If you’re thinking of getting a feng shui consultation, I want you to read this article.
I’m writing this because I occasionally hear about complaints and disappointments from someone who had consulted with a feng shui expert. In fact, some people can get so angry that they bring lawsuits against their feng shui consultant, like what happened to Szeto Six-chuen in Hong Kong.
Other times, people just get disappointed, because when the feng shui cures and new arrangements were applied, the results didn’t follow. Most are quick to blame the Feng Shui Consultant. Others end up discrediting feng shui, calling it nothing more than superstition.
I don’t want you to be one of them.
I too was skeptical about the legitimacy of feng shui. It was after a series of tragic life events that led me to some truth behind this ancient knowledge.
In this article, I am going to give you some of my tips and insights on how you should approach feng shui consultations. These tips and insights are based on my experience with other feng shui consultants and my perspective on other professional services.
Like Other Professional Services, Get a Second Opinion
You should approach a Feng Shui Consultation the same way you approach other professional services. By other professional services, I mean doctors, lawyers, accountants, business consultants, marketing consultants, and whatever you can name. (I’m glad to see that Rodika Tchi advised on the same approach.)
I’m not sure how you currently approach these services, but one approach that I’m suggesting is quite simple: GET A SECOND OPINION.
There, you have it. You’d be surprised how often we neglect to do that.
Sometimes I see people place greater value in trust than professionalism. I’ve witnessed people who received improper and even harmful medical attention simply because that person trusts the doctor.
Please, don’t be like that.
And for those of you who think that Feng Shui Consultants do not belong in the same category as what we call “professionals”, then hear me out.
Why Feng Shui Consulting is a Professional Service
Just like other professionals, whether it be a plumber, electrician, doctor, lawyer, etc., becoming a Feng Shui Consultant requires knowledge of that subject matter. And just like other professions, they typically acquire those knowledge by going to school. Usually, they have a “master” or teacher that has taught them a unique set of ways of practicing their profession.
The school and training the Feng Shui Consultants receive is comparable to most schools out there. Though the text they read sometimes dates back to thousands of years, many teachings have evolved to adapt to modern times (especially in Western countries). It is quite similar to law schools in USA, where law students had to read about case laws from England that dates back to the 16th century (especially property law) or earlier.
Further, most Feng Shui Consultants received education from multiple Feng Shui Schools, enabling them to be better service their clients. The more they practice, the more experience they have, and the more valuable their consultation becomes. It is the same across all other professions.
And just like other professions, the same issues apply:
Feng shui consultations are subject to the same human errors, mistakes, and malpractice. They can apply the wrong feng shui rules, or the consultant themselves have misunderstood the rules completely. Those are the ones who shouldn’t have graduated but somehow managed to do so.
Other times, they have different approaches to the same problem. If you’ve worked in groups to solve a certain problem, you have a good idea on how this plays out. Some will use tried and true ways to approach a problem, while others can come up with creative and innovative ways to solve a problem.
Although these professions brought results in the past, they are not likely to bring the same results all the time. In other words, results are not guaranteed. These professionals are not miracle workers, nor do they perform magic.
Let me give you some examples of these using two of the most esteemed professions – medical doctors and lawyers.
Similarities to Medical Doctors
I’ll begin with a story of my father. If you read my eBook, you may have learned that he is a medical doctor, and his health problems were one of the reasons why I started learning feng shui.
After he successfully removed almost half of his left lung due to cancer, another tumor grew in his remaining left lung. He was utterly devastated. He wanted that tumor to be removed immediately.
After visiting two doctors specializing in lung cancer, both of them suggested that he didn’t need to remove that tumor because it was benign (not cancerous).
Those doctors were not worried, but my dad was. Notwithstanding the recommendations from the two doctors specialized in the field, he went through another surgery to remove that tumor.
This is an example of how three medical professionals approach the same problem (or if there was even a problem). Say, for instance, that you received two conflicting health recommendations from two well-experienced medical professionals, would you discredit the knowledge of medicine and call it fake?
The same applies to Feng Shui Consultations. Some may suggest that you do something, while a second opinion may suggest you do something else or nothing at all. Both are using their professional experience and knowledge. This is quite common in any profession, which is why I strongly suggest that you always seek a second opinion.
We’ve also heard, or even experienced, that certain medicine works well on some people but not the others.
For instance, your friend may have been cured by a cold medicine in days while you, taking the same medicine, couldn’t recover in a month.
This doesn’t mean that the medicine, or the vast knowledge of medicine, does not work. It simply means that there are other forces at play, such as the amount of rest you get, what you eat, and your other daily habits.
The same applies to feng shui cures. If something is not working, it doesn’t mean that feng shui does not work. It simply means that there are other forces at play that are not within the expertise of the Feng Shui Consultant.
Similarities to Lawyers
For your information, I attended law school (half-time) for two years. I didn’t finish, because I hated it. But needless to say, I have a basic understanding of law and how it’s practiced in USA. Here’s how the legal profession and the feng shui profession compare.
If you have a dispute and you hired a lawyer, the first thing they want from you is facts. Bring that same set of facts to three different lawyers, and you are likely to get three different approaches to your case, perhaps even using different sets of statutes or case laws.
Use the widely popular Netflix documentary Making of a Murderer as an example. How do you think other notable lawyers would approach Steven Avery’s case?
Similarly, the same house and the same person can have three feng shui interpretations from three different Feng Shui Consultants. How they look at your house vary widely by their past experience and their knowledge, which differ greatly by individuals.
And just like feng shui, law is comprised mostly of “rules”, and the rules can be interpreted very differently.
For example, in California’s traffic law, driving in the carpool lane requires that you have two or more persons in your vehicle.
Let me give you a real case about a carpool lane violation that was taken to a California court.
“Bob” is driving in the carpool lane with two dogs only. He was given a ticket for violating the carpool lane’s traffic law. He went to court and fought, arguing that dogs are similar to humans because of the way they are treated, and that they have basic rights just like humans do.
When that argument failed, he argued that dogs are “lesser” humans, so they should be counted as 0.5 humans. Thus, when added together, “Bob” did not violate the carpool lane regulation because two lesser humans added together equals one “person.” Again, that argument and interpretation failed to hold in court.
The point is that the term “person” in that case was interpreted by the lawyer to include dogs. Sometimes the same absurd interpretation goes with the application of feng shui.
How the ancient feng shui text is interpreted today differs by the Feng Shui Consultant. Sometimes, the terms are interpreted too literally, ignoring the historical context on how it was used. Other times, the consultant may have adjusted the feng shui rule for modern times.
So when you approach Feng Shui Consultants, keep in mind that results are not guaranteed, and that each consultant may have a different approach with the possibility of making honest mistakes.
How to Choose a Feng Shui Consultant
The way you select a Feng Shui Consultant is similar to how you choose a lawyer, doctor, or other professionals to help yourself. Here are some tips to ensure that your money is well-spent.
Check for Certification or License
The problem with some Feng Shui “Consultants” is that, if you’re unlucky, you may end up with one that is not certified. I have heard stories where some “consultants” proclaimed themselves as experts after reading a book or two, while others falsely claimed that they acquired their feng shui knowledge from some renowned master.
To avoid hiring a non-expert, ask about their certification and where they obtained that certification.
If you have doubts, call the school or organization that issued the feng shui certification for reference. A valid and unexpired license ensures that you will enjoy a certain level of knowledge and expertise.
Learn about the Schools of Feng Shui
There are many different schools of feng shui. To mention a few, there’s the Form School, the Compass School, the Flying Star, the Black Hat, and the Western School. You can read more about these schools of feng shui in this article by Rodika Tchi.
Understanding more about these schools of feng shui will help you know which type of feng shui practice you like. Thus, before you hire a Feng Shui Consultant, ask about which school is their specialty, so you can decide whether their methodologies are a match with what you prefer.
Talk to their Clients
When I was back in law school, my professor was criticizing how lawyers are practicing law today. He was a litigator in Federal Courts, and he’s seen countless lawyers that went to court unprepared. Some didn’t even know much about the story of their clients. He’s not sure whether these lawyers are too busy with too much work, or that the quality of lawyers is just going down.
To prevent this from happening to you when you hire a Feng Shui Consultant, ask for references and request to talk to their clients. The consultants may have the knowledge and expertise, but how well they service you as a client and how much time they invest in you is just as important.
Specific Areas of Expertise
I had relatives who had consulted with a Feng Shui Expert before. He’s done residential feng shui services for my relative’s house as well as feng shui for burial grounds. I don’t know much about the feng shui for burial grounds, but that made me think: is it really that easy to be an expert in two distinct areas?
Of course having multiple areas of expertise within the same field is possible. However, I have my doubts. To me, it’s like hiring the same lawyer for both a criminal case and a divorce case. I would always seek the lawyer that specializes heavily only in one area, because that also means the lawyer has much more experience in that specific area.
Thus, when you look for your Feng Shui Consultant, ask about their areas of expertise.
Are they experienced with single-family houses, apartments, or condominiums? Or are they specialized in feng shui for business or for burial grounds? You should always want to hire someone who’s had the most experience dealing with the type of feng shui solution that you’re seeking.
Approach When Working with a Feng Shui Consultant
So assume that you’ve selected a Feng Shui Consultant that seems to be able to help you. Here’s what I suggest you do when you begin working with him or her:
Know What You Want
The Feng Shui Consultant is here to help improve your living environment and your life. You should be frank about what areas of life you’d like to improve.
For instance, do you want feng shui to help you with your career? With your love life? Do not be afraid, embarrassed, or shy to tell them the problems that you’re facing.
Sometimes, it’ll be better if you provide more background information about the problem you’re trying to fix. For instance, if you feel that you’re facing headwind in career, it may not be about your career, but rather it may be about the social problems you have with your co-workers. The feng shui approach for both can be quite different.
The more information you give, the easier it is for the Feng Shui Consultant to diagnose and cure that problem.
Set Your Expectations Right
Knowing what you want is one thing, but knowing what you should expect is another.
I remember my first time visiting a chiropractor after I strained my shoulder for the first time. After the first session, it felt as if I was completely cured, and I commented: “Thanks for curing me in one session!”
His response left a permanent mark about what to expect from doctors as well as other professions: “I am a doctor, not god. Come back again for five more sessions to get your shoulder fixed, or else it’ll bother you again in the future.”
The same applies to feng shui. It is not magic, and the consultants do not perform miracles. Do not expect that a feng shui cure can make all your problems disappear instantly.
What you can do is ask about what you should be expecting from the new feng shui cures and arrangements. The experienced ones usually will not guarantee you anything, but may tell you stories about how specific remedies they’ve applied with others were met with great success. Also, if the consultant is genuinely interested about your well-being, they may want to follow-up with different cures if the original one wasn’t met with great results.
Apply the Recommended Feng Shui Cures
Here’s what Donna Stellhorn, a Feng Shui Author and Consultant, have experienced when practicing feng shui:
“I sometimes hear my clients tell me that feng shui is not working for them. When I asked them, ‘Did you apply the changes that I recommended?’, they would tell me that they didn’t.”
This scenario doesn’t just happen to Feng Shui Consultants. I’ve seen a few individuals who regularly visited the same doctor for the same sickness. Every visit, they complained about why they hadn’t recovered even though they are receiving the proper drug treatment. The doctor would then ask something along the lines of: “Did you rest and get more sleep like I told you to?” To no surprise, they rarely followed the doctor’s recommendations.
If the medicine or drugs you’re receiving is not working, don’t blame the doctor or today’s knowledge of medicine, because you may be doing some other activities that are delaying your recovery. Similarly, if feng shui is not working for you, don’t blame the knowledge of feng shui or the Feng Shui Consultant, because you may not have properly followed the instructions on applying the feng shui cure.
I know most of us tend to pick something or someone as a scapegoat. It’s easy, it’s convenient, and it protects our ego. All I’m asking you is this: Please, don’t do that.
The feng shui profession is similar to other professions. There are no guarantees, and you should try to get a second opinion if possible. How they approach a problem is often times unique and is subject to human errors as well.
The approach when hiring a feng shui consultation is also quite similar. You need to check their license or certification, ask for customer references, and learn about their specific areas of expertise. And when you do decide to work with one, you need to know what you want and what you can expect from them.
I hope you can use this information to approach feng shui consultations in a way that’s more beneficial to you.
Over to you: Have you ever hired a feng shui consultant? If so, how was your experience? Please comment below and share your thoughts!
Blogger and owner of Feng Shui Nexus. I’ve witnessed the efficacy of Feng Shui, astrology and divination. That’s why I created this site – to enable experts to share those knowledge and experiences with you and get you closer to your dreams. Subscribe and get email updates or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Nice article. I wrote a “Feng Shui Consumer Tip Guide” many years ago with some similar sentiments.
Thanks! Can you share the link to your article?
At first I thought the title of your article was directed at Feng Shui consultants, with tips on how they should conduct a consultation (which I get asked about too), but then in reading it, found your article was more for the consumer. I’d have to search for the article on HGTV’s website, and should upload it on my own blog, which I haven’t done yet….Maybe I can do that this week. and get you a link. Aside from the HGTV publication, I just send it out manually to people who want to find a local consultant and ask the proper questions of them, before considering working with me long distance. Will get back to you. Thanks!
You are a great writer. Really enjoyed it. I am a Classical Feng Shui consultant with an engineering background. I too like science, cause and effect and substantiation. My writing skills are not quite as good as yours. Thank you for an informative article that is a real service to the public.
Thanks for the compliment! It’s good to know that you’re out there. Let me know when you’d like to guest blog on Feng Shui Nexus!