Feng Shui is pronounced “Foong Schway” and literally means ‘wind and water’. Feng Shui originated in China thousands of years ago and was practiced as an imperial prerogative until early this century.
Feng Shui is not a religion, not just a set of superstitions or a static science. feng shui provides us with models for working with reality enabling us to site and place everything in our environment to ensure harmony, prosperity, success and happiness in all aspects of our lives. Feng shui is a means of living harmoniously with, rather than conquering our environments.
Chinese medical skills have served the Chinese for thousands of years. Their success in maintaining, preventing and prolonging illness in people is attracting the attention of the western population.
Traditionally a Chinese doctor was paid to maintain his/her clients’ health and prevent illness. It was expected that all clients of traditional Chinese doctors would incorporate all eight limbs of Chinese Medicine into their lives.
Briefly, the Eight Limbs of Chinese Medicine are:-
- Meditation – allows one to still the mind and increases one’s self knowledge and awareness.
- Exercise – balances, restores and maintains harmony in the body.
- Diet and Herbs – healing through diet and maintaining health.
- Acupuncture – stimulates the flow of Qi along the body’s meridians.
- Moxibustion – the application of heat to the body to ensure organs function efficiently and are free of damp and cold.
- Massage – tones and calms the body and frees the body of obstructions.
- Astrology – reveals characteristics, personality traits and skills of an individual and allows one to see ‘the big picture’ of one’s life.
- Feng Shui – A method of placing everything in our environment, be it natural e.g. watercourses, hills or manmade e.g. roads, buildings etc., to ensure harmony, prosperity, success and happiness in all aspects of our lives.
The principles governing all eight limbs are the same, are considered to be universal and have an intimate connection. These principles are based on the interactive nature of yin and yang, the dynamism of the 5 elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water) and perceiving and accessing Qi quality and flow.
The Chinese Book of Wisdom provides people with many health hints, for example:
- Consult a physician at once if you have doubts about your health, for prevention is better than cure.
- Be moderate and regular in all that you do – diet, alcohol, exercise, rest, sleep, sex, work and play to prevent illness, injury and social friction.
- Keep a check on your heart by measuring your weight and blood pressure occasionally.
- Give yourself good feng shui by ensuring that your living, working and leisure conditions are favourable to your health and well-being.
So how is it that feng shui is one of the eight limbs of Chinese Medicine given that the other seven limbs relate to one’s physical body whereas feng shui relates to buildings and their surroundings.
Basically a feng shui practitioner begins a consultation on a building from the widest perspective assessing the area around a building and then uses scientific calculations to arrive at a detailed analysis of the quality of Qi, yin/yang and the five elements and how the balance of these principles affects the wellbeing of the occupants.
A Chinese Medical practitioner does virtually the same thing beginning with the “big picture”of patients’ health and then looks for details to ascertain potential health problems using the principles of Qi, yin/yang and the five elements and how the balance of these principles may affect the occurrence of future health problems thereby affecting the wellbeing of the person.
The goal of the Chinese Medical and feng shui practitioner is to arrive at solutions to balance and harmonise a person’s “temples” i.e. their body and home; by adjusting the quality and quantity of Qi, yin/yang and the five elements to ensure a person is able to reach and maintain a complete state of full vigour and purpose enabling them to thrive in the areas of their lives that are important to them.
There is no doubt that feng shui can be a complex subject – trying to pronounce it can be a challenge. What few people realize is that it is a science and its application is an art i.e. feng shui has no specific look, given that adjustments to a home or workplace as a result of feng shui recommendations are considered to be most successful when they are attractive to others, environmentally friendly, aesthetically pleasing and the occupants are health and prosperous.
Not a religion, nor a set of superstitions or omens, feng shui provides us with methods of assessing the environment both natural (e.g. rivers and mountains) and man-made (e.g. roads, buildings) and how it affects human life.
Practiced in China as an imperial prerogative until early this century, today in most parts of Asia it would be unthinkable to embark on a building project without the input of a feng shui consultant.
The beauty of feng shui is that you don’t even have to believe in it for it to work – it just does – after all it has been practiced for thousands of years, why would anyone keep practicing it if it didn’t work?
(Written by Lyn White, Dip Art. Ed.)
Leading Feng Shui Practitioner and Educator President of the Feng Shui Society of Australia
Feng Shui Today – Call 07/ 54 744 678
Lyn White’s Feng Shui College of Australia