Most people think of feng shui as a Chinese inspired way to make your home look nice, increase your money luck, or attract a romantic partner. They don’t usually associate it with health care. But to a classically trained feng shui practitioner, there is a direct connection between the feng shui of a home and the health of its occupants.
This view is so accepted in Chinese culture that traditionally, feng shui practitioners often worked with Chinese doctors. If a patient didn’t respond to treatment, the cause could often be found in the home. Once the feng shui was adjusted, healing could get back on track.
In the Chinese view, we live in a universe that is permeated with and activated by a shared vital breath (often translated as qi). In such a universe, everything in the natural world affects everything else. It is impossible to live in isolation from the forces around us. This principle is called “gan ying” or mutual influence, and it is fundamental to feng shui. It is why adjusting your front gate, clearing a cluttered room, or changing the position of your bed can affect your health. The vital breath, or qi, that moves the leaves on the trees in your yard, also moves through you. Regulating one, helps to regulate the other.
The feng shui practitioner has a variety of methods for diagnosing and regulating qi flow through the home. For instance, fresh vital qi from the landscape must be able to find its way into your home, and once inside, should circulate gently so the occupants are nourished and revitalized. This is accomplished through the correct arrangement of pathways, landscaping, and furniture. If you live in an urban environment, or a place stripped of its connection to nature, the feng shui practitioner must be creative in finding ways to support good qi flow. In this situation, ancient methods for the analysis of mountains and rivers are adapted to work with buildings and roads.
It’s also important to protect the home from aggressive qi that rushes too strongly at the house, which can make the occupants irritable and exhausted. One example of this is a house situated at the end of a busy road, such that cars and headlights are always aiming at it.
In addition to the many considerations that affect flow and containment of qi, the practitioner might also factor in the personal astrology of the occupants. Each person has a set of 4 compass directions that are supportive of their qi, and 4 that are more draining for them. These are based on Chinese astrology. For someone who has health challenges it is important to make sure they are sleeping and spending most of their time in one of their supportive sectors.
In modern society we all know that poor air quality, electromagnetic pollution, chemicals, molds, excessive noise, and lack of access to nature all have a negative effect on our health. In ancient China there were different environmental concerns to be sure, not to mention the constant threat of invasion. But the need to maintain a harmonious relationship to our environment is as important now as it was in the Song Dynasty. Today’s feng shui practitioner, drawing on ancient methods combined with modern sensibilities, is perhaps more important than ever to our health and well being.
So next time you feel stymied by a health issue, or just feel less than your best self, and all your remedies don’t seem to work, consider calling a feng shui practitoner to your home. It might be just what the doctor ordered.