Names can have an impact on our health. I had first-hand experience. I travelled to Shanghai, China with my elder sister after the first year of university, ignoring the warning of an outbreak of hepatitis, a liver disease. One month later, I got severe hepatitis. My skin and eyes were yellow. But my sister was totally fine. Luckily, it didn’t take me long to recover.
One year later, I almost forgot about hepatitis because it came and went so quickly. One day, walking along the street with my classmates, we saw a guy giving free name numerology. Curiously, I gave my name to him. After the calculation, he told us that the person who uses this name would have a higher chance of having liver issues. You can imagine how shocked I was. First, my name, Ying (鷹), is usually used as a man’s name. Second, even if he could guess I gave my own name to him, I didn’t believe I had any liver disease symptoms left in my body. This created my interest in name numerology. I learned numerology from that man, and also studied related fields, such as Yi Jing, the Book of Changes.
Chinese name numerology is actually not based on the meaning of the character but on the number of traditional character strokes and relationships between numbers. To understand more deeply Chinese classical culture, I took acupuncture classes to learn about traditional Chinese medicine.
Now, for me, the influence of a name doesn’t really matter. When I immigrated to Canada from China in 2006, I thought an English name would be easier to connect me with others. So most people know me as Ivy. After 15 years living in Canada, I realized the importance of diversity of culture, and started using my Chinese name, Ying, more often. It shows my identity as a visible minority and reminds me of my roots, which is Chinese culture, and also connects with this ancient heritage.