Andrew Johnson mAMH. mBANT. NTCC. CNHC. Herbalist & Nutritional Therapist

Feng Shui

....and the influence of the environment

In my work as a nutritional and herbal practitioner I often suspect that someone may be at least partly influenced by their home or work environment. So in the Spring of 2009 I did some training in feng shui with The School of Energy Awareness, and since then I have continued to study and practice feng shui, and also studied more about environmental influences from modern types of hidden pollution. I also use kinesiology to test people in their homes and work places to check if they are being affected there.

I believe the influence of someone’s environment should be part of a holistic approach, and for some people it may be an important part.

About Feng Shui

Most of us are aware that some places can have an atmosphere or ‘spirit’ that affects us when we are in them, but these effects are often ignored or not considered significant. In feng shui, a place is always considered to have either a positive or negative effect regardless of how much we feel a particular atmosphere or not. The influence from the environment is also considered in most forms of traditional medicine to be important.

Feng shui developed in China over 4000 years ago and has been used ever since. In traditional cultures; systems like feng shui or vaastu shastra (in India) were used to help find the ideal place for different things, such as a farm, a home or business. They were developed for practical reasons and were based upon observation and experience. Buildings were positioned using a compass, geometry and astronomy to create the ideal influence of sun, winds, seasonal changes, lakes and rivers, good farm land or fertile soil for gardening, and so on. In these traditional systems they were also acutely aware of the influence of subtle energy known as Qi (or Chi)in China that flows through the environment and our bodies. This energy (pronounced chee) is the same energy that is used in acupuncture, and is similar to Prana, which is an important aspect of Yoga and the Vedic sciences of India.

I decided to learn to use aspects of feng shui because it is a sophisticated model for working with the environment of our homes and other places that has been used over thousands of years. It is basically an ancient environmental system that is still very popular and applicable today, with many large successful companies in the East (and some in the West) relying on it for the placement and design of their premises. They spend very large sums of money investing in feng shui.

Although improving your environment with feng shui may be an important part of a holistic approach, it is important to remember that it cannot replace other components that are necessary, such as for example a healthy diet, the right kind of exercise, and so on.

How I work with Feng Shui and the environment

There are several different traditional approaches or styles of feng shui, as well as some relatively modern developments based upon them. I have selected certain aspects of feng shui that I feel work best for me and this is the foundation for how I work with the environment. I combine this with testing using kinesiology of the individual in situ, to find out if anything is weakening them in their environment, and what their environment may benefit from. I also assess the home and garden using some of the traditional feng shui principles. This combination finds ways of balancing the feng shui and qi of a place so that it creates harmony and a positive flow of energy that suits the individual. I do not subscribe rigidly to all the beliefs or prescriptions used in all the different schools of feng shui, I focus on what weakens the person with testing, and what seems likely to create rebalance and improved energy in their environment for them. This will usually include traditional feng shui recommendations, but also other methods and more modern tools for helping to improve the environment.

Modern influences on the environment

Today when we consider the influence of our environment on wellbeing it is also important to include an assessment of additional influences such as the possibility of hidden chemical or electromagnetic pollution, or other subtle forms of radiation, the effects of stale or polluted air and water, or the influence from underground water, the effects of lighting (or a lack of light), and the effects of microwave technology – for which I use an electrosmog detector to detect microwave activity, and so on.

Understanding Qi and Feng Shui

Feng shui means ‘wind and water’, and this relates to the flow of these ‘qualities’ in the environment that are synonymous with the subtle energy known as Qi. Feng shui is also based upon a combination of several different traditional ways of understanding the universe, including the five elements, yin and yang, and the eight directions (or eight different forms of Qi), and the influence of the planets and stars. I particularly favour the influence of the eight different forms of Qi in my feng shui work. The existence of this kind of subtle energy is a central part of most traditional healing systems, including Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Ayurveda, the traditional healings systems of the West, and of native peoples worldwide in the form of shamanism. It is only in relatively recent times with the development of modern Western sciences that the existence of subtle energy such as Qi has been forgotten. However modern quantum physics has also begun to discover and understand the existence of subtle energy in ‘scientific’ terms.

Qi is what is being used when someone has acupuncture and it is also the energy that is utilised when doing Tai Qi (or Tai Chi), and Qi kung (Chi Gong), and some forms of the martial arts. Qi is considered to flow through the body and has a multitude of influences upon wellbeing. The similar energy of Prana is utilised when doing some forms of Yoga and Pranayama (Yogic breathing techniques). In traditional Chinese Medicine and culture Qi is also understood to flow in the environment, and has a powerful influence on how we our in an environment.

If you have had kinesiology testing done with me you may have already experienced the effects of Qi in the meridian system of the body, because I it may be this that is affected during the muscle testing for foods, remedies, and when you touch a particular acupuncture point. I suspect the reason your arm gets weaker on testing when you touch certain acu points is probably that a lot of the Qi in your body temporarily rushes to that point to tonify it, and therefore briefly there is less Qi elsewhere - so your arm or leg finds it harder to resist the push when tested. This may indicate that a particular meridian and what it represents (e.g. the liver, or colon) could need support. The traditional pulse taking I use is also a way of feeling the condition of the meridians, and this form of assessment is commonly used in both TCM and Ayurveda. There are twelve main meridians in the body that mainly relate to a specific organ or body system, and each one also has a sphere of influence over different aspects of our body-mind-emotions. Likewise in the environment (house, garden etc),feng shui works with the different forms of Qi that flow from different directions, and these are considered in fen shui to relate to different qualities such as health qi, creativity qi, wealth qi, sfame or ecurity and respect qi, relationship qi and so on. In this respect testing you and your environment for feng shui is similar to testing you to find weaknesses in the clinic – the way I use feng shui is in a sense extending this to your environment.

Using Feng Shui in the environment

In feng shui it is considered that the many different features in an environment affect the flow of the different forms of qi for good or ill, and this is one of the main influences I assess and advise on when doing feng shui, along with consideration of yin – yang, the elements and other aspects of feng shui. Traditionally feng shui is used to help solve problems or empower certain important aspects of life that relate to the different types of qi.

When choosing a room or building for a particular purpose it is also important in feng shui terms to choose a place with the best qi for that purpose and also for that person. When a room or building is not ideal for a particular purpose, or if someone is experiencing difficulties in a particular area of their life (or qi), there are numerous feng shui recommendations that can be applied to help balance the flow or quality of qi in a particular area that requires it. Sometimes it is simply a matter of moving an object to a different place, or of changing the colour of a wall, and sometimes it is a matter of bringing a new and very specific object into a particular place in a room or garden.

Feng Shui for the garden

You may have also noticed how some outside areas can also either make you feel uplifted, or relaxed, or good in some other way, or how they may make you feel not so good. and these can also influence how you feel inside the house. What is outside and nearby your house or work place, is considered in feng shui to also potentially to have a influence on the feng shui within the building, so it is important to include the garden or surrounding area of influence when doing feng shui.

Many years ago I also trained as a permaculture designer, and occasionally these principles along with testing the individual using kinesiology can be helpful along with the feng shui of a garden, and also how it influences the home or other buildings. When I do feng shui for a garden I will not have time to also do a full permaculture design, I but I will include permaculture principles and recommendations when this is appropriate.

Please note: although helping your environment may have a significant influence upon many aspects of life, it does not replace the need for other forms of help, or for an appropriate assessment of potential causes for problems in your life, such as a medical diagnosis and the right medicine if you have specific symptoms, see a dentist if you have a toothache, a builder if your house needs structural work, a psychotherapist if you having emotional or relationship difficulties, and so on.

If you would like to know more about having Feng Shui done for your home or work place please get in touch.

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