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Feng Shui Fundamentals

Feng Shui Fundamentals

What is feng shui?
What do people use feng shui for?
How can I use feng shui in my bedroom?

We've all been told at one time or another to clean our rooms. Just thinking about where to put all the clutter often makes this job scary. But if cleaning up all that clutter could enhance your relationships, improve your health, and increase your popularity, you may not think twice about grabbing that dust mop. According to the ancient Chinese practice of feng shui (pronounced "fung shway"), the environment we live and work in has a powerful effect on our health and happiness. back to top

What is feng shui?
Feng shui means "wind and water." Known as the "Chinese art of placement," feng shui is based on a philosophy that can be summed up as "to live in harmony with nature." The practice of feng shui stems from a belief that how you arrange and use your room—including furniture, wall colors, doors, and windows—can affect that room's energy, or qi (pronounced "chee").

Just as an acupuncturist believes that qi runs through your body, feng shui followers believe that qi flows through the spaces where you live and work. They follow the idea that this energy, positive or negative, directly affects you and your life. For example, according to feng shui, a room with all-white walls can dull your senses and cause illness for the people who live in it. But if someone paints one of the doors in that white room red—or really goes to town and paints the walls red—the people who live in that room are more likely to find happiness, strength, and respect. back to top

What do people use feng shui for?
When you walk into a room, the color of the walls, the amount of sunlight, and the position of the furniture all have an impact on the way you feel. That's one reason why some rooms feel immediately comfortable, while others feel stiff and formal. People use feng shui to make their rooms places where they can feel good and be happy. This often involves rearranging furniture, adding plants, letting the sunshine in, and changing color schemes.

According to feng shui experts, by changing the design of a room, a person can affect specific aspects of his or her life that need changing. For example, turning your bed so that it faces a different direction may help you achieve something in your personal life. Need to bring up your grades? According to feng shui, if you face your bed toward the northeast, you may get a boost in the area of intelligence and learning. Arguing too much with your mom? Turning your bed eastward is said to promote a happy and peaceful family life. Running out of babysitting money? A feng shui expert would have you face your bed southeast, a position that is supposed to have a positive effect on your cash flow. back to top

How can I use feng shui in my bedroom?
The fun part about feng shui is that making the smallest changes may have positive effects. While you may want to make several changes to create a whole new look in your room, you can also focus on making one or two smaller changes.
  • Reduce sneak attacks. One of the most beneficial changes in feng shui has to do with the placement of your bed. To create healthy qi, your bed should be placed so that you can see the bedroom door when you're lying down. If you can't see the door, someone could enter the room and startle you, a situation that feng shui experts believe could (understandably) upset your energy flow. If your room is small and you can't rearrange the bed to work that way, you can always place a mirror on a wall so that it reflects the doorway when you lie in bed.
  • Brighten it up. If you don't get any direct sunlight in your room, you can add light with candles, mirrors, and lamps, or by hanging crystals in your window. According to feng shui, this may increase the energy in your room.
  • Create some movement. Whether it's a mobile, a fan, or light curtains blowing in the breeze of an open window, movement is said to energize your room and maximize your good qi.
  • Add some music. To stimulate healthy qi, add some CDs or tapes that play nature's music, such as moving water or chirping birds, to your collection of favorite music. You can also achieve this effect by hanging wind chimes in your window. back to top
Last Modified Date: 2/6/2001
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