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Feng Shui in the Clinic Setting – Part 1

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Veterinary medicine is an amazing field to be in. Those of us who get to work with animals and their owners are truly blessed. But it can also be frustrating and overwhelming at times. Many things are beyond our control — from not-so-easy-to-handle patients to concerned and sometimes angry caretakers. We may also have difficult employers or staff members to work with, and long grueling hours to put in.

Feng Shui can help with these problems. This ancient Chinese art (pronounced “fung schway”) involves making physical changes to your working environment to help your practice run more smoothly and bring harmony to everyone. It aims to improve every aspect of your life using the principles of harmony and energy flow.

The literal meaning of Feng Shui is “wind and water”. These are the two natural elements in nature that flow, move and circulate everywhere on Earth. Our lives should also flow even though we have occasional ups and downs, similar to the way water gently flows around a rock and meets on the other side to move smoothly along again. Many times in our environment “the rock” is our employers, co-workers, the design and layout of the facility, our clients, and our relationships with other people. Feng Shui helps us subtly fix things in our environment that we do not have direct control over.

Feng Shui is also sometimes known as “the ancient art of placement”.  They way you place your furniture, color your walls and position your décor can influence the movement (flow) of energy to bring good health and harmony into your life and workplace. For example, if you find your clients have a tendency to “linger” around the reception desk talking about their lives, hanging a crystal in an appropriate place above the desk will help move the energy along, thus moving clients along. If a crystal is not available, a decorative bowl filled with water and colorful rocks will also move the energy. After all, in order for a practice to flow smoothly, we would ideally like our clients to come into the waiting room for a short time, have their scheduled appointments, see the receptionist on the way out to pay their bills and get their prescribed supplements, then happily leave. Any “stagnation” or stopping at any point in this flow will directly affect the health of the practice and staff. When there is a smooth flow of energy (also called Qi), there will be a steady flow of money to the practice and good health to the staff.

Five basic principles

Adhering to these basic principles before making any Feng Shui changes will improve your success and happiness.

  • 1.Intention is the true power behind Feng Shui. Two things contribute to success in Feng Shui – the visible factors consisting of walls, doors, streets and various other tangible elements; and the invisible factors consisting of energy and the strong desire and visualization of what you want a Feng Shui “cure” to produce. This is intention. Without a pure intention, Feng Shui will not work for you.A healthy practice encompasses a compassionate well-educated staff, doctors on the cutting edge of medicine with their fingers on the pulse of the newest advances in integrative therapies, happy and satisfied clients, and most of all, happy and healthy patients. To achieve this clean intention, your clinic needs to retain staff and keep them happy and motivated.Feng Shui can assist with this. Simply putting large stones in your cabinets will “anchor” the practice, keeping staff turnover to a minimum. In addition, allowing staff to bring in decorative items from their own lives will keep them comfortable in the environment and lessen the sometimes negative thoughts and actions of certain staff members. Too often, the décor of a facility is determined by the owners and the staff is not consulted on color choices and furnishings, so adding each employee’s personal touch can be critical. Intention is what you want to happen and how clearly and purely you want it. If you can see and feel the result before it happens, then expect the result to happen.
  • 2.Mantra is the sacred words of power. Many people omit this when attempting to use Feng Shui cures, greatly lessening the chances of obtaining what they want. First visualize what you want (intention), then decide what you need to add or move to obtain this want (e.g. add a mirror, move a table, etc.). Then say the Mantra nine times either aloud or silently and the Feng Shui cure will be set.
    There are many mantras, but for basic purposes The Six True Words are the sacred speech that can be utilized for your Feng Shui cures. The Six True Words are Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum (pronounced ohm-mah-nee-pahd-mee-hum). This mantra has the power to improve your luck, uplift your mind, correct negative thought, enhance your wealth and prosperity, and help you better perform in your daily life.
  • 3.Mudra is equally important in obtaining what you want when using Feng Shui. This spiritual hand gesture, position, or action aligns the energy of your body to help create the desired energetic value. For basic purposes, the Expelling or Ousting Mudrais most often recommended, especially when using The Six True Words. This Mudra is performed by pointing the first and pinky fingers straight up and then holding the middle and the ring fingers out from the palm with your thumb. You then repeatedly “flick” the middle and ring fingers out from the palm. Women should use their right hands for this Mudra and men their left hands, and you should repeat this flicking motion nine times.
  • 4.Nine is the most powerful and auspicious number in Feng Shui, symbolizing power and completion. It is for this reason we say the Mantra and perform the Mudra nine times for each Feng Shui cure. In addition, if you hang or place anything in a Feng Shui cure it should be done in increments of nine. For example, when hanging a crystal above a desk to bring harmony and peace, make the length of the string in 9” increments (9”, 18”, 27”, etc., depending on how you want it to look).
  • 5.Red is Feng Shui’s power color. For adjustments and cures, use red above all others to get the most out of your intentions. The color yellow, although powerful as well, was traditionally held for emperors and other high-powered religious figures, and is not the hue of choice when adding a Feng Shui cure. In the next article, we will address different colors and how to use them, and you will learn that yellow can be used to feed and nurture our health and is traditionally put in spaces used for eating – e.g. lunch rooms, kitchens or break rooms.

Because life moves and flows, Feng Shui should not be done only once and then forgotten. Once there is a positive shift in the practice, the art should be revisited, the practice re-evaluated and the cures done according to the new energy.

In the next issue, wewill discuss cures traditionally used in Feng Shui, including the color choices to enhance the intention of your practice — from a calming waiting room, healing exam room and uplifting reception area (so the receptionists can be positive “gatekeepers” and “controllers”) to the sometimes intense and chaotic treatment areas and stressful surgery suites.  We will also discuss the importance of landscaping in relation to the health and prosperity of the practice and its staff, and some of the vegetation that should be growing around or near the workplace.

Positive effects

The use of Feng Shui in veterinary clinics is becoming more and more common. Traditionally, veterinary medicine was notorious for having a high employee turnover, but in practices that employ Feng Shui cures, turnover has decreased. Client compliance with recommended services can also be greatly increased by utilizing the principles of Feng Shui. Many practice owners hire Feng Shui consultants to prepare their hospital blueprints and landscaping before they build their dream facility, as well using the art in the interior design.

Personal help

Feng Shui can also help you personally, immediately and at any moment in the day. If you feel overwhelmed or unclear about what to do in any situation, start by stating a clear intention of how you want your day to go – e.g. getting out on time, getting along with co-workers, hoping surgery goes smoothly, etc. State or even write down your intention and solidify it by saying Mantra and executing Mudra nine times.

…if you find your clients have a tendency to “linger” around the reception desk talking about their lives, hanging a crystal in an appropriate place above the desk will help move the energy along, thus moving the clients along.

…yellow can be used to feed and nurture our health and is traditionally put in spaces used for eating – e.g. lunch rooms, kitchens or break rooms.

Michelle J. Rivera, MT, VDT, is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and The Healing Oasis Wellness Center, a post-graduate educational institution offering state-approved programs as set forth by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board. She is also the co-owner of The Healing Oasis Veterinary Hospital, Inc. a holistic veterinary practice offering massage and rehabilitation therapy, chiropractic and Chinese and Western Herbology. Michelle has completed the Chinese Herbal Medicine program from the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center, and has been certified in Chinese Medicine by the Wisconsin Institute of Chinese Herbology.

Michelle J. Rivera is an instructor at the University of Wisconsin and The Healing Oasis Wellness Center, a post-graduate educational institution offering state-approved programs as set forth by the Wisconsin Educational Approval Board. She is also the co-owner of The Healing Oasis Veterinary Hospital, Inc. a holistic veterinary practice offering massage and rehabilitation therapy, chiropractic and Chinese and Western herbology. Michelle has completed the Chinese Herbal Medicine program from the China Beijing International Acupuncture Training Center, and has been certified in Chinese Medicine by the Wisconsin Institute of Chinese Herbology.