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Did you know that feng shui and traditional Chinese medicine are linked? It’s true!

Both traditional Chinese medicine and feng shui have origins in the I Ching, an ancient text that is the source of the Chinese philosophy of Taoism. Taoism emphasises the importance of following the natural order of things by observing the energetic rhythms and laws of the universe to live in balance and harmony. By observing and analysing nature thousands of years ago, the Taoists developed an understanding of the subtleties of energy throughout the universe and the interplay of these energies on the landscapes of the body and the environment. They developed an understanding of the energetic properties of plants and the flow of energy through the meridians of the body, giving rise to the development of herbal theory and acupuncture.

Energy flow

Chinese medicine and feng shui philosophies both observe the flow of energies: they analyse the state of Qi and the way it exists in the body and in the environment. They decipher the balance of yin and yang and the harmony of the five elements - fire, earth, metal, water and wood. Just as maintaining balance and harmony within the body is fundamental in traditional Chinese medicine, maintaining balance and harmony within a person's living and working environment is fundamental for good feng shui. Favourable feng shui exists where auspicious Qi gathers and accumulates; this Qi is vibrant and lively. Unfavourable feng shui occurs when Qi becomes blocked, heavy, weakened, stagnant or poisonous. While truly customised feng shui is complex and takes many factors into consideration, these key concepts can be applied to create favourable feng shui in any home or workplace.

1. Enhance the flow of Qi Keep spaces tidy. Clutter represents obstacles and stagnation, removing the stagnation will improve energy flow, health and good fortune. If possible shelves should have doors, as shelves are said to cut energy fields and are particularly harmful in bedrooms.

2. Balance Yin and Yang Yang is the vibrant, lively energy that is essential for vitality and health, and is created by sunlight, fresh air, pets, young children, and sound. Light-refracting crystals that reflect rainbows as well as wind chimes, bells and music are often used as feng shui cures to symbolise and enhance Yang Qi and to displace heavy Yin energy in living spaces.

3. Sleeping position is important A bedroom is a Yin space and should not be activated with the Yang energy of plants, or be overly decorated or have busy design elements. Avoid triangles on bedlinen, as they represent poison arrow energy. Soft colours and plain designs are best.

4. Have plants or trees around you They bring vibrant energy to a space and are considered good feng shui as they represent growth and development. This energising quality is most beneficial in a living space. Spiky cacti or plants with barbs or thorns should be avoided as they are said to create unfavourable poison arrow energy. Lush green plants with rounded leaves and fresh flowers (with thorns removed) are the best selections; however they should be replaced if they wilt as unhealthy or dried flowers are give unfavourable feng shui.

Shura Ford is a doctor of Chinese medicine. Contact her at Ford Wellness Group, www.fordwellnessgroup.com.au