsen in those that are susceptible and there will be many more people suffering from skin rashes and inflammatory skin problems such as hives, eczema, shingles, cold sores and skin infections from simple cuts. It is easy to get cut this year so be careful. You can also expect more burns and more accidents.

As the Fire Energy is so strong, there is a chance for in increase in Angina and Heart Disease in those with already weak hearts. There is likely to be an increase in the number of Heart Attacks, although many will be minor. There will probably be more people diagnosed with diseases involving the blood and circulation, such as excessive bleeding or high red blood cell count. It may also manifest as infections involving the blood, such as sepsis and inflammation of the veins and arteries. Because the Fire Element depletes the Water Element, the Kidneys and Bladders of many people may be impacted. Inflammatory conditions like Cystitis and Kidney Infections are also expected to be prevalent and unfortunately it is an easier year to be impacted by Kidney Stones.

Because of high temperatures, many people will be affected by Heat Exhaustion and Heat Stroke and Burns are also very likely to be a serious health condition suffered by many and many illness that involves fevers will be problematic. It is extremely important to stay well hydrated this year.

The Brain is also going to be impacted and there is likely to be an increase in the number of people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and Dementia, but there is also a very strong chance that big breakthroughs in treatment will be found. The nervous system will be impacted by the amount of Fire in this year, so expect that there will be an increase in nerve pain and conditions such Shingles and other Herpes Virus outbreaks, as well as an increase in Mania and Neurological glitches.

The most pervasive problem with the intensity of the Fire energy is the expected increase in insomnia, hyperactivity, hysteria and mania. This is a year where rest must be consciously added to everyone’s schedule or this could become a precarious year for health, as the nervous system will be tested. Food as the Earth Element will help ground the body, so diet will become another way to enhance health and food should be treated as medicine.

The good news is that many people will have a stronger spirit due to the increase in the Fire Energy. They will feel more youthful, lively and energetic. There will be waves of optimism and joy, often for no apparent reason. People will want to talk more and will feel more playful. People will also laugh more and feel amused easily. There will be the urge to play more practical jokes, give more parties and people will just feel more mischievous and social.

But people will also feel more scattered and disorganized, which will lead to more anxiety and frustration. People will have quick tempers, sometimes even explosive anger and there may be more yelling or crying, but it will not last very long for most people. There will be less violence, but more sadness, but it is also much easier to laugh this year. People will feel impetuous and have sudden likes and dislikes that change. It will also be easier to disregard personal values, so it is advised that people think before giving into impulses since it is a year of impulsivity.

Overall, people will feel more emotional and have an easier time expressing their emotions and acting on their emotions this year, but they will be transitory. People will open their hearts and become more intuitive. There will be more enthusiasm and more impulsiveness. People will feel more sensitivity for the plight of others and will open their hearts and wallets for them, but in a smaller way than in a Wood year.

This is a good year for love and romance, but the playful kind of affection will be most evident and there will be lots of teasing and repartee. People will become infatuated easily and they will be more charming and flirt more, but there is also a chance for more dalliances, extramarital affairs, flings and short-term relationships. There will be provocative behavior from people you would not expect to act that way. People will be surprising in many ways!

Spirituality and religious fervor will increase with the Fire Energy. There will also be an increased interest in magic and miracles. People will feel more open-minded and more tolerant of differences. There will be an increase in friendliness and there will be urges to get together and just chat.

Creativity is enhanced and people will want to bring it out. This is a good year for experimenting with your personal style and it is advised that you try something new: a new hairstyle, a new wardrobe or learn a new language, take up painting or some other creative endeavor. Eccentricity will not just be tolerated; it will be greatly appreciated in a Monkey year.

Metal is forged and strengthened from Fire and Metal people will be tested. There will be many irritations and triggers. Endurance is called for and a good sense of humor to see the Cosmic Joke in the trials. When this year and the next one are over, Metal people will emerge polished, much stronger and ready to face life with much more personal power. Honesty will be expected and desired this year, as truth makes the heart happy and the Fire Element rules the heart. And yet this is also a year where scruples will be lacking in many. Watch out for arrogance, as it will not be appreciated. Quick thinking and cleverness will be rewarded and the ability to solve problems will be enhanced by the energy of the year. But this is not a good year for making long term plans.

The Monkey year will help many people feel happier than they have felt in a long time and they will be able to have more fun. Although temporary, these feelings will arise often throughout the year. This year will feel like it is going by quickly, so get ready for the new pace. A sense of humor will be essential and flexibility, as well as versatility are great assets to possess in navigating this chaotic, changeable and ultimately quite fun Monkey year!

Individual Animal Forecasts for the Year of the Monkey 2016

Rat – Water Element: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and 2020 Excellent year – ambitions rewarded and accomplishment is possible on many levels. Rats will feel confident and healthier. Promotion is likely, finances improve, social life is happy and romance is satisfying.

Ox – Earth Element: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009 and 2021 Oxes should lay low and activity should be slow and steady, which is opposite the energy of this year. Oxes should stay home more and enjoy the quiet life. They will find life improves overall by the end of the year.

Tiger – Wood Element: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010, 2022 This is a difficult year for Tigers personally, but good professionally. Business and finance improve with travel, but obstacles create delays. Family life is tense and romance is complicated. Be careful with health – avoid accidents of all kinds.

Rabbit – Wood Element: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011 and 2023 There are many irritations this year in business with numerous delays and redirections. Rabbits will feel overwhelmed easily and need to stay calm – going on vacation is important. The good news is that romance flourishes this year.

Dragon – Earth Element: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 and 2024 This is a great year for Dragons. Risks are rewarded and growth in business and reputation is likely. However, they must watch their spending, as it is likely to be an expensive year due to the desire to live the high life. Romance is good.

Snake – Fire Element: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013 and 2025 Snakes should travel less this year and business is hectic. However, this is a very good year for personal relationship and romance. Health improves dramatically and as the secret friend of the Monkey, there will be more luck.

Horse – Fire Element: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014 and 2026 This year can be challenging for Horses but overall they will feel healthier and more enthusiastic. Creativity is enhanced and selfesteem increases. A move or a job change is likely and will make Horses much happier. Drive carefully.

Sheep/Goat – Earth Element: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, and 2015 This is a year of miscommunication so be careful of misunderstandings. It is important to write things down. Relationships are a bit tense and health is variable. Sheep do best with time alone to be creative and they may travel more.

Monkey – Metal Element: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016 This is a year of success in business. Monkeys will be social, but prone to overstimulation and exhaustion. They are happier, funnier and more confident and have more charm, but need to be tactful and find balance for their health.

Rooster –Metal Element: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981,1993, 2005, and 2017 This is a good year for Roosters professionally and business improves. But this is an even better year for love and romance. Roosters will be very happy. However, there may be problems with multiple repairs needed at home and/or with cars.

Dog – Earth Element: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, and 2018 This is a good year for financial stability. Dogs will be very social this year and will feel scattered. They will be busy at work or travel more so family members may feel neglected – compromise is essential. Be careful to avoid accidents.

Pig – Water Element: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, and 2019 This is a very creative and cultural year for Pigs. Business may slow down and it will be harder to collect money. However, romance is well aspected and it is easy to find a new partner or rekindle smoldering embers in a long-term relationship.

*Monkeys and Tigers should carry a Snake charm for protection and benefit this year, as the Snake is Monkey’s secret friend.

DISCLAIMER: All information provided in this forecast is based on the ancient principles of the Chinese Five Element Theory and on an understanding of the animal symbolism in Chinese Astrology. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. There is no express or implied guarantee of results from using this information, and individual users are solely responsible for their own interpretation or application to their own circumstances. Further, the information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for legal, medical, or psychological advice, evaluation and/or treatment.

Lillian Bridges, Lotus Institute 2016