MoonDragon's Alternative Health Information
Mind & Emotion Therapies
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FENG SHUI DESCRIPTION
Practiced in China for over a thousand years, feng shui is the ancient Asian art of arranging living and working space to bring physical and spiritual benefits. Derived from the same philosophy as acupuncture and other traditional Chinese therapies, it seeks to harmonize the flow of qi ("life energy") within a room or building to enhance the health, happiness, and prosperity of those who live and work there. Feng shui has had a major impact on the development of cities such as Hong Kong and Taipei, and there is growing interest in the UK, North America, and Australasia.
MAIN USES OF FENG SHUI
Personal development. Stress-related problems. Emotional problems, including poor relationships, inability to make decision, loneliness, and lack of self-confidence.
The Luo Pan Compass is a traditional feng shui tool, made individually for the practitioner, to determine "energy patterns" and other information.
Literally translated as "wind" and "water", feng shui (pronounces "fung shoy") has its roots in the ancient Chinese belief that environmental forces shape human destiny. According to legend, a Chinese ruler, Fu Hsi, saw a tortoise emerging from the Lo River and realized that the markings on its shell symbolized universal principles. He used this pattern to devise eight configerations of energetic forces, known as trigrams, which became the basis of the hugely influential work of divination, the I Ching (Book of Changes). Considered on oracle by feng shui masters at imperial courts, it was later used throughout China as a guide to decision making.
Feng shui has survived the centuries and is taken so seriously in the Far East that Western companies based there are often obliged to acknowledge it when designing new offices. In this way, knowledge of the art is now spreading to the West.
Based on the same principles as those of Traditional Chinese Medicine, feng shui is sometimes referred to as "space acupuncture". In the same way that an imbalance between yin and yang in the body is believed to disrupt health, disharmony in one's surroundings is said to have a negative effect on all aspects of life, from relationships to financial affairs.
Landscapes, buildings, rooms, even the tops of tables, are said to have their own flow of qi or "life energy", and feng shui encourages blocked or depleted qi to move freely in a given area by altering the layout. To plot the flow of qi, an octagonal "map", known as the ba-gua, may be superimposed on the ground plan of a building or room.
The eight "houses" of the ba-gua, based on the compass points and the eight trigrams, each relate to different aspects of life. In feng shui, this mystic tool is used to plan and assess buildings and rooms.
If one section of the ba-gua is missing, or badly arranged, problems are expected in the corresponding area of the occupant's lives.
The Chinese concepts of the trigrams and the "five elements" - earth, fire, water, wood, and metal - are also key factors in feng shui. Depending on the school of feng shui to which the practitioner belongs, each element may be associated with a compass point, color, season, and number. The relationship between the elements is used to assess feng shui in the home or workplace and create a state of harmony. The occupant's dates of birth are often taken into account, since these too can be categorized according to the five elements. Some practitioners also use a "map" of five symbolic animals to analyze a space.
In the West, "space clearing" techniques may be used in addition to, or instead of feng shui. Ceremonial rituals drawn from Native American, Pagan-Wiccan, Zulu, Maori and Balinese cultures, involving bell-ringing, incense burning or smudging, broom sweeping, incantations, blessed salt-water sprinkling, and the use of stones and/or crystals, are used to "cleanse" and consecrate buildings.
EVIDENCE & RESEARCH
No studies have been carried out in the West on feng shui, and research into related therapies, such as acupuncture, has failed to prove the existence of qi.
CONVENTIONAL MEDICAL OPINION
Feng shui lies outside the boundries of Western medical expertise and seems removed from the conventional approach to illness and treatment. However, conventional health care providers acknowledge that social and psychological factors can affect health, and the pathological effects of discord and disorder may merit some consideration.
CONSULTING A PRACTITIONER
A feng shui consultation usually involves a visit to your home or workplace by a practitioner. The length of the visit depends on the size of the building, but is generally 1 to 2 hours. During the session, the practitioner will ask you about any areas in your life or business that you feel are in need of attention, and may also ask for the dates of birth of all the members in the household or key members of staff at your workplace.
The practitioner will make a detailed assessment of each room in the building. After the consultation, she will send you a report listing suggested changes. This may involve choosing a new color scheme, moving plants or ornaments, or avoiding certain areas altogether. For example, a washbowl in the marriage corner of your bedroom may be causing marital harmony to drain away, and the practitioner will advise that its use is discontinued. You can discuss any queries with the practitioner by telephone.
It is also possible to consult a feng shui practitioner by mail by sending her a floor plan of your home or workplace.
There are various simple steps you can take to improve the feng shui of your surroundings. To enable qi to flow freely, remove clutter from rooms and surfaces, and make sure there is plenty of space around furniture. Check that items such as clocks are in working order, and repair broken furniture. Healthy plants attract qi and can counteract the electromagnetic fields surrounding computers or televisions. Avoid sharp-leaved plants, however, which are believed to "cut" qi. Long-stemmed flowers and images of "airy" objects, such as balloons, direct the flow of qi upward. Mirrors should be used with care, as they reflect qi and can disturb energy patterns.
Fast Feng Shui: Free Tips & Information
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FENG SHUI PRODUCTS
Amazon.com has a large selection of books, DVDs, and VCR tapes about feng shui. I have included a few of these products here. Use the search box further down on this page to locate more selections. Check back often as their choices and links are constantly changing.
Amazon: Feng Shui Products
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