If, like me, you live in the West but also believe in Eastern medical thought -- things such as Chi, life-force, acupuncture and energy flow -- then consider how the ancient art of Feng Shui may affect your sleep.
Feng Shui is a complex, 3,000-year-old Chinese philosophy based on the art of placement, harmony, balance and the fundamental principle that cosmic energy (chi) unites all universal matter.
In Feng Shui's energy system, nothing happens without direct consequence to something else; free-flowing chi that circulates smoothly has positive influence on everything in its path. Stagnant chi or chi that moves too rapidly has a negative effect on your well-being. Harnessing good chi and directing its flow is in large part Feng Shui's goal.
And like the Western approach to yoga -- another complex, centuries-old system -- people often take from Feng Shui what works best for their own lives. Thus, you might find some elements of Feng Shui superstitious and others a good fit. Use what works best for you.
And like many other ancient belief systems, purist vs. popular ideas abound about what exactly constitutes Feng Shui practice today . Most experts, however, agree on many things for the bedroom, an important Feng Shui space.
In this system your bedroom is one of the most important rooms in your home, because this is where you sleep and renew your body. It's the one space you inhabit that's completely yours, where the outside world is kept at bay. When you walk into your bedroom you should feel like a warm pair of arms has encircled you: It should be tranquil, peaceful and inspire proper rest, privacy, reflecting your true personality.
The bedroom is critical "because this is where we spend one-third of our lives," says Anita Rosenberg, a certified Feng Shui expert and consultant in Los Angeles. "Sleeping and resting impact our health and vitality, which is why we want excellent Chi in our bedrooms." And, she says, "bedrooms have only two purposes: to recharge your battery through sleep and rejuvenate your spirit through romance."
Who could argue with this?
Try these basic Feng Shui bedroom ideas to spice-up your 'Bedroom Chi':
A major bed chi rule: Do not leave beds unmade. This stagnates and erodes chi as well as looks un-wonderful. It's the very first thing I do in the morning, and if nothing else, do it respectfully for yourself.
Clutter is Feng Shui's nemeses, so here is one suggestion: don't. Please do not live with clothes strewn around the bedroom and on the floors and furniture. Hang them up. Clear out the clutter under your bed and store it in a closet; don't let books and children's toys and all manner of things clutter up your bedroom space. Keep it a relatively clean, empty, breathable space.
Soothing colors are the best choice for your sleep room. Good Feng Shui colors are the so-called "skin colors," from white to rich chocolate brown. These include warm colors such as cream, white, gold, beige, brown and caramel. Stay away from red or anything too vibrant and bright.
"Clients are very open to creating more romantic and relaxing and sleep-inducing bedrooms," says Rosenberg, "they just don't know how to do it." In her opinion, the key is in adding the "yin" and "eliminating the "yang" - meaning soft cozy bedding in sumptuous colors, wooden bed frames, romantic artwork, photographs of you and your significant other only, extending the foot of the bed with a bench. Yang elements to steer clear from include mirrors, ceiling fans, vibrant bedding, electronics and TV sets, family photographs, under-bed clutter and metal bed frames.
Plants in the bedroom are not classically thought to be good Feng Shui, but if you have electronics inside your room, some small plants such as peace lilies and/or spider plants set away from the bed are okay to use. If your bedroom is large, some larger plants such as palms are also acceptable.
If your interest is piqued by this information, there are numerous books, websites and Feng Shui experts to help you increase your 'bedroom chi.' Do it yourself or hire an expert to help.
Some items, such as bed placement, are more complex than can be discussed here. Feng Shui experts can personalize the information to your own statistics, or in Rosenberg's words, "(we can) help personalize your best directions and make sure you are not activating any negative yearly stars," something surely to avoid if you desire good boudoir chi.
To purchase Janet's book: "The Well-Rested Woman: 60 Soothing Suggestions for Getting a Good Night's Sleep," or for more information on sleep and sleep counseling visit Janet's website: www.wellrestedwoman.com.
You can follow her on Twitter http://twitter.com/wellrestedwomen
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