What Is Chi? Optimizing Feng Shui Energy

Updated February 24, 2022
Stack Rock on Seashore

Understanding what chi energy is the basis for all feng shui practices. The key to understanding chi is to know that it is not a complicated or elusive concept, but the simple belief that chi energy flows through all things, and drives the universe.

What Is Chi?

Translated from Chinese, chi means breath. In feng shui, movement of wind and the flow of water can represent the breath in all things - the life force. Feng shui strives to keep chi energy balanced in your home or office to maintain harmony and optimize the benefits of this energy source. The practice of feng shui is often focused on the movement of chi energy through homes and other structures, but chi energy is also believed to influence the flow of our body's vital internal processes.

The Importance of Feng Shui Chi Flow

Balanced and unrestricted chi flow can enhance the comfort and harmony in your home. Positive chi energy is vital to any feng shui application and should be balanced with negative chi energy with consideration of yin yang energy. Balanced chi flow in your home can be hard to identify, but imbalanced chi is felt through discomfort and tension without an obvious cause.

Yin Yang: The Essential Balance of Chi

Chi consists of two opposite energies, yin and yang. The yin yang philosophy explains the complexities and patterns of life through this yin yang framework. Chi can only be complete when both energies are present and balanced. If one is missing, there can be no life.

Yin Energy

The feminine side (yin) of chi energy is the passive form of chi energy that is nurturing, giving, and restive. Yin provides the necessary balance to active yang energy. Without the balance that yin energy provides, yang energy would create only chaos and destruction. In feng shui, yin energy is necessary for a peaceful feng shui bedroom design, and creating relaxing spaces in your home.

Yang Energy

The masculine side (yang) of chi energy drives creation. Unlike the passivity of yin energy, yang energy is aggressive. In feng shui, yang energy can be generated from activities. Without the balance that yang provides, yin energy would lead to lethargy and inaction. Yang energy is generated in kitchens from the fire element used to cook food. Living rooms are where the family is most active, and this activity generates yang energy.

What Is Positive and Negative Chi Energy?

Chi Energy Infographic

Chi is a powerful force which can encompass positive and negative energy, with the goal of yin yang harmony. The key to manifesting beneficial chi in your home through balance of positive and negative energies, through simple steps to improve chi flow. By learning good feng shui practices, you can invite positive chi and move or diminish negative chi. When you are aware of the chi energies that may disrupt your home or office, it will help you make the necessary changes to bring balance to your space.

Sheng Chi

Bench of a public park surrounded by large trees

The sheng chi is known in feng shui as positive or auspicious energy. The word sheng means upward moving energy. This is what you want to incorporate into your home; the sense of energy moving upward and lifting your spirit with it. Sheng chi generates a feeling of well-being and health. Sheng energy can take many forms easily identified by the way it makes you feel. The positive energy you feel when out in nature, at the beach or in the mountains, is the power of sheng chi.

In feng shui, the goal is to encourage that sense of well-being and positive uplifting energy flow. Sheng chi activated through the use of simple feng shui principles.

  • Remove clutter and debris inside and outside your home.
  • Select colors, furniture, art, accessories and other aesthetics to layer into the room design to reinforce auspicious feng shui energies.
  • Play up natural light in rooms and add artificial lighting to attract sheng chi.
  • Use harmonious colors in your home, with attention to balancing the feng shui elements.
  • Add a flowing water feature to discourage stagnation inside or outside your home

Si Chi

Shoes and clothes in closet

The si chi is the opposite of sheng chi. This is a decaying form of energy. Unlike sheng chi, the vibrational level of si chi is very low. With this low level energy, life cannot be supported. Shi chi slowly eats away its surroundings. The types of this energy include dust, clutter, debris, dirty carpets/rugs, cobwebs, clogged drains, leaky faucets, and any stagnant energy, especially clutter.

This is the easiest of negative chi energy to correct. It only requires cleaning and repairing to remedy the destructive force of decaying energy. There are simple ways to combat typical household si chi.

  • Organize closets, cabinets and drawers.
  • Don't allow trash to accumulate.
  • Paint to refurbish and create clean fresh energy.
  • Repair leaky faucets, toilets that run constantly, torn screen windows, broken glass panes, locks and appliances.
  • Keep walkways, paths, porches and sidewalks swept.
  • Manicure lawns and trim shrubberies.

Sha Chi

Bedroom with Mid-Century Modern Style

Sha chi energy is called the "killing energy" and is considered harmful or negative energy (not to be confused with yin chi.) Sha chi can be found in natural land formations, man-made buildings, objects, or places such as a street, cemetery, or bridge. Sha chi energy can be generated in your home through extreme clutter, closed off rooms, and poison arrows. There are different types of sha chi to look for, so that you can take steps to clear or cure them with feng shui.

  • Stagnant chi: This form of sha chi cuts off the natural flow of chi energy and literally kills it. The sha chi blocks all auspicious benefits of chi energy before it can reach your home. This can be natural or manmade blockages that cause chi energy to pool and grow stagnant. Clearing clutter inside and outside of your home can enhance your sheng chi, which can help balance negative sha chi that you are unable to change.
  • Poison arrows: Some forms of sha chi travel a straight line created by streets, sharp corners, edges, columns, utility poles and rooflines of neighboring homes and buildings. Inside your home poison arrows can present themselves as sharp edges, light fixtures with severe lines, and ceiling fans over a bed.

Balancing Chi Energy in Your Home

The best way to achieve balanced chi energy in your home is to follow basic feng shui principles. While chi is invisible, when you take advantage of auspicious chi through the use of feng shui, you'll soon see the visible effects of your improved flow of chi energy.

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What Is Chi? Optimizing Feng Shui Energy