The following is an excerpt from my ebook, Feng Shui Tips for Realtors.
Feng Shui is the metaphysical interpretation of the environment. And for the purposes of the real estate profession, it can be viewed as a metaphysical home inspection. This can, and often does, create a conflict of interest for some real estate transactions.
I have often said to realtors that if I were in their profession I wouldn’t want to interact with a Feng Shui consultant. And I am being sincere. I would just want to sell properties and I wouldn’t want to see anything interfere or complicate the sale. Especially for something that cannot be validated by any western standards. After all, this is not like discovering that a home has toxic mold or asbestos or a roof that needs replacing.
It is a way to diagnose what kind of affect the structure will have on its occupants, for good or for bad. In traditional Feng Shui there are ways to categorize structures as being inherently supportive or undermining for the occupants’ careers, health, and relationships. There are now people all over the world who are interested in these principles and they don’t mind advertising their enthusiasm or appreciation for the culture it comes from.
And how is this analysis performed? There are various Schools, approaches and methodologies. But with the traditional or classical Schools, the first piece of information to obtain is the year of construction. Next, a precise compass reading is done to determine the orientation of the home or business. Feng Shui is a manifestation of Space-Time Theory. And it is a predictive art. Once calculations are performed, combining the year built and the orientation, it can reveal a lot about the potential influence of the structure on people long term. These calculations define a type of magnetic field, though invisible, that is very powerful and predictable in its impact on people and animals.
Feng Shui is a very ancient system, developed over centuries in China and then it spread to all parts of Asia. Many other cultures have their versions of it. It includes observations about nature and seasons, landscapes and topography. It includes theories about how architecture and interior design can affect our moods, our creativity and ability to concentrate, as well as specific health issues that can result when repeatable physical features collide.
In Scientific American, an article was written by Emily Anthes, April 22, 2009, titled, “How Room Designs Affect Your Work and Mood: Brain research can help us craft spaces that relax, inspire, awaken, comfort and heal.” The article begins with a nod to prizewinning biologist and Doctor Jonas Salk who felt that the physical space he worked in would have a direct impact on his ability to think freely and discover a cure for polio.
The article went on to site various studies by scientists, architects, and doctors which confirm many Feng Shui theories, without naming them as such. Formal investigations began in the 1950’s, particularly noting how the design of hospitals and psychiatric facilities influenced patient behaviors and outcomes. A professor at the University of Minnesota reported that the height of a room’s ceiling affects the way people think. Higher ceilings lead to more abstract thoughts and lower ceilings encouraged more detailed oriented tasks.
It was also discovered that natural views gave people a greater ability to concentrate, contrary to the notion that this would make a person daydream. Green spaces were especially helpful to students with attention deficit disorder. Lack of adequate natural light can disrupt our sleep-wake cycles and circadian rhythms. This can adversely affect anyone, particularly school children and the elderly. They even tested the contents of a room and the furnishings to see how people would be affected. Even carpeting in hospital rooms increased the length of time that relatives and friends would visit with a patient. Well-designed special care units for Alzheimer patients reduced anxiety, aggression, social withdrawal, depression and psychosis. Sharp, squared off perimeters had a different effect than curved or rounded objects.
The final quote in the article came from U.C.S.D.’s Edelstein. “Because of advances in neuroscience, we can begin measuring the effects of the environment at a finer level of detail than we have done before. We can understand our responses better and we can correlate the outcomes. I just get chills when I think about it.”
Some people say they “don’t believe in Feng Shui.” But this system doesn’t require belief to be influential any more than believing in gravity is necessary to validate its reality or effects. But because this system comes from a superstitious and ancient culture, many myths have been incorporated into it and these myths and rituals have endured even into modern times. This unfortunately clouds its integrity as a natural science and has probably delayed serious research into its effects, in spite of it having a phenomenal resurgence of interest in Western culture. Whether a Real Estate professional “believes” in Feng Shui personally or not, it behooves them to become familiar with the concepts and theories.
Kartar Diamond is the author of numerous books and ebooks, including Feng Shui Tips for Realtors, and she has been consulting since 1992. Kartar helps people world-wide for both residential and commercial properties, often involved in real estate transactions, helping buyers or sellers in the process.
Author: Kartar Diamond
Company: Feng Shui Solutions ®
From the Architecture and Design Blog Series