The popular practice of feng shui, pronounced fung shway, teaches us that our home is more than just bricks and mortar. It is in fact a living and breathing extension of us.

Feng shui literally means wind and water, and with its principles dating back 5,000 years, more people are using feng shui to promote prosperity, good health and general wellbeing.

Put simply, feng shui examines how energy, qi (pronounced chee), flows through a particular room, house, building or garden. Have you ever been into a house and wondered why it has bad energy? Perhaps it has bad qi.

Interestingly, when China was under imperial rule, feng shui was a secret, known only to a handful of astronomers and scientists commissioned with maintaining the health, wealth and power of the court. Imperial palaces and cities were planned according to feng shui, which became a principle of classical Chinese architecture. Beijing’s Forbidden City is an example.

Today, you can also apply this ancient philosophy in your own home by following these tips to arrange your rooms or place objects in such a way as to promote harmony and a good flow of qi.

Allow the space at your front door to be free and clear to allow the qi to flow freely through your home. Avoid loss of good qi by placing a screen against the entrance. Also shoes at the door result in bad qi.

Be aware of corners or alcoves which are dead areas for the flow of qi. Use colour and light to lift these areas. You can also place a pot plant with round leaves there.

The layout of your living room is very important. Ensure your seating is arranged in a circle or octagon and is conducive to conversation.

Try not to sleep on mattresses on the floor, as it can cause you to be sick frequently. The reason is: qi is not able to flow underneath the bed and becomes blocked with stale energy.

Avoid positioning your bed with the foot facing the door. And always have a solid wall behind your bed. This is important if you want a good night’s rest.

Use strategic mirror placement in your home to reflect pleasant views into the room.

There should be no beam on top of your bed. The beam above causes the qi to be pressured and it is believed to result in your having pressures in your life.

Avoid giving the television a place of importance in the room. The television should be enclosed in a cabinet.

Place an indoor water feature in your home. Position it in a favourable area to attract whatever you want in your life.

In your kitchen, ensure that opposite your stove there is no refrigerator, sink, or dishwasher. The fire and water clash causing household members to have disagreements.

If you have a fish tank in your house, be careful. A fish tank placed correctly can bring about greater fortune. But if positioned incorrectly it can cause you to have many troubles and problems. If you noticed any of these after placing your fish tank for approximately four months, shift your tank to another location.

Always open your windows for at least 20 minutes a day to allow fresh qi to come in.

There should be no mirrors opposite your bed or at the side of your bed. Mirrors opposite the bed can attract a third party in the relationship. Hmmm -¦

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