There’s no doubt feng shui belongs in a massage and bodywork environment. The common thread between the two is both work with energy. Feng shui and various massage modalities intend to create an even flow of qi—one in a particular space and the other in a person. The truth is, if there is a good flow of energy in one aspect, it will affect and transform the other.
Getting a space in order automatically aligns the energy of those who occupy that space. Likewise, someone whose own inner energy is harmonious will find it easier to keep her environment in order as well.
We know when a space expresses good feng shui, because it just feels right—we can experience it without having to identify the particulars. However, there are some feng shui specifics that need to be in place in order to maximize the experience of bodywork.
Reflect a Safe Inner Road
One of the principles of feng shui is that a space reflects the occupant’s life. Because bodywork is, by nature, an inner journey, your room needs to reflect that inner road. One way to do this is to have darker colors on the walls, much like a cave or womb.
Your massage clients need to feel as if they are going to be totally and completely safe. It doesn’t mean there can’t be windows or openings to the outside. People love to see the ocean, mountains or a waterfall while engaging in bodywork, but they need to see this from a safe vantage point or there could be a feeling of insecurity or vulnerability—which works against the healing benefits you are trying to effect on the table.
Reflect Your Own Energy
Practitioners should choose colors based on their own energy. Because you spend most of your day in the space, the environment needs to support you and help you maintain your energy and inspiration. Dark browns or deep taupe colors are recommended, because they relate to skin tones, but a deep green or dark purple are also possibilities. This is where you, as the practitioner, can exert your own style and taste.
Reflect Your Clients
Somewhere in the room there should be a full-length mirror; If there’s an adjoining bathroom that can provide this feature, that’s fine; otherwise, the massage room should provide the client a feng shui opportunity to see themselves from head to toe. It becomes more than a mirror to check for practical matters, but as a way to visibly see changes that may be occurring from the heart. Try not to put the mirror in direct line with the table, but somewhere in a corner that is useful yet unobtrusive.
Reflect with Water
The word “shui” means “water” in Chinese. Using water in an environment is considered auspicious; however, there are differing opinions about adding water to a massage room. Some people feel the sound of soft, flowing water is soothing and will help calm the client; others feel it could create an active bladder and result in a less-than-relaxing massage for the person. The way to resolve this is to ask the client what he prefers before beginning the bodywork.
Reflect Control and Harmony
Another good feng shui practice is to place the head of the table so that clients can always see the door when lying on their back. To prevent feelings of overwhelm and surprise, they must be able to see who’s coming in without having to turn their head or body around. This position assures the client total control of her space, so she can relax and take full advantage of the bodywork session.
Finally, having a massage space that exudes abundance and confidence, even extravagance, provides a strong message about being pampered and cared for. This message may be transmitted through such details as fresh flowers; soft, billowy curtains or fabric; a unique chair for clients to sit on when they’re paying or setting up their next appointment; lush towels or blankets; or deep piled rug. There are endless ways to pamper your clients that don’t cost a lot but add a huge value to their experience.
Any time personal energy is being transformed, the space must reflect the transformation toward harmony in order for the session to be effective. Realignment and balance will be easier to effect if the feng shui of your massage room supports it.
Carole J. Hyder has accomplished international success as a feng shui speaker, author and media personality. She has been a feng shui consultant since 1992, and is the founder of Wind & Water School of Feng Shui (http://windwaterschool.com/). She is the author of two books on feng shui, Wind & Water: Your Personal Feng Shui Journey and Living Feng Shui: Personal Stories. Hyder holds a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from the University of Minnesota.