We are aging-not just as individuals or communities but as a world. In 2006, almost 500 million people worldwide were 65 and older. By 2030, that total is projected to increase to 1 billion. That number translates to one in every eight of the earth’s habitants. While global aging denotes medical advances, it also presents challenges to some of our most basic systems including finances, family structure and models of social support. Find out more about this dilemma and how Feng Shui can help, from Mary Jane Kasliner.
As people live longer, the young-old balance is shifting. This is exacerbated by the fact that couples are having fewer children. The combination of these trends has important implications regarding aging and adult care issues. By and large, people will have less familial care and support as they age. The impact is building more long-term facilities and consuming natural resources in the process.
Assessing the aging population challenges from a feng shui perspective is two-fold. First, we must examine the situation on a local level. What is going on in your own backyard? Perhaps you personally have become a “caregiver;” a role that we are never prepared for. Mixed emotions are likely to be experienced from feelings of nervousness to completely being overwhelmed. You may find yourself having to perform new and unfamiliar tasks that may include dispensing medicine, providing assistance with meals or assisting with other bodily functions. Being a “caregiver” for an aging family member can translate to physical, emotional and financial strain.
The role of the feng shui consultant begins with assessing the dynamics of the space. Most certainly, the caregiver is multi-tasking resulting in a major shift towards the yang polarity. Balancing this extreme shift is paramount and can be done through interior space alignment, diet and yin activities such as meditation, breath control (pranayama), yoga or qigong practices. Encouraging your client to engage in these activities will prove to be beneficial.
Balancing Suggestions External and Internal:
- Assess geopathic disturbances and electromagnetic emissions – these infractions will compound physical, emotional and mental challenges your client may already be experiencing. Address black lines streams with readings greater than 4 on the Von Pohl scale with earth acupuncture and recommend healthy vegetation as a reflectance against outdoor EMF’s.
- Evaluate directional position of rooms and their respective element and color choices. Suggest sheng cycle arrangements and avoid ke cycles that disperse stress into the space caused by a collision of qi particles.
- Note the location and number of internal electromagnetic devices. Remove any EMF sources from bedrooms and clear radiations with either resonator tabs or natural quartz crystals (high paramagnetics). Plants such as a Boston fern or Peace Lily is workable in other room locations.
- Calculate supportive personal and room directions (Ming Gua and Bazhai) for the caregiver and elderly family member. Suggest they spend time in these areas.
- Assess the structure for anything in disrepair on all levels and in all directions. Any infractions can further impact the health and well-being of the occupants.
- Assess the materials in the structure and décor. Emphasize the importance of eco-friendly fabrics, furnishings and products.
- Balance lighting sources with natural sunlight and low wattage incandescent bulbs.
- Recommend soothing sounds and scents to adjust the vibration of the space.
- Assess the flying star combinations that may predispose or exacerbate health challenges for the occupants. Every star is associated with an organ system (i.e.: #1 star governs the urinary system, #2 governs the abdomen, star #3 governs the liver, spleen and legs, etc.). If a star is positioned poorly, it needs to be addressed accordingly.
- Make sure the center of the structure is stable. A bathroom, laundry room or staircase will disrupt the balance resulting in potential emotional and health issues.
- Evaluate the percentage of the five core elements in both the caregiver and patient’s 4 Pillars natal chart. Overly weak or strong elements need correction by incorporating the proper element(s) in the décor, their diet or activities they may engage in.
- Support the Southeast and Northwest corresponding polarities representing wealth and near wealth respectively on the ba-gua, as finances may be a contributory stress factor.
- Support the Eastern sector of the home with water and wood elements along with family symbolism to strengthen the bond that can be fragile during the transitional phase.
- Assess the bedrooms – utilize good form school layout designs, agreeable directions, yin colors and lighting, natural elements, pleasant images and minimal electrical components.
- Create a sacred space (preferably in the Northeast sector) that all family members can utilize. Incorporate yin lighting, music, comfortable seating, natural elements, objects from nature, spiritual items and favorite possessions.
The upward spiraling trend of our aging population impacts us personally and globally. The challenge for the future is to ensure that people everywhere will be enabled to age with security and dignity. The feng shui community has a responsibility to assist in this process by enhancing the external and internal spaces where this population group resides impacting the quality of their lives.