How does feng shui work? Short answer: placebo. The secret of feng shui is the power of intention, belief, self-fulfilling prophecy and placebo.
One way of explaining how feng shui works is through the power of your intention, belief (watch Dr Bruce Lipton’s explanation below), self-fulfilling prophecy or placebo. The placebo effect has been researched more than any other healing and medical modalities and meta-studies suggest that placebo outperformance many forms of medicine. Many doctors admit to regularly prescribing placebos (a 2013 survey showed that 97% of doctors in the UK have prescribed placebos at least once; in Germany, 40-80% of doctors prescribe placebos on a regular basis). A placebo is defined as anything that appears to be medicinal but actually is not and could take any form, be it injections, surgical procedures, pills, topical creams, etc. The way that a doctor interacts with a patient taking a placebo can have a significant impact on whether or not a placebo is perceived to be working. It works even when people know that they’ve taken a placebo. For example, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Basel found out that those who knew that they were taking a placebo (called open-label placebo) believed in its healing powers as much as those who thought it was medicinal (the study was published in the Journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain). This adds to a huge body of research proving the placebo’s healing powers. The opposite of placebo is nocebo which is basically a negative suggestion, belief or a false problem. So in the same way, as positive expectations can lead to positive outcomes, negative expectations or limiting beliefs can lead to undesirable outcomes.
Feng shui = intention + energy + ritual
This short story below illustrates the concept of placebo in feng shui as well as the priming effect.
The wicked feng shui master and a trusting woman
The story of the wicked feng shui master and a trusting woman shows how the placebo effect works in feng shui.
Many centuries ago, there was a feng shui master who was known for his skill but who was also easily moved to anger. One hot summer, he was commissioned to assess a burial site in the mountain far from his home. It had taken him three days to walk to the site and a day to carry out his work. After sleeping in a small mountain shelter, he had packed his compass and papers and set off for the long journey home. On the second day, he had run out of water in the overbearing heat, but as he surveyed the fields of rice ready for harvest that lay across the plain before him, there was no sign of a well.