Take a minute to look around your office. Is it appealing to your patients? Does it promote well-being?

Believe it or not, your office layout affects your work life as well as your patients; feng shui can also affect you, your patients and staff. How a space feels affects how people respond at a conscious and unconscious level, says feng shui consultant and lecturer Linda Varone, RN, MA, CFS .

While some spaces just don’t feel right and people want to leave right away, other spaces invite people to relax and talk comfortably about personal concerns. Chinese culture, wind (feng) and water (shui) are associated with good health, thus "good feng shui" came to mean good fortune, while "bad feng shui" means bad luck, or misfortune.

A poorly laid-out office plan with sharp angles, a darkly lit entrance to your office, and items piled up in your foyer will add stress subconsciously. With repeated exposure, this stress can lead to depression and illness. The United States is one of the most stressed nations in the world. The World Health Organization has called stress “the health epidemic of the 21st century.”

So how do you feng shui your office into an inviting, healthy environment? Follow these tips and you’ll be on your way to that perfect atmosphere.

  • Natural light: Decrease the use of fluorescent lighting. With natural light and fresh air, you will reduce the “fish bowl effect.”
  • Direct views: When sitting at a desk, make sure you’re away from the doorway but situated to where you can see people walk in. Having your desk against a solid wall is better than an open space. This is called the “power position” or the “command position.” If you have an open floor plan, use height partitions or bookshelves to create the “power/command position.” Position desks away from electrical machines such fax machines, credit card machines and printers as they emit electromagnetic fields and can drain energy.
  • Colors: Blue, blue-green and green are great colors to use because they are calm and soothing. Avoid textures and patterns on walls. If you have white walls, try to introduce color in other ways throughout your office with paintings and pictures. You can even change the color uniforms your staff wears; make the uniforms have patterns or allow them to spruce it up with scarves, pins, etc., to brighten themselves up.
  • Living things: Plants often help people feel calm. If you do not allow plants in your office, consider using silk plants as a way to interpret the same feeling. One thing to keep in mind in regard to plants — do not allow these to create clutter.
  • Clutter: This can lower the energy in a room. If you have visible items lying around the office, make sure that they are all useful. Create more storage space whenever possible. Keep your desk as neat as possible for positive energy. This includes your electronics: Having a busy computer desktop makes you feel stressed. Create folders on your desktop to organize yourself.

Try not to stuff your office with magazines, TVs, radios and other devices to improve the atmosphere. Creating a relaxing, functional and appealing medical office can be difficult. With that said, when you make use of feng shui, it can be used to enhance your office as well as make it an inviting, healthy, pleasing place to visit and work in.