feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of arranging and placing objects in our environment. This well-thought-out spatial layout facilitates the optimal circulation of energy (qi). Qi circulates throughout our body and imbalance occurs when that Qi becomes excessive, stagnant or deficient. The Asian worldview perceives our bodies as a microcosm of the universe, and therefore the same principles apply. It is this reasoning that forms the basis of feng shui, which works to correct environmental imbalances due to overactive, clogged, or insufficient qi flow.
Most feng shui principles are extensions of common sense. Many people are sensitive to the flow of qi out of their bodies, and intuition guides them to favor areas with smooth and easy qi flow. We’ve all experienced the difference between walking into a room that feels uncomfortable and walking into a room that feels good. It’s amazing how a few simple feng shui guidelines can transform the energy of a space and result in positive implications for all its occupants.
Reading: Massage room decorating feng shui
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The following are seven feng shui tips for optimizing the energy of a massage practice:
- Entrance area: The space where someone first enters your practice is considered an auspicious place. because one can stop here when entering or exiting, they are affected by the qi flowing through it. entrance halls without windows or doors, or closed in some way, can cause qi to become stagnant. strategically placed mirrors, a small water feature, or a ceiling fan can create the movement needed to break energy stagnation.
- sharp angles: according to anne mansfield, executive director of the International Feng Shui Guild based in Beaverton, Oregon, “In a wellness practice, you want to have smooth edges, nothing sharp or pointed because you’re dealing with people who are vulnerable and need to be treated with care.” solutions to soften sharp or protruding angles include soft, comfortable seating, dim lighting, and plants or statues facing those angles.
- water fountain: this brings in the element of water and creates energetic movement. a water fountain in the actual treatment room can create too much activity to ensure a relaxing experience for the client. it can also influence bladder activity and can break up a session with one or two trips to the bathroom. since the southeast corner is considered the “money area,” placing a fountain here is said to bring good luck and financial prosperity.
- roof joists: the joists higher generate negative energy that is directed downwards. a beam on the recipient of the massage will exert an invisible pressure on that person. if a ceiling joist in the treatment room is unavoidable, bamboo flutes hung properly on the joist can relieve that tight feeling.
- massage table location: massage therapists generally work in small rooms. as such, there may not be many options for how to position the massage table. Two feng shui standards include avoiding feet or head directly facing the door. the client (in supine position) should be able to see the door. if a person cannot see someone entering the room, he may become frightened, which disrupts relaxation. the worst position for a massage table is directly in front of the door with the client’s feet facing the door. this is called the “coffin position” because in ancient China the dead were placed with their feet towards the door to facilitate access to heaven. the “coffin position” drains all the good luck and energy from that person.
- wall color: while red is a desired color to bring fame and benefit a company’s reputation, avoid using it in the treatment room. the red color is energizing and therefore can prohibit a restful experience. the soft, muted colors found in nature are your best bets for promoting relaxation and healing.
- rocks: a bowl of smooth, polished river stones on the ground , under the massage table, is a simple way to encourage energetic grounding. stones are yin in nature and therefore ground us and provide stability. when combined with the yang activity of massage, rocks bring balance to a session and ground both practitioner and recipient.
If these seven tips don’t initiate the positive changes you may be looking for, consider hiring a professional feng shui consultant. These people have been trained in the complexities of environmental energy flow and are increasingly tasked with designing buildings and fixing failing business locations. While bringing a feng shui expert into your practice may seem like a leap of faith, that leap can pay off in both your personal and business lives.
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