Feng Shui basics: some dos and don’ts

Written by    Last updated: August 28, 2007

Discover Feng Shui and how you can incorporate some of the important elements of this ancient system into your everyday life…

 Feng Shui basics

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is an environmental science that is based on an interpretation of the natural world. It offers advice on how to create surroundings in which we can feel comfortable and at ease with our environment. It is a philosophy that is embraced by people who are aware of the impact their immediate surroundings have on them. It is a system that enables us to position ourselves within our environment, to our best advantage.

In Feng Shui the term ‘Chi’ is used to represent the life force of all animate things, such as humans, the sun and weather systems. The purpose of Feng Shui principles is to create an environment in which Chi flows as smoothly as possible, in order to achieve physical and mental health. According to Feng Shui, wherever Chi is stuck, there will be disharmony and lack of prosperity. Ideally, the movement of Chi should be gentle and meandering, rather than blocked or too fast.

Dos of Feng Shui

Natural light: allow as much sunlight and natural light into the home as possible. Where privacy is required, use stained glass and light muslin curtains, rather than heavy fabrics on windows.
Soft lighting: this helps in enabling us to unwind and relax, especially at the end of a long or stressful day.
Uplighters: these can be used to transform dark corners.
Frames around mirrors: an unframed mirror is said to create negative energy, so try and have even a slim frame around all mirrors.
Fresh fruit in the dining room: apart from its dietary benefits, a full bowl of fruit is symbolic of abundance and is appetising to look at
Indoor plants: these are useful in bringing energy and life into the house and can be used to hide a sharp corner or enliven a recessed area.

Don’ts of Feng Shui

Clutter: a disorganised living space creates prevents the positive Chi from flowing easily and will block creativity and sense of balance. Assign a place for everything and make sure to have a tidy‐up once a week.
Crossbeams: placing a bed under exposed crossbeams is said to have an oppressive effect and is likely to result in disturbed sleep. If there is no alternative placement, then painting the beams in a light colour will help to reduce some of their negative effect
Window behind the bed: this is not considered to be a good position for the bed and it would be advisable to find some other arrangement.
Dirty, cracked or broken mirrors:  any broken or cracked mirrors should be removed from the house and all mirrors should be cleaned regularly to bring forth their positive qualities.
Joins in mirrors or mirror tiles: this has the effect of essentially ‘breaking up’ the reflection, thus disturbing the flow of Chi.
Mirrors opposite doors or each other: the way mirrors are placed in the house has great significance in Feng Shui. Placing mirrors directly opposite a door or two mirrors diametrically opposed to each other tends towards creating negative energy.

Ten House plants that help clean the air

  1. Lady Palm: Rhapis excelsa
  2. Anthurium: Anthurium andraeanum
  3. Rubber Plant: Kicus robusta
  4. Dwarf Banana: Musa cavendishi
  5. Peace Lily: Spathiphyllum
  6. Ivy: Hedera helix
  7. Heart Leaf Philodendron Croton: Codialum variegatum pictum
  8. Kalanchoe: Kalanchoe blossfeldiana
  9. Golden Pothos: Epirpremnum aureum Ficus alium
  10. Boston Fern: Nephrolepis exaltata ‘Bostoniensis’

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