TCM Tips for 2024 Based on Your Zodiac Animal

TCM Tips for 2024 Based on Your Zodiac Animal

Did you know that Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the Chinese zodiac share many similarities? Both systems are deeply rooted in Chinese culture and philosophy, and share a common framework that emphasises balance and harmony with the five elements. Historically, TCM practitioners even considered a person’s astrological sign when assessing their health. For the Year of the Wood Dragon, we’ve compiled a list of general TCM tips for each of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals so you can make 2024 your year! 


Please remember that these are general tips and individual health conditions and constitutions may vary. Always consult with a healthcare professional such as a qualified TCM practitioner at our teaching clinic in Sydney for personalised advice.


Year of the Wood Dragon


Beginning on February 10th 2024, the Year of the Wood Dragon is expected to be very transformative. The only mythical creature in the Chinese zodiac, dragons are said to symbolise great power and strength, creativity and wisdom. Likewise, the 2024 Lunar New Year promises, for those who choose to embrace it, a year of spiritual growth and fresh starts. However, with so much energy in the air, challenges such as burnout, frustration and impulsivity are more likely. It’s advised that all of the zodiac signs practice patience this year, and learn how to be more adaptable to change. 



(1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020)


In one of the Chinese zodiac legends, whereby each of the 12 animals was tasked with crossing a river the fastest, the quick-thinking Rat placed first. This was thanks to the Rat’s clever approach of using the generous Ox to carry them across and then jumping from the Ox at the last minute. Based on this legend, Rats are described as intelligent and resourceful, but prone to anxiety. In the Year of the Wood Dragon, where the Rat’s anxious energy may be exacerbated, stress reduction techniques like meditation or tai chi are highly recommended. As well as this, warming (Yang) foods like ginger and cinnamon are great for improving circulation and calming the nervous system. If you are a Rat individual, engaging in stimulating activities like puzzles or crafts may help prevent overthinking.   



(1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021)


As mentioned above, it’s the Ox’s sturdy and determined nature that allowed them to cross the river second of all the zodiac animals. While this personality trait lends itself to passion and dedication, gentle exercises like swimming, yoga or walking can help the Ox from becoming too rigid. In 2024, Ox individuals in particular are encouraged to be more versatile and open. Focus on incorporating spleen-nourishing foods such as oats, as well as herbal teas and bitter vegetables to support liver health, as both the spleen and liver have a greater impact on the Ox’s Qi.  



(1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022)


Third to cross the river, the Tiger is described as being an energetic and intense individual. In the Year of the Wood Dragon, they are encouraged to embrace their outdoorsy spirit and spend time hiking in nature, while managing their mental health through activities such as deep-breathing exercises or Qigong. In terms of diet, circulation and heart health should be their number one priority, with an emphasis on red foods like cherries and warming ingredients such as basil and garlic.  



(1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023)


Said to be the luckiest of all the Zodiac animals, the Rabbit is described as being gentle and responsible but sensitive to criticism. They can also be prone to worry and hence are advised to approach the Year of the Dragon with a positive outlook, using methods such as gratitude journaling, calming bedtime routines and even aromatherapy. Heart-nourishing foods such as berries and dark chocolate as well as cooling Yin foods like cucumbers and watermelon are recommended to improve the Rabbit’s emotional balance and well-being in 2024. 



(1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024)


Dragons — 2024 is your year! Despite this, there are still plenty of obstacles to look out for. While Dragons are said to be energetic and ambitious, they tend to become easily frustrated when things don’t go their way. Slowing down and focusing on activities like yoga can help ground them. Closely connected to the stomach, Dragon individuals are advised to stick to a diet filled with warming Yang foods such as soups and teas, as well as raw foods like vegetables and nuts. 



(1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013)


Quiet and strategic, in the zodiac legend the Snake was able to slither into sixth place by sneaking up on the Horse and scaring them into seventh place. Likewise, stepping back and observing their surroundings is recommended for Snake individuals to remain grounded. If they remain patient, they’ll be open to new and exciting possibilities and experience a year filled with wisdom and growth. Receiving acupuncture and munching on leafy green vegetables is recommended to support emotional well-being and prevent stagnation.  



(1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014)


Known for their open-mindedness and perceptiveness, the Horse is predicted to have a positive 2024. They are advised to channel their friendly, dynamic energy into constructive outlets such as regular physical activity, to enhance their already agile mental and physical strength. Due to their tendency to overextend themselves, Horse individuals should prioritise self-care and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. A diet that features lean proteins and whole grains will help them sustain energy throughout the year. 



(1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015)


Year of the Goat individuals are artistic and sympathetic but can also be shy and pessimistic. In 2024, they are encouraged to focus on stress management through activities such as arts and crafts — which favour their creative interests — and spending more time in nature to maintain inner peace. Foods high in fibre are recommended, to nourish their dominant organ the small intestine, as well as dark leafy greens and tofu to nourish their Yin nature. 



(1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016)


Inventive and sociable, the Monkey was able to work with some of the other animals to secure ninth place in the zodiac legend. While they are known for their adaptability, in 2024, Monkey individuals should be cautious not to spread themselves too thin. Staying grounded through activities such as gardening and yoga can help them maintain stability. To keep them on their toes, walnuts and fish, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, can help support brain health and prevent mental fatigue during this jam-packed year.



(1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017)


The Rooster is hard-working and eccentric, if not at times a little overbearing. Finding moderation in work and lifestyle is essential for them in 2024 and practices such as acupuncture can assist in some much-needed muscle relaxation. Associated with the metal element, a diet consisting of foods such as ginger, garlic, pears and daikon radish can help maintain good lung health and alleviate tension. 



(1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018)


Loyal and honest, the Dog in the legend found the river water too enjoyable and distracting and so casually swam into eleventh place. Similarly, the logic in life for these individuals is simple but prone to emotional turbulence. Regular exercise, adequate rest and stress-reducing activities can help keep their nervous systems on an even keel. Consuming foods that nourish the kidneys, such as black beans and seaweed, can support a Dog individual’s energy levels and emotional resilience throughout the Year of the Wood Dragon.



(1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019)


In the river-crossing legend, similar to the Dog, the Pig became too distracted by food during the race, deciding to eat and have a nap instead and effectively landing themselves in last place. Just like the Pig in the story, individuals born in these years are laid back but prone to self-indulgence. In a year filled with possibilities and change, Pig individuals are encouraged to focus on portion control and practice moderate exercise to maintain overall health. They should embrace their social natures as usual, but be cautious of overcommitting in an already hectic year.


The Year of the Wood Dragon offers a unique opportunity for self-discovery. By incorporating these general TCM tips, individuals can navigate the transformative energy of 2024 with balance, resilience and overall well-being. However, if at any time you feel imbalanced, be sure to make an appointment at our teaching clinic to chat with our qualified TCM practitioners. Alternatively, if you’re interested in finding out more about ancient Chinese philosophy and making a career in TCM, contact us to learn more about our Diploma or Bachelor level courses. May the year ahead bring you health, happiness and prosperity!