Feng shui is a Chinese philosophy based on the idea of using spatial arrangement to affect the flow of energy. According to the philosophy, this arrangement creates a balance that positively affects the practitioner’s lifestyle in numerous ways. Each room in the host adheres to feng shui principles in its own way. Traditionally, the bathroom presents some energy-related problems. Luckily, feng shui practitioners can fix this with a few simple tips and cures.
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Much of feng shui is based on the ba gua, a traditional Chinese map of balanced spaces. As the map predates modern plumbing, it does not illustrate bathroom placement. This raises the question of what makes a well-placed bathroom according to feng shui. Keep in mind that bathrooms have a constant draining effect, displacing important energy known as “chi.” Author Stephanie Roberts of Fast Feng Shui.com says to avoid a bathroom in the front hall or close to a home's main entrance as it drains chi before it can enter the home. Likewise, a second-floor commode above the front entrance cycles negative chi downward, while an upstairs bathroom above the kitchen funnels extinguishing water energy onto the fire energy of the hearth. Avoid bathrooms in the home's centre, as they drain chi at a central point. If given the choice, place your bathroom in locations near the rear of the home or in secluded non-central locations that don't affect the chi of nearby areas.
Many of us don't choose the placement of our bathrooms; luckily, feng shui cures exist to counter troubled locations. If you feel your bathroom is draining chi from an important ba gua area—such as family, creativity or wisdom areas—place a long mirror on the bathroom door to redirect the energy. To prevent further loss of chi, close all the bathroom drains and the toilet seat when not in use. A bathroom at the centre of the home calls for red-painted walls and a large “earth object”--something of stone or crystal, such as a ceramic vase—in each corner. Bathrooms located over the kitchen may benefit from earth objects in all corners, a three-inch round mirror on the ceiling and a faceted crystal hanging from the room's centre. Downstairs rooms affected by downward funnelling negative energy can use images of birds or trees to lift energy upward.
Perhaps most importantly, keep your bathroom clean, well-ventilated and well-ordered. The constant flow of chi can affect the rest of the home, and a dirty space will negatively affect said chi. Consider accenting the bathroom with earth objects and bamboo, which grows upward and represents profit. Allow natural light and air to flow into the bathroom using windows and mirrors, and avoid keeping family pictures in this space. Keep a screen or curtain between the shower and toilet areas and avoid decorating with sharp objects. When it comes to colours, choose earth tones—to absorb and maintain the bathroom's water energy—light greys, creams and light blues (unless located on the centre portion of the ba gua, which calls for red colours to inhibit the drain of wealth). Use a black or red rug at the base of the toilet to prevent the draining of wealth.
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