Mind & Body

The Healing Home

Make your house a haven of healthy energy.
The Healing Home
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Feng shui is more than an elaborate decorating scheme. The ancient Chinese art of balancing your environment's energy flow, known as qi ("chee"), can nurture your health and foster longevity.

"The atmosphere of your home will affect you on a physical level," explains feng shui consultant Lillian Bridges. "For example, insomnia might be related to having too much light in your bedroom, while inflammatory problems might be aggravated by environments that are too chaotic. To a large degree, feng shui is basically common sense combined with good aesthetics."

To bring positive, health-enhancing energy into your home, ask yourself: What isn't working in my life? What kind of health conditions am I dealing with? "If you're depressed, your house may be too dark; bringing in fire energy with more light and warm colors like pinks and peaches can lift your spirits," Bridges says.

She also suggests covering your windows at night, and guarding your house with such protective symbols as a crimson phoenix, green dragon, or white tiger. "If you don't feel safe, this can damage the nervous system and lead to stress-related problems like stomachaches and headaches."

A home filled with clutter can create a "stale energy" that weakens the immune system, according to Total Feng Shui author Lillian Too. Toss out old papers, unwanted clothes, and other inessential belongings at least once a year. Take good care of your plumbing, which Too calls "the arteries of the home." And as you're freeing up energy blockages, beautify your house by adding qi-enhancing color to cluttered and dark spaces. Too recommends painting these areas white to invite in active energy, and brightening with soft, warm light.