Spring is officially here and spring is a time to focus on renewal and revitalization. Many people are probably thinking about spring cleaning and refreshing your home. If you are interested in promoting your health while you clean, the Chinese art of feng shui has been used for centuries to align and to bring greater health, wealth, and happiness into your life. Here are some tips for this spring that transform your home and revitalize your health.
Start with Spring Cleaning
Before you start to revitalize your home, it is always smart to cleanse, detoxify, and let go of the past. If there are items in your home that do not bring you joy, discard them to free up space and bring in the new. Donate to a charity organization, organize a garage sale, or sell online the things you haven’t used in a long time. A good rule of thumb is that if you haven’t used something in a year, you can certainly live without it. Make it your new practice to get rid of one older item for every new thing you acquire.
Clean your living space thoroughly to remove stains, mold, and dirt. To keep toxins out of your home, try to clean using a non-toxic or all natural cleaner. Throw out junk piles and any indoor plants that didn’t make it through the winter. Repair or get rid of broken furniture, chipped dishes, and cracked mirrors—these reflect aspects of your life and health that are broken and can trap energy.
Balance the Energies
In feng shui, every space in the home should contain a balance of the five elements; wood, metal, water, earth, and fire. One easy way to achieve this is to include the colors and objects that correlate to each element.
Here is how to effectively use the elements for optimum health:
• South - correlates with fire and represents your passion, emotion, and connection with people. Make sure the area is well lit, open and airy—and the color in this section is red.
• Center - corresponds to earth and your personal nourishment. Make this area peaceful, spacious, and welcoming for friendly gatherings —and use yellow.
• East - matches up with wood and embodies your creativity and ability to grow. This area calls for lots of living plants, items made from wood and the color green.
• West - relates to metal, representing your self-expression. Use white in this area and feature solid, grounded objects like rocks, crystals or glass.
• North – corresponds to water, symbolizing your faith and inner strength. Dark blue or black is the color for this area; place a fountain here.
Here is an example of how you might put it all together with color and element. The family room may have a round metal-framed table (metal), a festive floor lamp (fire), cushioned walnut chairs (wood), walls painted yellow (earth), and a decorative fountain (water) bubbling in the north section.
Now that your home is in tiptop shape, it’s a good time to focus on your body. To keep all five elements healthy and get a whole body tune-up, try a balanced combination of 44 traditional Chinese herbs that support healthy function of the bodily systems, the Five Elements of Health Formula.
Let in the Light
Every spring in traditional Chinese households, the bedding and sheets are taken outside to bake in the sun, which is thought to rid them of dampness and stale energy. In fact, ultraviolet light has been found to have sterilizing and antiseptic properties. Sunlight also stimulates your body’s defense mechanisms and eliminates dampness. In our homes, as in our bodies, dampness is a factor that breeds mold and fungus, causing allergies, tiredness, and illness.
With feng shui, we seek to achieve an alignment that promotes wellness. The preferred window and door exposures are to the south, because abundant sunlight helps to prevent dampness and microbe accumulation. If your surroundings don't have southern exposure or tend towards dampness, I recommend installing an air filtration system or air purifier that uses ultraviolet technology to kill mold and fungus. Full-spectrum light bulbs are also helpful.
Rejuvenate and Regulate with Plants
Chinese Medicine has long recognized that a healthy balance must be struck between dampness and dryness. Dampness can create mold and encourage organisms that invade the lungs. Dryness, on the other hand, can harm your mucus membranes and cause respiratory problems. Both extremes can negatively affect your health, so it’s important to maintain proper humidity in your house. Thousands of years back, the Chinese discovered that certain plants act as indoor air regulators. Nowadays we have learned from scientific research that these particular plants do a better job of balancing humidity than most mechanical systems. Simultaneously, the plants filter out airborne toxins, such as carbon dioxide, formaldehyde, and benzene. Your best bets are bamboo, chrysanthemum, ivy, lily, and palm.
May you Live Long, Live Strong, and Live Happy!
--Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on Dr. Oz, the Doctors and EXTRA. Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness over 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310-917-2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at email@example.com.