Feng Shui for Health – Introduction
This post explains the use of Feng Shui for health. We will show how you can use this ancient Chinese art of placement in your home to promote the health of mind, body, and spirit.
The purpose of Feng Shui is to bring harmony into our lives by the artful arrangement of things in and around our homes. It is done with the goal of easing and promoting the flow of Chi energy within the home.
Feng Shui, in translation, means “wind and water.” These are elements that flow. And Chi (or Qi) is the hidden life force that flows everywhere in and around us. Feng Shui and the Chinese philosophy of Taoism are related.
So, employing the principles of Feng Shui, we arrange our living space in such a way as to remove obstructions to the flow of Chi within our homes. We also promote the flow of Chi by the use of wood and healthy plants.
The result is that people within the home will dwell there in greater health and harmony.
Feng Shui, Chi, and Science
So far, modern science has not detected, identified, or defined Chi, although the work continues, especially in China. In fact, modern science generally dismisses the concepts of Feng Shui and Chi as “pseudoscience.”
Our own view is that the jury is still out. After all, modern science is in its infancy, relatively speaking. So we give Feng Shui the benefit of the doubt, especially in light of thousands of years of its practical application.
In any case, we will show you that a very large part of Feng Shui is simply applied common sense. But first, we’ll cover some of the basic principles of Feng Shui and its application.
Schools of Feng Shui
There are two main schools of Feng Shui. These are the old Chinese school of Form or Landscape Feng Shui, on one hand, and the contemporary or Western school, on the other.
The Western school, which we describe here, combines the precepts of the old school with the principles of Tao and the balance of Yin and Yang. They come together in a system called BTB (Black Sect Tantric Buddhism). This is also known as the Black Hat school of Feng Shui.
The Western or Black Hat practice of Feng Shui is in wide use as a tool for interior designers.
The Bagua Map
Bagua means “eight areas.” An area is a “gua.” The Bagua map shows eight areas surrounding a central area. Each area relates to one of eight aspirational parts of our lives. The central area represents the center of the home and our overall health and happiness.
Read the Bagua Map as it relates to your home In this way:
Overlay the map on a floor plan of your home, with the bottom (North) edge aligned with the wall containing the front door. You will then see how each gua relates to each room in your home.
The eight aspirational areas are career & life journey, knowledge & wisdom, family, wealth & prosperity, fame & reputation, relationships & marriage, creativity & children, and helpful people & travel.
Each gua, or segment, of the Bagua map is associated with a compass direction, an element, a season, colors, shapes, materials, and parts of the body. And each gua has a number that is derived from what is known as the Lo Shu Square.
Lo Shu Square
The Lo Shu Square forms the basis for the Bagua Map. It is a tool of divination in Chinese numerology. The square is made up of 9 segments in a 3 x 3 pattern.
The squares are numbered in such a way that if you add the numbers in any direction, whether horizontal, vertical, or diagonal, the sum is always 15. This number corresponds to the 15 days in the cycle of a new moon to a full moon.
Points of the Compass
Each of the eight gua on the perimeter of the Bagua Map represents one of the eight cardinal and ordinal directions of the compass. The map appears in an upside-down fashion with North at the bottom.
The Feng Shui practitioner will overlay the Bagua Map on the floorplan of the home with the North edge of the map along the wall that contains the front door. You then take guidance from the map on how to treat the corresponding area of the home.
This treatment is with respect to the aspirations, elements, shapes, colors, seasons, parts of the body, and materials that are associated with each Bagua square.
Executing this system will enhance the flow of Chi. And you use it as a guide in the selection and placement of fabrics, mirrors, furniture, plants, water features, artwork, and accessories.
But note that Feng Shui does not dictate the color scheme for your entire home. You set about selecting that in the usual way.
The Feng Shui Elements
The five elements of water, earth, metal, wood, and fire are used in Feng Shui in coordination with the Bagua map.
- Water means emotion and inspiration.
- Earth means strength and stability.
- Metal means focus and order.
- Wood means creativity and growth.
- Fire means leadership and boldness.
When you overlay the Bagua map on your home, see if you can incorporate the element on the map that corresponds to the various rooms in the home.
For water, you could use a mini fountain. For earth, you could use a clay pot. For metal, you could use some decorative metal object. For wood, you could use a piece of rattan furniture. And for fire, you could use a candle or an essential oil diffuser.
Here is a summary description of the individual Gua that make up the Bagua map, together with their Lo Shu numbers:
- South (Lo Shu #9): Aspiration: Fame & Reputation; Element: Fire; Shape: Circle; Color: Red; Season: Summer; Part of Body: Heart, Small Intestine, Eyes; Materials: Fire & Candles
- Southwest (Lo Shu #2): Aspiration: Relationships & Marriage, Element: Earth; Shape: Heptagon; Color: Red, Pink, White; Season: Early Autumn; Part of Body: Uterus; Materials: Clay, Ceramic, Brick, Porcelain.
- West (Lo Shu #7): Aspiration: Creativity & Children; Element: Metal; Shape: Diamond; Color: White & Pastels; Season: Autumn; Part of Body: Lungs, Mouth; Materials: Metals, Marble, Granite.
- Northwest (Lo Shu #6): Aspiration: Helpful People & Travel; Element: Metal; Shape: Oval; Color: White, Grey, Black; Season: Early Winter; Part of Body: Large Intestine, Head; Materials: Metals, Marble, Granite.
- North (Lo Shu #1): Aspiration: Career & Life Journey; Element: Water; Shape: Rectangle, Color: Black & Dark Tones; Season: Winter; Part of Body: Kidneys, Bladder, Ears; Materials: Water, Glass
- Northeast (Lo Shu #8): Aspiration: Knowledge & Wisdom; Element: Earth; Shape: Octagon; Color: Black, Blue, Green; Season: Late Winter; Part of Body: Spleen, Hands; Materials: Clay, Ceramic, Porcelain.
- East (Lo Shu #3): Aspiration: Family; Element: Wood; Shape: Hexagon; Color: Green, Blue; Spring; Part of Body: Bladder, Feet; Materials: Wood, Cane, Rattan, Wicker
- Southeast (Lo Shu (#4): Aspiration: Wealth & Prosperity; Element: Wood; Shape: Square; Color: Red, Purple, Blue, Green; Season: Early Summer; Part of Body: Liver, Hip & Pelvis; Materials: Wood, Cane, Rattan, Wicker.
- Center (Lo Shu #5): Aspiration: Health & Wellness; Center of Home; Element: Earth; Triangle; Yellow & Earth Tones
Your Feng Shui Gua Number
The gua number is part of the Eight Mansions of Classical Feng Shui numerology. It is only sometimes used by practitioners of the Western or Black Hat school of Feng Shui. So we’ll just touch on it here.
An individual has a gua number that is calculated based on the person’s date of birth and sex. And this number determines the best compass direction for various areas of one’s life. It also gives insight into one’s personality and compatibility with others. And it helps determine the best locations for important areas of the home, such as the bedroom.
Calculating Your Gua Number
The formula for calculating your Gua number is a little involved. But fortunately, there are Feng Shui practitioners that have provided online calculators. Here are two excellent and informative sites, where you can find your Gua number:
The actual formula for calculating your Gua number is well explained here. And it’s important to note that there is no designation of the number 5 as a personal Gua number.
Balance of Yin and Yang
In Yin and Yang numerology, even numbers are Yin and odd numbers are Yang. The even numbers are in the corners of the Lo Shu Square and Bagua Map, with the odd numbers filling in between. The number 5 takes up the center.
Feng Shui works to bring harmony and balance to the home. It does this in part by bringing together the opposing forces of Yin and Yang.
Yang is masculine energy. It is associated with heat, light, sociability, and restlessness. On the Bagua map, Yang is represented by odd numbers.
Yin is feminine energy. It is receptive, nurturing, and cool. On the Bagua map, Yin is represented by even numbers.
So, to bring harmony and balance, the odd and even numbers on the Bagua map are in alternating positions.
Bagua and Health
Center of the Bagua Map
The center of the Bagua Map, which is over the center of the home, represents the health area of your home. And the aspirations represented by all eight Bagua areas touch it and influence it.
Everything in the center should be harmonious. It should be neat and tidy and enhanced by earth-related objects, since it invokes the earth element. Appropriate colors are golds, yellows, and browns. A healthy green plant in a square terracotta pot would be perfect for this area.
Bagua Areas and Parts of the Body
You will see from the Bagua Map that each Gua is associated with parts of the body. So if you feel poorly in any of these parts of the body, refer to the map and identify the element, shape, and colors associated with it.
Then go to the corresponding part of your home and boost the presence of these associated elements, shapes, and colors. And add good lighting. This is the closest thing in Feng Shui to a “home cure.”
Obviously, you should not take this is as a substitute for professional medical advice. But it illustrates the traditional holding of Feng Shui that the home environment has an effect on our physical and mental health. And in fact, when it comes to some of the practical tips we offer below, there is no denying it.
Tips for the Application of Feng Shui
Well, so much for Feng Shui theory. Let’s break it all down into some practical, actionable tips.
In Feng Shui, there is a commanding position in every room. The commanding position is also a defensive position. It is the place in the room that is furthest from the door. It is also not in a direct line from the door.
This puts you in a position of maximum control over what might come at you from the door. In other words, the commanding position gives you a sense of security. And if you are not in the commanding position, you will feel stress and anxiety. In a sense, the commanding position is all about “situational awareness.”
So the commanding position dictates the placement of furniture. For example, if you have a home office, you want to be able to see the door from your chair.
You also want to make sure that your commanding position is protected from the rear. This means that you should have a wall to your back, not a window. For example, this would apply to the placement of a sofa and a bed.
Open Lateral Space
And you want to have open space to the sides of your commanding position. These represent escape routes and contribute to feelings of safety and security.
Commanding Position Workarounds
Sometimes, it is not possible to have a commanding position that is ideal. But at the very least, you must be able to see the door. You can often achieve this by the placement of a mirror.
Clear pathways and Remove Obstacles
Your home should be easy to move around, both for you and the flow of Chi. So arrange items of furniture in such a way that you don’t bump into them. This is another example of the common sense inherent in Feng Shui.
Clear the front door area
The front door is the main portal for Chi energy to enter and flow into the home. So make sure you keep it clear. And it may be that there is a wall directly in front of the door that could block the flow of Chi. If so, put a mirror on it to redirect the flow.
And check the area immediately outside the front door to make sure that there is nothing to prevent Chi energy reaching the door in the first place.
Indoor Air Quality
Clean indoor air is just as important to Feng Shui as it is obviously important to our health. Open your windows often. And check out this post on how to improve air quality at home.
And plants are good for air quality too. Use plants like:
Rubber Tree Plant
In Feng Shui, plants are part of the wood element and this is related to energy, growth, wealth, vitality, and opportunity. So use green plants liberally throughout your home.
Some plants are special to Feng Shui:
- The jade plant is associated with wealth.
- The lucky bamboo brings peaceful energy with it.
And the color green is associated with healing.
In addition, you can also use essential oils and a diffuser to enhance the energy flow and good feelings in our home space.
Toxic Materials and VOCs
Most of us do not realize that many of the materials used in our homes, whether in construction, furnishings, or cleaning products, emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These are harmful to us and contribute to poor air quality in the home.
So taking steps to deal with VOCs should be part of our Feng Shui project.
Good Natural and Artificial Light
In addition to bringing as much natural light into your home as possible, make use of mirrors to distribute the light throughout the house. And keep your windows clean.
Natural light is a nutrient, being an important source of vitamin D. Introduce smart LED indoor lighting, including circadian rhythm lighting.
Using Colors and Shapes for Good Feng Shui
Refer to the different areas on the Bagua map and identify the rooms in the home that correspond to those areas. Then, taking color guidance from the map, use those colors in the corresponding room to provide accents.
And, while you are doing this, see if you can incorporate some of the shapes specified on the Bagua map.
Make your Space Clean and Clutter-free
Clutter in the home obstructs the flow of Chi energy and will drain it from you. By the same token, a dirty home depresses energy resonance and is a psychic drain.
Clutter and dirt contribute to feelings of confusion, stress, and depression. They get us out of balance and this can upset our immune systems. And on top of that clutter attracts dust and dirt, both of which can affect the air quality in our home.
Included among clutter and dirt are any old items of furnishings and furniture, such as grungy worn out mattresses, that have accumulated crud, psychic debris, and bad vibes over the years. Throw them out.
So, clearing clutter and a clean home are prerequisites before applying any of the more traditional “Feng Shui cures” for what ails the home.
Elsewhere on this site, we provide some decluttering tips.
Electromagnetic fields disturb the immune system by stimulating allergic and inflammatory responses. These disturbances can increase the risk of disease, including cancer.
So it is especially important that we remove these items from our bedroom or at least turn them off before going to sleep. And any digital alarm clocks should be kept at least 3 feet away from the bed.
Also, be aware of any electric or electronic devices that may be in an adjacent room but close to the headboard in the bedroom. This might be a circuit breaker box or a refrigerator. Move the bed if necessary.
Feng Shui “Poison Arrows”
In Feng Shui, “poison arrows” are sharp corners or edges that point at us as we sit or lie down. These are things with low negative energy. Examples of “poison arrows” would be a decorative sword hanging on the wall, or the corner formed by two walls coming together.
The fear of sharp objects is deeply embedded in our psyches. This is because they can harm us. We naturally prefer objects that have rounded shapes. They are simply more relaxing to be around.
For example, it is better to have a round bedside table than one that is square and with sharp corners.
To remedy the effect of “poison arrows,” we should remove them. Or we can soften them by, for example, placing a plant between us and the arrow.
Feng Shui for Health – Conclusions
Feng Shui for health in the home is all about achieving health and harmony in mind, body, and spirit by applying the Feng Shui principles we have covered in this post.
This has only been an introduction to Feng Shui for health. In other posts, we cover achieving this goal in more detail by applying Feng Shui principles to important rooms in our home.
And we think it is fair to say that, whatever your views on ancient Chinese numerology and geomancy, so much of what we have covered here just makes good practical, common sense.