Chinese Medicine includes Feng Shui

May 1, 2015

By Aleisha Anderson

Aleisha Anderson Head Shot

Reduce clutter; reduce stress

Home is where we go to feel loved and nurtured. When the world outside expects too much from us, home is the sanctuary that recharges, relaxes, and prepares us for our next day. Unfortunately the reality for most of us is that our kitchen counters need clearing, the dishes are piling up, shoes are perpetually blocking our entry, and meals must be planned and prepared in a timely manner. Very quickly that idealistic vision of home starts to blend into the cluster of traffic we faced on the way home, where we hoped to unwind from all of the chaos outside our homes.

While we may not have complete control over the sources of stress in our lives, we do have the power to modify our living environment to create more of a sanctuary that reduces the effects of all that stress.

Energy is qi (chi) and it is abundant in all forms of matter. The qi around us has an impact on the movement of qi within us. One of the eight modalities of Chinese Medicine is feng shui, the harmonizing of physical space by placing objects in a way that promotes the best flow of energy. In Chinese medicine, it is said that the energetic quality of a space will encourage health, prosperity, and good luck.

Clutter impedes the flow of energy around us and influences our emotions and behaviors. If we imagine strings of energy connecting us to every object in the room, it becomes overwhelmingly apparent that we have woven a complex web of attachments! These objects attract our attention just by being in our presence. The emotional connections and physical impediments of these objects are draining, distracting, and disruptive to our daily lives.

Often fear and lack of trust hold us back from letting go of those objects that no longer serve us. We may fear the emotional process of giving up objects that hold memories. We may worry about the need for some objects in the future, instead of trusting that we will have what we need when the time comes.

Clearing clutter improves emotional, physical, and mental energy. To counter that, create a space that allows more meaningful, inspiring, and relaxing influences. With the goal of reducing stress, we can establish an intention that suits our needs. If the stress is related to emotional ties to the past, then setting an intention of letting go of past emotional ties and focusing on saying goodbye to objects with stressful memories may be the first step. If life feels chaotic with more to do than time to get it done, then set the intention of organizing your space. Intentions set the tone for designing or arranging the space and provide guidance in the process of letting go and making decisions about what is no longer worth keeping.

There are many ways to approach the process of decluttering. If the task seems too large, then beginning with a small space, like a drawer, under the bed, or a closet, may be the best plan. Set an intention and a timeframe. Our wellbeing depends on our ability to recover from those stressful influences that drain our energy. When our home environment becomes a source of stress, we must hit the pause button, connect to our surroundings, and let go of what no longer serves us.

For further reading: Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, By Karen Kingston

Bay View resident Aleisha Anderson, L.Ac., is the clinic director and acupuncturist at Mke Mindbody Wellness, an integrative wellness center with holistic therapies focused on mental health. More information visit

Disclaimer: The information provided in this column is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or care. 

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