Some of the sheen may have diminished yet the ancient Chinese art and science of feng shui remains stoically effective. There was a time recently when sit coms, stand up comics, news shows and New Agers couldn’t get enough of the intricate rubrics of the once-ignored practice. For a brief moment in time, the words feng shui were the punch line of jokes and the byline of New Age writers. All the while, many mispronounced it. For the record, it sounds out like this: fung (rhymes with tongue) schway (rhymes with say). Also for the record, the practice is thousands of years old and includes the art and science of placement of material objects in their physical relationships in order to honor the relationship of those objects in the field of energy, or chi, as traditional Chinese science calls it. To the simplified Western mind, we think of it in terms of how we arrange things. But it is far more complex yet commonly sensible. Feng shui rules govern how we arrange things like items in our house and also large-scale projects like the design of buildings, gardens, farms, the layout of cities and more. Feng shui considers the elemental makeup, colors, shapes, albedo or reflectivity of an object, its movement or sound and how all of that affects a present situation. The overriding technology of feng shui is the fact that we live in a sea of energy, seen and unseen, and how we use, place or orient items, large and small, affects how that sea ripples and flows. As Yoda and others before have taught, we don’t want “a disturbance in the Force.” BaGua for the Body. The basic tool of feng shui in any application is the bagua. It is an ancient sort of “map” that defines areas and placements and their relationships to events, emotions and energies in our lives. It is commonly used to reference how locations in a building or other physical areas relate to aspects of life. Often divided into nine areas, the bagua loosely ascribes each map area to a different aspect. For example, using the main front entrance of a building as the anchoring frame of reference, the bagua shows that the farthest back, center area of the house or building references the consideration of worldly acclaim or personal reputation. In a gross simplification, if one were experiencing a crisis in that area of life, looking at what disruptions exist in that physical location of a home or business may give a clue as to what remedy to pursue. The bagua is open to different interpretations and various sects of feng shui study have somewhat differing views. Learning at least one form of bagua and relating that school of thought to suggested remedies keeps the system workable. On the macro level, using feng shui is commonplace in many areas of business and personal life. Many corporations have employed feng shui consultants in planning building layouts and design. Architects apply feng shui principles without acknowledgement and sometimes even without knowing that they are. For example, water features such as fountains or moving flow placed near a front entrance invite the universe’s energy of abundance to enter the business. The TD Ameritrade office at Southroads incorporated a large fountain area in the lobby. They seemed to do quite well in their first few years of business. On the smaller scale, it is possible to apply some of the tenets of energy flow or feng shui to aspects of the body. The goal could be to energize health, prosperity, reputation, relationships with relatives, career paths. All are specified in the bagua map. Remedies. Feng shui applies two basics: avoid hazards impeding flow of energy; when that is unavoidable or has occurred, apply remedies to ameliorate it. Remedies that are constant in feng shui include light, sound, living things (like pets), movement (like mobiles), colors, weight (heavy table vs. light one, e.g.), symbols and more. As in using a bagua to process feng shui actions for the home, city, building or farm, one uses the bagua in a more emotional and mental setting with the body, then apply physical remedies and actions. Author and acupuncturist Daniel Santos, describes identifying your personal “center.” Introspective exercises like dream work and journaling are key. Santos’ book and techniques bend more into metaphysical applications of feng shui ideals. With processes and exercises, Santos suggests creating change by changing our awareness and thoughts. Though physical remedies are also applied, mental and emotional triggers are paramount. Other applications of feng shui principles to the body include the use of jewelry, clothing, posture and movement to effect remedies. For example, colors, types of gems or materials used in totems or jewelry have their own relationship to energy. Learning the rudiments of feng shui, expanding awareness of the effects of the remedies and applying consciousness to our bodies and personal space extend the power of chi in a direct method. Be well. Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit for more information.

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