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Feng Shui Tips and Products

Updated on November 13, 2012

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui is the 3,000-year-old Chinese tradition of balancing the energies of a living space to improve health and good fortune. Coming from the Chinese words for "wind" and "water," it is based on the Taoist concept that the land is alive and changes made to it can affect Chi, or energy. These changes can be either beneficial or detrimental to people and societies. To stay beneficial, a proper balance should be maintained.

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Feng Shui Basics

Feng Shui in Your Home

Good Feng Shui depends on proper balance of the five elements: fire, wood, earth, water, and metal. Each element influences Chi, which is very fluid. If one element is shifted or out of balance, it affects the flow of Chi like moving a large rock in a stream would affect the flow of the water around it. By balancing the five elements when decorating your home or work space, you can improve your health, productivity and good fortune.

Common tools for mapping out the Feng Shui balance in your home are the compass and bagua, an eight-sided grid containing the symbols of the oracle I Ching. Understanding which direction is associated with each symbol is a good guide to decorating for the changes you would like to make in your life. For instance, if you want to improve your wisdom, placing a fish tank with goldfish on the north side of a room is good. Certain colors also symbolize elements, such as red for fire.

Some simple tricks for improving Feng Shui include:

Move mirrors so that they are not directly opposite an entryway. Good Feng Shui can flow into a room and can be reflected back out by mirrors. Mirrors are good at the bottom of stairs to slow down Chi flowing down them, and also in small rooms where Chi can pool up and become stagnant.

Reduce clutter. Simple decoration, arranged for maximum effect, works best.

Decorate with plants. Round-leaf plants can soften sharp corners and exposed beams. Avoid varieties with spiky leaves if possible.

Open your windows. Open windows are an easy way to brighten up a room by letting natural light and air in.

Feng Shui in Your Office

Proper balance is equally important in your office to improve productivity. Here's a few tips:

Stay organized. Put away materials when you finish with them. Keep your inbox and outbox in easily accessible places on your desk and use them. By reducing the clutter on your desk, you can focus on the task at hand.

Position and shape of your desk. When you choose a new desk, consider one with rounded, rather than sharp, corners. Keep it in a commanding position, with a direct view of the door and a window and a wall behind you.

Keep a few plants. Plants help create a more creative atmosphere and act as a filtering system, removing toxins and circulating stagnant air.

Good lighting is essential. Place your desk near but not directly under a window. Replace fluorescent lights with warmer, more natural-looking lights if possible.

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