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Alternative & Holistic Therapies

Feng Shui

“If there is light in the soul there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation there will be peace in the world.” Ancient Chinese Proverb

The History of Feng Shui

Feng Shui (pronounced fung shway) is an ancient practice that originated from China and is more than 3,000 years old. The word Feng comes from the Chinese word for wind and the word Shui from the Chinese word for water. The practice of this ancient art is intended to balance the invisible energies within an inhabited space in order to maintain the good health of those who live there.

Feng Shui is rooted in the Taoist understanding of nature which centers on the idea that the world and the environment we live in is alive and full of chi or energy. In ancient China it was believed that the energy of the environment could make a land prosperous or bring about its ruin. 

How Feng Shui Works

The theory and practice of Feng Shui is concerned with the balance of yin and yang and the five elements of Feng Shui. Yin and yang are the two interacting forces that sustain the cosmos. Yin is the female aspect and yang the male. The balance of these two energies brings order to the chaos of the universe. The five elements include wood, fire, metal, earth and water.

According to the principles of this ancient art, if you want to improve your career, increase you wealth or attract a new partner you will be able to do so by ridding your home of clutter, rearranging your furniture and adding new colors and materials to your rooms.

The main tools of Feng Shui practice are the compass and the Ba-Gua or octagonal grid containing the symbols of the I Ching. The I Ching is the ancient Chinese oracle on which Feng Shui is based. The compass, also known as lo-pan, will be your guide to defining the ba-gua of your home so that you can develop a deeper understanding of favorable and unfavorable Feng Shui areas, connect specific areas to specific people in your life and develop Feng Shui elements needed in specific areas.

The Feng Shui compass consists of a magnetic needle around which are placed up to forty concentric rings of information. The base of the compass is traditionally red as this is an auspicious color in Chinese culture; it also helps to protect the compass’s energy.

You should take the first compass reading while you are inside the house looking out from the front door. You should take several readings from similar spots so that you can rule out any interference from electromagnetic fields. Once you have taken a few readings from inside at different distances from the front door you can then take one from outside. The purpose of taking a reading looking out your front door is to get an accurate reading of which way your house is facing.

When you have obtained an accurate reading, you can work out the positions of all your rooms relative to the compass. Once this is done you will be able to work on your ba-gua energy plan for you whole living space. The image below shows a ba-gua plan which can help you to balance the chi in your home.

As you can see, the plan is a detailed guide to what colors you can place in different areas and what those directional zones symbolize. Here are some tips for using Feng Shui at home:

  • Have a well designed storage system so that none of your rooms are cluttered. Clutter impedes the balance and flow of chi throughout your home.
  • Always keep the front entrance clear and use it. Don’t be tempted to use the back door or the garage door all the time.
  • Keep unseasonable clothes stored away rather than having them lying around or hanging in your closet.
  • Fix any broken appliances or get rid of them. This will increase your energy.
  • Use a round dining table as this will promote unity. You should have an even number of dining chairs to maintain balance.
  • Choose a wooden bed rather than a metal one as these are healthier because metal beds conduct electricity.
  • Do not have any appliances near your bed.
  • If you are having problems sleeping, remove any large mirrors or large living plants from the bedroom.
  • Place your headboard against the most solid wall in the room.
  • To calm the nerves in any room use sandalwood, neroli and lavender oils or scented candles.
  • To stimulate and refresh use fresh citrus smells such as orange, lemon and mint. If you want to elevate your mood, use jasmine, basil or sage.

 Let’s say you wanted to use Feng Shui in your office, here are some tips:

  • Arrange any awards or certificates in the south area (this is the area of celebrity and fame). It is also auspicious to place a photograph of a celebrity that you admire in this area.
  • Family photos should be placed on the east side of your office as this is the family area.
  • Reference or text books should be placed in the zone of knowledge and self-development, which is in the northeast.
  • Keep new projects on the east side of your desk as this area symbolizes spring and new growth.
  • Any checks or money waiting to be deposited in the bank should be stored in the west side of your desk as this symbolizes harvest and abundance.
  • Keep waste baskets out of sight.

How to Find a Feng Shui Advisor

Feng Shui Directory 


Feng Shui Groups and Organizations

The American Feng Shui Institute


Feng Shui FAQs

What are the basic principles of Feng Shui?

The basic principles include yin and yang, the five elements and the direction of the compass.

How does Feng Shui function?

Feng Shui functions by using electromagnetic readings and then applying the principles of yin/yang theory in conjunction with the balancing of the five elements, earth, fire, air, water and wood, to balance the living environment.

How is a fung shui reading made?

A Feng Shui reading can be made by a trained fung shui consultant or you may perform one yourself using a compass to determine the directional location of the building. Then any necessary calculations are worked out to decide the most auspicious positioning of furniture and personal items within the house. 

Is Feng Shui only applicable to houses? 

It is not limited. It is also applicable to outdoor areas, offices, cities and even whole countries.

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