Imagine if the secret to success was as simple as placing an aquarium
in your hallway, or hanging metal chimes over your desk? What if moving your
dresser and bed meant the difference between divorce and marital bliss? And
what if a well-placed mirror helped to cure your chronic asthma?
Feng shui is all about energy. According to feng shui practitioners, the
energy in how a home or office is set up can play a big role in everything
from a happy marriage to a successful company.
Feng shui practitioners use the Chinese philosophy of feng shui, which
balances yin and yang energy, when deciding how a home or office should be
During the late 1990s and early 2000s, feng shui began to receive a lot
of media attention. Feng shui consultants were popping up everywhere. Many
schools were offering quick classes to become a feng shui consultant.
So where does that leave the practitioners that remain today?
Steve Kodad is a feng shui practitioner in Florida. He says that feng shui
is definitely not a passing phase. He says many people use feng shui philosophies
when selling a home or deciding how to live in their home.
"As with many things from the Orient, like acupuncture and meditation,
the benefits are becoming acknowledged," he says. "How I communicate with
folks about feng shui is that it is based on a lot of common sense and a lot
of trial and error. Anything that lasts for thousands of years must have a
lot of merit."
Grace McKnight is a feng shui consultant. She says that feng shui is no
longer a fad. The people who remain interested in feng shui and those that
practice it are very much in it for the right reasons now, says McKnight.
"I would say feng shui has gone through the hype phase and is now sought
out by fewer people, but by people that understand it at a deeper level,"
McKnight says that feng shui helps people to see their everyday surroundings
in new ways. "I assist people to see their environments with fresh eyes,"
she says, "to discern what objects and images serve the current vision they
hold for their life and to arrange those things to support harmony and abundance."
Terah Collins, who founded a feng shui school in California, says that
feng shui is around today more than people even realize. She says many people
who learn feng shui integrate it into their career without calling it feng
"One of the challenges is that there's a variety of types of feng shui,"
she says, "which has caused some confusion in the marketplace."
Collins says that feng shui is a difficult thing to be involved in unless
you're in it for the right reasons. And because the overly trendy phase is
past, people doing it now have to really love it.
"Feng shui is challenging to practice if the consultant's heart isn't into
it," she says. "It's one of those 'walk your talk' paths, with referrals from
genuinely happy clients being the best way to grow the business.
"Successful feng shui consultants must be people-loving and proactive,"
she adds. "They must love their work from the inside out and be truly into
And those that are into it get a lot of satisfaction out of it. Take Terri
Perrin, a feng shui practitioner. She says she loves inspiring people and
helping them realize that what is around them affects their well-being and
"Teaching people to recognize whether their 'stuff' is nourishing or depleting
them is very rewarding," she says.
"Most people overlook the impact of the symbolism in artwork, for example,
and how hanging onto clutter, broken things, and items that remind you of
bad times can be like a cancer. I love to hear back from my clients when they
make a change in their home or work environment and realize a significant
life change as a result of it."
Perrin says she doesn't call feng shui an "industry" so much as a "movement."
She says if people do want to think of it in terms of an industry, then it's
definitely a niche market and people looking to enter this line of work should
know "there's not a lot of room for hundreds of practitioners.
"It takes a long time to learn this 'science' and even longer to gain respect,"
she says. "For young people interested in feng shui, I would suggest they
get a degree in interior design or something of that nature and then complement
that with feng shui. A home staging certificate is another good add-on."
Feng shui practitioners now have to deal with the backlash that often follows
something that gets a lot of media attention. One of the worst aspects of
that backlash is a bad reputation because of some insincere feng shui consultants
who were just hopping on the trend bandwagon.
"Like any healing practitioner, a feng shui practitioner has to be honest,
genuine and not promise the moon," says Perrin.
"Whenever I conduct workshops or consultations, I explain that I do not
promise I can cure disease or guarantee that a knight in shining armor will
ride up on a white horse to rescue you. But I do promise that I can teach
you how to look at your space with 'feng shui eyes' and make changes that
will have a positive effect on your life. When you feel better, you do better.
"I guide people to have open minds and open arms to welcome new opportunities,"
she continues. "I have yet to meet anyone for whom that doesn't make sense.
Anyone who promises otherwise is really just a proverbial snake oil salesman."
To get started as a feng shui consultant, check your area to see if there
are schools that offer feng shui practitioner certification courses or other
Kodad says certification isn't strictly governed, but people should go
through the expected training before entering the field. He says a basic class
will take anywhere from 40 to 80 hours. McKnight adds that studying with
a skilled professional is also a way to get started in feng shui consulting.
Perrin stresses that taking a single course isn't enough. People need to
be involved in continual learning, join associations and do lots of networking
in order to learn the art of feng shui.
Western School of Feng Shui
Learn more about becoming a certified feng shui practitioner
at this American feng shui school
What is Feng Shui?
Learn more about feng shui principles