Tag Archives: Health

Easy Ways to Refresh Your Space and Spirit for Spring

Bedroom night table no clutter, no electronics.

Bedroom night table no clutter, no electronics.

Spring is (almost) here! Let’s lighten and refresh our environments with a few easy actions that will also lighten and refresh our spirit!

Feng Shui Bedroom
Remove stacks of books or magazines from bedstands or night tables. Also, minimize the number of electronic devices plugged into the wall (computer, smartphone, alarm clock, TV). Each of these quick fixes will make the bedroom environment more restful.
To strengthen the restful nature of your bedroom even more, change the color/pattern of your bed linens to ones that are harmonious with your unique 5-Elements composition.

Get rid of items in your home that you see on a daily basis, which have negative associations for you. For instance, something that was purchased at a difficult time in your life, or that reminds you of a relationship that went sour. Of course the smaller the object the easier, but do your best.

Engage the Senses
Bringing fresh air and sunlight into your home will refresh and engage the senses. Clean the windows, open them to let fresh air in. Open the doors between rooms to let air circulate. Play upbeat, positive and relaxing music while you’re making these changes. Use flowers, fruit and maybe even cookie-baking for naturally beautiful fragrance to waft through your home.

By February 9th Place Pussy Willow Branches to Enliven Stagnant Energy

Allow the pussy willow branches to spread wide for most positive effect.

Allow the pussy willow branches to spread wide for most positive effect.

Feng Shui tip: Uplift the yin chi (low energy) of a stagnant corner with pussywillow branches for Lunar New Year.[/caption]Uplift the energy in your home with pussywillow branches. These harbingers of Spring will enliven the energy of a stagnant corner. This year best to choose one close to the center of your home. Pussywillow branches are perfectly in tune with an optimistic auspicious energy to welcome the New Lunar Year (Chinese New Year). Place a generous bunch in a tall vase in your chosen spot by February 9th for maximum energy effect.

New Year’s Reflections

flowersThere’s another 10 hours to reflect and calm ourselves as we put 2012 behind us. We clear ourselves and open up to the new possibilities that 2013 will offer us.

Before (or instead of) dipping into the champagne in overcrowded parties and overpriced clubs, dip into a sea-salt bath to purify from head to toe (completely immerse yourself), meditating on clearing the mind and body of all negativity built up during the year. Bring some fresh flowers into your home today to help uplift your spirits.

Think of your accomplishments in 2012. Look at visual reminders: did you get an award or a diploma? Pictures of places or people that brought you happiness? Focus on what has made you grateful and feeling good about yourself in this year so you can move forward with a positive outlook.

Tomorrow, New Years Day, try a news-fast. There is so much going on in the world, much of it tragic, horrifying or catastrophic, that when we become immersed in these packets of negative information we feel agitated and helpless. Going without news at least one day a week is good for our minds as we can become grounded and centered in the present moment and its infinite attributes rather than letting our minds zoom around to the hundreds or thousands of virtual things that compel our attention.

Wishing inner and outer harmony, integrity and peace of mind to all people in 2013.

2011 Lunar New Year 3-Day Luck-Changing Opportunities, Part 2 of 3

Vibrant colored flowers auspicious for the Lunar New Year

Feb 2, 2011 , the day before the Lunar New Year is as important a Chinese holiday as the day itself – as important as Thanksgiving is in the US for families getting together sharing an important meal together.  Here is a list of wonderful ways to celebrate and prepare for the change of energy in the renewal of the coming Spring and the new Rabbit cycle of 2011.  As many of these as you can do will heighten your appreciation and your luck in this cycle:

1.    In the afternoon, set time aside to have a prayer of gratitude to the protection and blessings of the previous year regardless of any challenge you had to face.  Pray for continuous or increased blessings.  A grateful heart is at peace which can channel positive energy in the coming year more easily.

2.    Prepare a tray with treats that consists of candies and other sweets to consume throughout the new year period.

3.    Keep your environment neat

4.     Have a reunion dinner with family, loved ones.  Close friends with whom you feel good can substitute if your blood relatives are too far away or if you don’t get along with family well.  This food should be a celebratory abundance of many things and traditionally consisting of fish as saying “having fish” in Chinese is a homonym (sounds the same as)  “having abundant harvest.”

5.    During dinner, the young pays respect to the elders to conclude the last cycle by wishing the elders good health, long life and fortune in the new year.

6.     Married elders would give a red envelope with money to the singles in the group or everyone for a more joyous all-inclusive fun.  Everyone who receives the red envelope places it under their pillow through the night symbolizing good luck & increased fortune carried over into the new year.

7.    Before 11pm, do a bathing ritual to release the old energy of the waning Tiger year.  Use your altar or a quiet spot in your home that you could connect with the divine energy to have a prayer of gratitude to the last cycle that is about to complete.  Pray and/or visualize the pressure and negative energy would be cleansed away during the bath.

8.     Prepare the bath with natural sea salt and 3 different vibrant colors of flower petals and submerge yourself from head to toe into the tub holding your breath for a few seconds at a time and repeat this step a few times, consciously releasing all the emotional, energetic, intellectual and physical challenges you have experienced throughout the Tiger year.

9.     Right before 11pm when the Lunar New Year about to begin (not midnight), light red candles at good luck positions according to Feng Shui to kick off the new year.  Traditionally, this red candle is then used to set off firecrackers which is hardly legal anymore in most cities – but the candles at the positive meridians in your home bring the good fortune as well.

Additional red candles can also be lit at lower energy spots of the space to lift the overall energy.  (Tip 1: Place the red candle centered in a hurricane glass candle shade to protect from drafts.  Follow Fire Department suggestions about never leaving candles unattended, and make sure to extinguish them before you go to bed.

(Tip 2, for added positive energy, at least three days prior to February 1st, place the new unlit candles where the sun can shine on them,  sprinkle drops of Blessed Holy Water from church or other methods in your spiritual belief system that can program positive energy into this new light which initiates a new cycle for you and your family).

The noise of the firecrackers represents Yang Chi that flushes out old, stagnant energy with a new boost of vibrant energy to receive the new year.  Nowadays, you could substitute this with ringing wind chime or banging a gong throughout your environment as you walk around making noise with it.  These objects should be of metal substance that has a high pitch with vibration that radiates.

10.  For those around you, say well wishes to them like “wishing you good health, happiness, wealth, good grades or whatever you know is good for the person receiving the blessings”.

11- Conclude the night with a prayer of gratitude for the divine blessings that enabled you to do this cleansing ritual and start fresh and blessed.  This could be at the altar or the quiet, positive energy spot of your home in accordance with Feng Shui.  Ideally, at this altar space, fresh vibrant color flowers, fruits and other offerings is already placed.

Our thoughts are powerful – as a person thinks so he or she becomes.  This belief or way of being is especially important in the Lunar new year.

12- Wear a new set of pajamas to bed on this night.

Insomnia and Yang Chi

Insomnia is so common now. Even though many of us feel helpless about it, it is almost completely avoidable by aligning ourselves with the Yin/Yang energy patterns of the Mother Earth as she rotates around the Sun. It is curable if one knows how to tap into the ancient Chinese secret of balance of the Yin Yang and Five Elements in us and around us through the concept of Feng Shui. According to this concept, each day is about the constant interchanging cycle of Yin (night, passive) and Yang (day, active). These cycles are predictable, but our lives are structured to our own ‘modern’ timetables and after a while we seem to lose our center. restful sleepAccording to the Chinese Astrological system, there are twelve Rising Signs (two hour-duration) per day in the odd number sequence and the last two Rising signs in each day that begins at 7pm ending at 11pm are rising Yin winding down physical and mental activity at that time is most beneficial.

It is entertainment and commercialism that mess up our “back to nature and simplicity” mode. Are we advanced, or just needlessly complex? When we don’t have any ill-effects to our ordinary behavior we keep on doing it. However, if one has insomnia it is time to take more care. As the day winds down into evening and night, we can consider winding down as well – avoiding Yang Chi activities after 7pm or so, depending on the degree of the problem. When everything is okay and our sleep is good, we order dessert & coffee after dinner, watch that episode of True Blood or Dexter (or the evening news for that matter), hang out on the computer an extra couple of hours and still sleep like babies. Even so, to keep demanding our systems to be in Yang mode after the daily energy shift into passive Yin mode is considered a slow form of suicide in the Chinese healing system. Healthcare reform that divides the U.S. now has overlooked that education to change our habits can reduce the long term cost of premature failing of health.

Even if we can’t be perfectly in harmony with the daily Yin/Yang energy shifts, any incremental improvement will aid our health. From 9pm to 11pm at night focus on yin activities: Power down the TV and computer a little earlier. Avoid difficult tense interactions after dark. Avoid intense or violent stories (whether in newspapers or novels). Schedule exercise for earlier in the day. Instead opt for a cleansing bath with sea salts or relaxing scents like lavender. Companionable time with loved ones – no drama! Drink sleep-promoting herbal tea such as chamomile. Listen to gentle relaxing music. Meditate or read uplifting material. Allow the troubles of the day to melt away.

In the bedroom, I encourage people to reduce the number of electronic devices – if possible no TV, computer, or even electric alarm clock. Keep the vibrations as peaceful as possible.

If you are extra sensitive or already experiencing insomnia, staying away from fruits at night may even be necessary because of its glucose. To slowly fade out of the sleeping pill dependency, some have used Tylenol PM with success. Starting with 2 pills as substitute for a round or two through the night, then, to one per night and eventually none is the ideal dosage.

For those who live in New York City or other places that have Chinese herbalists , insomnia could be cured by Chinese herbs. Calming and strengthening your system through herbs is achievable – and with no risk of addiction. If we want to have long term health, 11pm to 3am while the Chi rotates to liver that detox and produces blood, we should be asleep or laying down. Hopefully, these do’s and don’ts can help many people regain their ability to create quality sleep. Rest well and Peace!

Resetting Your Energy for Autumn: Good Health & Balance

Autumn garden, New York City

Autumn garden, New York City

The ancient Chinese healing systems suggest adapting our behaviors with the seasons for optimum health of body mind & spirit. Through Feng Shui, herbal healing, acupuncture, acupressure, QiQong, tai chi,… the focus is on maintaining balance, thus preventing health problems as much as possible. It is typical in China, or even in the Chinese neighborhoods of New York City and San Francisco for instance to see many people (including senior citizens) doing tai chi in public parks every morning. This activity stimulates energy of mind and body, enlivening the spirit as well. For over 35 years I have been studying the wisdom traditions of China and bringing this wisdom to the West.

The threat of Swine flue this year makes the season change a little more risky, so it is even more important to build up our immune systems starting now and throughout the Autumn. After speaking to my herbalist today, who said that many more people than usual have already been coming to her with cough, respiratory and colds, I am bringing back a few of her tips that I like to share with you:

The Yin and Yang energy within our system is resetting, so, it is best that we should avoid cold drinks or snack if possible. We should be sure to drink plenty of water and herbal teas to detox and flush out replaced cells. There are different kinds of herbal drinks and soups that the Chinese cook for transitional season like this, but, for western people, intake more fluid or fruits of a soothing nature like pears or berries can be helpful as substitute. The objective in the Chinese healing system at this time is to “Nurture and moisten our systems” that strengthen our kidneys, brighten our sight, moisten our lung and calm our hearts. Staying away from fried food now would be helpful and needed since the air would be getting drier and dehydrating foods take a toll on our bodies. If you are serious in the natural way of preventive healing, try to steep this tea at night before you retire: steep a few chrysanthemum flowers with Goji fruit (or sugarless Goji juice) for a few minutes before you drink it warm. To promote quality rest that builds the immune system, you could dip your feet in warm water that can help relax you.

Before the rush of the holiday seasons, correct the energy of your home as I posted here. And before the weather gets too cold, maximize the chance for meeting of the minds with your love ones through using the energy from outdoor as I posted here. If you like to keep busy and make some changes at home, follow the Five Elements guideline here that can help to improve the grades of your child. A well know Chinese proverb, “Success is having good timing, networking and location (Feng Shui)” and you can click here to learn how to put all the elements together to work for you. And, of course, you can visit my website for information about the ancient art and science of Feng Shui and my background as a Feng Shui Master.

If you live in the New York Tri-state area, tune in on 9/13/2009 Sunday at 7:30pm in WNYE NYC TV network to see my interview by host Sue Robinson about Feng Shui.

Good luck as you rejuvenate, recharge and refresh for better body, mind, spirit and environment too!