Feng Shui and Healthy Homes

When many of us think of creating a healthy home we are thinking of eliminating toxins (like artificial air purifiers) and dangers  (like exposure to high electromagnetic frequencies).  While these steps are important and certainly positive, many of us don’t stop to consider how the look and feel of our surroundings also influences our mental, physical and emotional health.

 The main goal of Feng Shui is to create a space that feels nurturing and comfortable.  Scientific studies by psychologists, biologists and even physicists prove what Feng Shui has known all along…that our surroundings have a deep effect on our mental and physical  health and well-being. 

One of the most important health perks that Feng Shui assists with is reducing stress.  With stress-related illnesses topping the list for health concerns today, Feng Shui can certainly go a long way to help us reduce the tension in our homes and work spaces.

People often ask me how I got into Feng Shui.  The answer is that several years ago my mother was diagnosed with incurable cancer.  I was devastated.  Shortly after her diagnosis I was in a bookstore and this one book kept falling off the shelf.  I picked it up and a moment later it fell again.  When it fell for the third time I opened it and looked inside. 

The book wasn’t a Feng Shui book per se, it was a book about creating a nurturing and healing space.  With my mother in mind, I took the book home, read it, and started implementing some of the things I learned in my mother’s home. I wasn’t naive enough to believe that the things I was doing were going to cure my mom, but the amazing thing was that as I made the small changes here and there in her space she kept telling me that she couldn’t explain why, but she just felt better.  The doctors had said she would only live for six months; instead she lived for a year and a half, all the while telling me that her home felt better than it ever had before.  When she died, I decided to learn as much as I could about this amazing subject and needless to say, I’ve never looked back. 

 In order to help you make your home a more peaceful, healthy space, here are ten great tips to get you started.

 1. Opt for natural materials and items.  We are instinctively more comfortable around items that come from nature rather than synthetic items.  Homes with natural wood, stone, and plants help us relax and feel more comfortable. Additionally, synthetic materials often off-gas toxic chemicals for a very long time.  You know that “new car” smell?  That smell is actually the off-gassing of all the man-made plastic, carpet, and upholstery inside your new car. 

 2. Add fresh cut flowers or realistic silk ones.  Rutgers University did a ten-month study on the effect flowers have on human beings.  They found that flowers not only lower blood pressure, but they also help our bodies produce hormones that make us feel happier.  Perhaps that is why we give them to people when they are ill or feeling down.

 3. Minimize pointed and sharp objects in your home.  When things are pointed at us our sense of security is threatened and we feel more on-guard and defensive.  These feelings stimulate adrenalin production which over time wears down the immune system.

 4. Arrange your seating and sleeping areas so you can have a clear view of the door.  Not only will you feel less tension because you will be able to see what is going on all around you, your spine and neck will feel better from not twisting and turning to see what is behind you while you are working or relaxing.

 5. Decorate with items (including artwork) that you love.  If something in your home doesn’t resonate with you in a positive way, get rid of it. 

 6. Splurge on something for your home that brings you pleasure.  One of the least expensive things you can do is to go to a store like Ross or Marshall’s and purchase a set of high thread count sheets or a luxurious fluffy bath towel. It is amazing how drying off with a wonderful plush towel feels. 

 7. Use aromatherapy.  Aromatherapy has been in use for literally thousands of years to help our bodies, minds, and spirits. Be sure to only use therapeutic-grade essential oils like the ones I suggest in my newsletters.  Geranium and Lavender are both very relaxing scents.  You want to breathe in pure essential oils and nothing synthetic.  Whatever you do, DO NOT use any type of synthetic air fresheners!  They literally pump toxic chemicals into your home.

 8. Play soothing music.  I like to have Pandora radio playing in my home and in my car throughout the day.  I choose music that is calming and uplifting.  I think Pandora radio is one of the best things on the internet today.

 9. Add a water fountain.  Water is very calming and relaxing.  Water can be placed anywhere except for the south, west, and northwest portions of the home or office. 

 10. The center of your home relates to health. Make sure it is clutter-free.  If you have ANY plumbing in the center of your home it needs to be in tip top working order.  If you suspect any plumbing issues at all…fix them immediately!! 

Feng Shui can certainly go a long way in improving our physical and emotional health.  These easy tips should get you on your way to feeling better fast!

Copyright protected c. 2010 Cathleen McCandless http://www.sandiegofengshui.com

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