In this article we will explore how to the ancient art and science of Feng Shui (fung sch’way)can be used to analyse how our home and office environment effects our health and well being. Feng Shui philosophy contends: if the home is in harmonious surroundings and arranged in an harmonious manner, the inhabitants of that home will reflect that harmony and live more harmonious lives.
Feng Shui & Your Health
When I was first introduced to the ancient art and science of feng shui, it puzzled me how a feng shui master could look at a home and confidently state: “This house will cause illness.”
A few years later, it became clear to me how a hostile environment, real, or even imagined as real, could result in ill health. The truth of this lies in the biological fact that stressful situations release adrenalin, the ‘fight and flight’ hormone. Adrenalin increases the heart rate and raises the blood pressure while the breath becomes shallow and all the muscles tense. Once the danger passes, calm returns. However, continued and prolonged stress ultimately leaves the adrenal glands exhausted, compromises organ functioning, especially that of the kidney and heart, resulting in hypertension and an impaired immune system.
Real or Imagined Danger
How this extreme and prolonged stress scenario affects the unwary residents of a home is revealed by the statement about environmental danger as being “real, or even imagined as real.”
Real danger should be obvious: living close to a source of strong electro-magnetic radiation, such as electric power substation, high tension wires, transformer cans on utility poles, airport radar, cell phone microwave dishes. Unfortunately, the only sane way to resolve this situation is to move.
Imagined danger is more difficult to identify, continues day to day, and ultimately has the same negative results on our health and well being. In essence, Feng Shui developed to assess these subtle influences, and to find solutions that will restore harmony.
Ch’i & Sha Ch’i
Ch’i is the Chinese word for energy. Energy which is inherent in all things animate or inanimate. Environmental features that are dangerous, real or falsely perceived as real, are referred to as sha ch’i. Sha ch’i is when life giving ch’i is taken away. When the ch’i is noxious, stagnant, or hostile. For example: A life threatening situation such as a gunman pointing a loaded weapon at you is quite clearly stress producing. The rational mind has no problem interpreting this kind of danger and the need to get the adrenal glands pumping.
Even a statue of someone pointing a bow and arrow at you would make you uneasy. Eventually you will either come to terms with this symbolic aggression and relax. Or you will alter the environment to suit your comfort zone. You will either sit or stand out of the range of imagined danger or perhaps move the statue so that it points in a different direction. This is one of the primary goals of feng shui: to modify the environment so that it is less aggressive, more relaxed, more harmonious and ultimately more life enhancing.
Understanding how the subconscious interprets and responds to color, shapes and symbols in your living environment gives you access to one of the major feng shui techniques that has made feng shui such an important adjunct to current wholistic philosophy. That is, simply remove, cover, deflect or block all sources of life threatening sha ch’i – real or imagined.
Any object that has a pointy-edge or a long straight edge produces a form of sha ch’i called a poison arrow. As our reptilian/primitive part of our brain interprets sharp edges as ‘arrows’, it feels danger, and activates the ‘fight and flight’ stress response of the adrenals in defensive preparation. In time, the adrenals, as stated, become exhausted in their attempt to maintain readiness. Slowly but surely the immune system is compromised. Depending on the innate strength of the individual’s constitution, the weakest link collapses first.
Feng Shui Solutions to Everyday Problems
Here are some commonly experienced examples of sha ch’i in the home environment and their possible solutions. Remove these environmental situations and observe how quickly you find relief from many of your ailments and notice how much more energy you seem to have. If you can not protect yourself from sha ch’i consider moving to a more favorable location.
As you walk around your home, notice if there are any ‘hidden arrows’ in the external environment aimed at your home. Consider if there are roadways, neighboring fences and roof lines ‘shooting’ at your front door. Trees or utility poles directly in front of the front door and large mountains or buildings towering above the home are also considered to be ‘attacking’ and therefore harmful to the inhabitants. Solutions: Plant a hedge, erect a fence and or place a small oval or octagonal mirror to ‘deflect’ the poison arrows.
If there are beams over beds or frequently used sitting areas, the beam is considered to be ‘pressing down’ or compressing the ch’i. In time the area of the body under the beam will manifest an inflammation or be more vulnerable to suffering an injury. In a similar manner a ceiling fan directly over the bed, or over a frequently used place to seat, is felt as ‘chopping’ up the ch’i of anyone sleeping or sitting beneath. Especially anxiety producing to the reptillian brain are ceiling fans that wobble as they spin. Solution: Cover the beam and replace the ceiling fan with a floor model, or move your bed or chair to a different location.
The harmful effects of ‘poison arrows’ inside the home can be felt as sharp-edged furniture on either side of the bed, or that block your easy passage in and out of a frequently used room. Even cactus, pointy-leaf dracaena, or other plants with knife-like foliage can be felt as ‘threatening’. Solution: Cover points and edges or change sleeping or sitting locations. Keep the images and the objects soft and safe to the touch.
Beside the detrimental effects of a beam or ceiling fan over a bed consider the bed’s relationship to windows and doors. Even my great, grandmother from eastern Europe used to say, “It’s bad luck to sleep with your feet to the door. ‘Cause that’s the way they carry you out!”. Chinese feng shui literature describes this as the Coffin Position. Equally bad is positioning your bed with the door into the bedroom on one or other side of the bed as the anxiety experienced is similar to sleeping on a railroad track. Solution: Reposition the bed to a different wall, at least close the door, or choose a different room to sleep in.
Sleep needs to be restful to be rejuvenating, so avoid the following situations: sleeping in a bed with a refrigerator, toilet, or a source of electromagnetic radiation (such as a breakerbox) on the other side of the headboard will also result in disturb sleep and not waking up feeling refreshed. If you use an electric blanket, turn it on to warm the bed then UNPLUG it from the wall. Large windows, heavy framed pictures, mirrors or shelves at the head of the bed produces the “what if they break or fall” anxiety (especiall;y if you live in earthquake country). Also sleeping on a water bed (stagnant water) can result in kidney or urinary problems.
Remember, poor feng shui situations do not actually cause health problems. Instead, we need to understand that poor feng shui aggravates preconditions towards certain types of health problems. Therefore, good feng shui and applying appropriate feng shui solutions can mitigate negative circumstances resulting in an environment that supports good health, harmonious relationships, and career or academic success.
Taking Control of Your Life
The above examples are only some of the environmental factors that can affect your vitality and health. Of course even good feng shui will not cancel out the destructive influences of living next to a toxic dump or the constant exposure to electro-magnetic radiation. Nor will it cancel out the undermining effects of a diet of junk food and food that has been microwaved, or using cosmetic and personal hygiene products laden with toxic ingredients (herbicides, pesticides, antibiotics, preservative, artificial colors, synthetic chemicals etc.). The mercury vapors from silver amalgam in your teeth, smoking carcinogenous cigarettes, and poor food combining will also take their toll. In the big picture good environmental feng shui is part of choosing to live a healthy life style.
May you all be blessed with a year of abundant good fortune: health, wealth and prosperity.