The stage magician duo Penn and Teller dedicated an episode of their Bullshit! television show to criticise the construal of contemporary practice of Feng Shui in the Western World as science. In this episode, they devised a test in which the same dwelling was visited by five different Feng Shui consultants, all five producing different opinions about said dwelling, by which means it was attempted to show there is no consistency in the professional practice of Feng Shui.
Times change—20 years ago, people saw yoga as a strange practice with no tangible physical benefits. Since then, we've been so widely exposed to its positive effects both on the body and mental health that it's become as mainstream as green juice. Similarly, the ancient Chinese spatial laws of feng shui in houses have only proliferated, with Gwyneth Paltrow and Marie Kondo among its most recent enthusiasts.

Since ancient times, the wise Chinese believed that amethyst, a purple crystal, can facilitate the professional relationships with the superiors, as well as with the field experts. It is recommended to place a tree made out of amethyst stones in the office, where it can balance the energies between colleagues and leaders, which, at the right time, will lead to a promotion.
In recent years,[when?] a new brand of easier-to-implement DIY Feng Shui known as Symbolic Feng Shui, which is popularized by best-selling author Lillian Too, is being practised by Feng Shui enthusiasts. It entails placements of auspicious (and preferably aesthetically pleasing) Five Element objects, such as Money God and tortoise, at various locations of the house so as to achieve a pleasing and substitute-alternative Productive-Cycle environment if a good natural environment is not already present or is too expensive to build and implement.

While side tables might seem like an afterthought, Cerrano says there are a number of things to consider when choosing them. “Typically, we want to have two side tables that are close to the same size and height," she says. "It relates to balance and equality—or at least respect—within that relationship with yourself and whoever you’re sharing a bedroom with.”


My bagua number is 1 and I have to sleep in the west area of my home. South is my best direction. Please can you tell me what I can do to lessen the effects of the west area in 2017. My walls are cream, side tables are cream, and my bedspread is silver grey. I do have difficulty having a restful sleep and often wake up several times in the night. Please will you advise. The TV is covered overnight.
"You should always be able to control the level of light in your bedroom," Brophy says. She recommends having lights on a dimmer, so you can have exactly as much or as little light as you want. "Lighting has such an effect on our moods and energy. I tell people to buy a few different kind of light bulbs and test them out," she says. "See what kind of light works best for you."

Similar to meditation, the practice of feng shui is deeply steeped in mindfulness, in slowing down and noticing the details in your life so that you can truly experience the present moment. The words "feng shui" are Chinese and translate to "wind" and "water." Wind is our breath, and humans are almost 60 percent water. Wind and water are vital elements for life, as is feng shui! Historically, feng shui has roots in Taoism and Buddhism. However, elements of feng shui are palpable in every culture across time. For instance, these days we can all feel the difference between a New York City apartment and a quiet hidden cabin in the forest, and we understand that our surroundings greatly affect our energy.

WHO -- Purvi Sevak, 31, an economics professor, and her husband, Jeff Hubbard, 39, a portfolio manager, shown with their daughter, Qatalina, 8 weeks WHAT -- 3-bedroom house WHERE -- Bethel, Me. Purvi: We live in Manhattan, and we've always wanted a country house surrounded by nature. When we bought this land, people would say, ''If you'd clear those trees, you'd have a great view.'' We'd think: How are trees not a view?
To maintain the peacefulness of your bedroom, keep it a work-free zone. That means keeping any work-related materials off of your night tables and moving your laptop and phone away from your bed. We know—this can be difficult in today's age of working from home, particularly if you live in a tight apartment. “If you're limited in space and must work in your bedroom, be sure your work area is as far from the bed as possible, and use a screen or plants to hide the area at night,” says Olmstead.
Life is insanely busy, so in theory, we all should have a serene place to escape to at the end of the day to relax and refresh, but let's be honest—most of us put those bedroom refocusing goals on the back burner. But today is the day you actually commit to revamping your sleeping space and turn it into a total zen zone, and feng shui is a good place to start. It's an ancient practice that aims to create harmony between you and your environment. While it may seem mysterious and complicated at first, feng shui expert Catherine Brophy knows the easiest ways to incorporate it into your day-to-day life.

Westerners were criticized at the start of the anti-Western Boxer Rebellion for violating the basic principles of feng shui in the construction of railroads and other conspicuous public structures throughout China. However, today, feng shui is practiced not only by the Chinese, but also by Westerners and still criticized by Christians around the world. Many modern Christians have an opinion of feng shui similar to that of their predecessors:[79]
Rectangular or square tables are OK in the dining room because, even though they have corners, no one will be sitting in front of a point, as they might with a coffee table. But if a circular or oval table fits perfectly, it's an excellent choice. Natural materials, like wood, feel solid and warm. The sound of glass hitting glass can cause tension. And people get overly protective with glass tables—anything too precious brings on nervous energy.

Feng Shui is rooted in a holistic worldview. It sees all things and creatures as part of a natural order, a vast environment that is alive and in flux, ever moving and changing. Each thing in this natural order is equally alive and has an energetic value or component. So everything — plants, animals, people, and things — exists in a vast landscape that swirls with vital energy. The same energy that flows through the world flows through you as well. In fact, according to this view, your essence — the part of you that makes you alive, unique, and vital — is this energy. And your body is the vehicle or environment in which this essence flows.
Use your feng shui birth element to help create a home that nourishes and supports your energy. For example, if your birth element is Fire, you can introduce the expressions of the Fire element, such as triangular shapes or the Fire colors: red, orange, purple, magenta, pink, and yellow. You will also want a strong Wood element in your home, as Wood feeds the Fire element in the productive cycle of the five feng shui elements.

Astrid Madsen is the editor of SelfBuild & Improve Your Home magazine. She previously held the same role in an Irish trade publication, before that she worked at the National Standards Authority of Ireland. She graduated with a BA in Urban Studies from Columbia University in New York and holds an MBA from the Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles in Madrid. France of origin, she now lives in Portarlington, County Laois, where she's taken on the task of renovating a listed building! Email astrid.madsen@selfbuild.ie

Electronics, such as your smartphone or alarm clock, are great human inventions. It tells you the current time and give you your friend’s Facebook status updates. However, most of us are addicted to our smartphones, and staring at this artificial light before bed is wrecking your sleep. Remove them from easy-access, and you can find your sleep quality improve.
Just like making your bed in the morning, opening your blinds before you head out for work may not be engrained in your daily rituals, but it should be: "Opening your blinds and your windows (if weather permits) during the day is a wonderful habit to acquire," says Cerrano. "This is called letting the outside in. It helps to refresh the energy by allowing natural light and fresh air to filter into your bedroom. At night, close the windows and blinds as to keep the fresh energy circulating inside your bedroom when sleeping." Even if you won't be there to enjoy the natural light, let it stream in while you're at work (just don't leave your windows opened and unattended—burglary is never good for feng shui).
Some say that sleeping above the kitchen stove brings bad energy that disturbs sleep and creates health issues. Though I do not disagree with them, what I do know is that your bedroom’s temperature may be higher than normal, caused by the cooking activities and the heat given off from the back of the refrigerator. Because the optimal temperature for sleep is around 65 degrees Fahrenheit, you may be losing on some quality sleep.
Nonetheless, after Richard Nixon journeyed to the People's Republic of China in 1972, feng shui became marketable in the United States and has since been reinvented by New Age entrepreneurs for Western consumption. Critics of contemporary feng shui are concerned that with the passage of time much of the theory behind it has been lost in translation, not paid proper consideration, frowned upon, or even scorned. Robert T. Carroll sums up what feng shui has become in some instances:
The Chi Lin is a mythical Chinese creature with the head of a Dragon, the body of a Horse, and the scales of a Carp fish. Also called the Dragon Horse, or the Chinese Unicorn, Chi Lin brings strong, protective feng shui energy with blessings of good health and prosperity. Chi Lin is very loyal to its owner and will protect the house from evil spirits. This mythical creature has a higher royal status than other feng shui guardians. 
Speaking of beds, they should always have a headboard. In feng shui, headboards provide a feeling of support in life. If you have a box spring only, you can get a headboard separately, but make sure to attach it very well to the bed. You don’t want it to wobble! When choosing a headboard, go for one that has soft edges whenever possible. Heavy cast-iron headboards or ones that have bars have that same "cutting" energy you're trying to avoid in such a relaxing space. Instead, I recommend ones that are made of fabric, as they provide a soft, inviting feel. Platform beds are great too, but make sure that the platform has no sharp angles where you could hurt your shins.

The new house you just bought can be a feng shui disaster. You can save yourself a lot of grief, loss and misfortune in years to come. You will be living in the house quite a long time, hopefully for a lifetime. So you must look for a good feng shui house that helps you pile up wealth and nurture great relationships and brings you health, happiness and vitality. 
If there are areas or objects in your home that are collecting dust, it may symbolize areas of your life that are stagnant and ignored. If you don’t need that object, maybe it’s time to donate it. And if there’s a room you haven’t stepped foot in, maybe it’s time to peek inside. It can be as simple as taking the time to move things around to stir up some good energy.
Nature creates a sense of peace. In fact, research shows that viewing nature reduces anger and anxiety and enhances feelings of pleasure. So flood your home with natural light, open windows and doors to let fresh air inside, and bring plants indoors. Decorate with bamboo, wood, or wicker, and use stones and rocks to add texture. You can also adorn the walls with paintings of nature and its serenity.
The first step to creating a calm, relaxed environment is making sure your surroundings are clean and clutter-free. Do a deep clean and pull everything out of your closet, vacuum under the bed, and force yourself to get rid of stuff you don't love. "Evaluate what's around you and allow yourself to streamline," Brophy says. "If you have clothes you know you'll never wear again, give them to charity. Don't let them take up your energy."

So what is feng shui and why is it so difficult to understand it? Well, for one, feng shui is a very, very old art and science. Its history goes back thousands of years. That is really, really old, which means really, really easy to misinterpret. Because feng shui is such an ancient body of knowledge, it has also been fully “steeped” in cultural stereotypes. This makes it very important to distinguish between the culturally specific expressions of energy and the very essence of any given form of energy.
The five elements can interact in any number of ways, some constructive and some destructive. In the constructive cycle, for example, water provides moisture for trees (wood) to grow; wood then becomes a fuel for fire; the residue of fire is ash or soil; the ash/soil is the essence of earth minerals that form metals; and as metal cool, they allow water to condense, completing the cycle. In a destructive cycle, on the other hand, metal can cut wood; and wood can grow over and consume soil.  
According to feng shui expert, Rodika Tchi, Chi is manifested in yin yang characteristics, or the idea that our universe is made up of two opposing yet deeply interconnected forces of Yin and Yang. It is important to identify sources of imbalance and create once again the right amount for those that occupy a particular space and also for the space's original purpose. For example, a bedroom should be a place of rest and not of entertainment - at least not of electronic entertainment anyway - and there are specific feng shui guidelines you can follow to ensure this.
Everything you place in your bedroom has a profound effect on the flow of chi energy. You want to ensure auspicious energy flows easily between the bedroom door and windows. By keeping this natural pathway free of clutter and large pieces of furniture, such as chairs and armoires, you'll prevent stagnant chi and enhance all activities that take place inside your bedroom. Marks' last bit of feng shui advice for your bedroom is to "please understand that there's no such thing as 100 percent perfect feng shui. Use these principles to do the best you can with what you have and resolve to enjoy your home and your life!"

The Tortoise is one of the four Celestial Animals, or Guardians in feng shui, which are the Green Dragon (East), the Red Phoenix (South), the White Tiger (West) and the Black Tortoise (North). Considered to be the guardians of good feng shui energy, the roots of their symbolism and feng shui use go deep to the feng shui beginnings, or the landscape school of feng shui. This brings us to the first feng shui use of turtles, or tortoises in feng shui, which is the feng shui use as a protection cure. 
While this may seem like an obvious problem to tackle around the house, we are all too guilty of accumulating tchotchkes that don't play a specific function in the home. According to Benko, clutter is more than just visually displeasing: "It's an energetic anchor that impedes the best things from unfolding in our lives," she says. "An excessive amount of clutter stops us from having clarity of thought, and can weigh us down emotionally." Feng shui is less about having an overly perfectly styled home, and more about creating a happy and healthy environment. 
The flowers are blooming and spring is in the air! Since Spring is the time for spring cleaning, now is the time to rethink, reorganize and revitalize your house with a little Feng Shui. Here are 9 simple tips for bringing positivity into your home with Feng Shui design principles. Nine is the most auspicious number in Feng Shui, so if you can manage to do all nine of these, you will attract even more good energy!
A common place for storage in the bedroom is usually under the bed, but Cerrano believes it's not good practice: "This may not be the most ideal place for extra storage. Why? From a feng shui perspective, storage under the bed can obstruct your sleeping pattern because the movement of energy cannot flow evenly around the energy fields of your bed. For instance, shoes are suggested to be stored in closets because they symbolise other people potentially taking advantage of you."
Polarity is expressed in feng shui as yin and yang theory. Polarity expressed through yin and yang is similar to a magnetic dipole. That is, it is of two parts: one creating an exertion and one receiving the exertion. Yang acting and yin receiving could be considered an early understanding of chirality.[clarification needed] The development of this theory and its corollary, five phase theory (five element theory), have also been linked with astronomical observations of sunspots.[31]
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