The first thing a Feng Shui Consultant should do at a consultation is to try to get a feel for the energy of a house. I discuss my impressions with the clients and put together an energetic picture of the house. This energetic picture is like a snapshot of what we refer to in Feng Shui as the "Qi" (pronounced "chee") of the house. Qi means all pervading energy, however, in a much greater scope than we are accustomed to defining it. Chinese medicine and all Chinese practices are based on Qi - as is Feng Shui. Qi is not limited to the human world or the animal kingdom but is also considered to be found in rocks and mountains or even a landscape.
A building has its own "bio-energy field", a modern term for Qi, which, in fact, is manifested in a double layer of a specific density embracing the entire house like a gigantic bubble. Over the last 10 years, two German scientists, Wilhelm Gerstung and Jens Mehlhase, MD. have described the energy fields of houses and apartment buildings of different sizes and forms very precisely:
The house aura is primarily manifested in a double hull. The inner field stands out 4 to 5 ½ feet with an outer layer of about 12 to 15 feet. These energy layers hold the energetic imprint of the house beginning with the original intentions of the architect and the builder, the energetic information of the materials which were used, and the energetic influences of the people living in the house, past and present. Many people describe house specific energies in an intuitive way. When a person first moves into a house they may experience discomfort and unusual feelings without being aware of the cause. It may take up to a year or even longer after moving into an old house before a home finally feel like it's theirs.
To accelerate this process an energy clearing can be performed. Next to cleaning the house on a physical level by de-cluttering, emptying the basement and attic, scrapping old wallpaper and repainting, a clearing is done. Following various traditions one may ceremoniously burn sage, sound sacred drums or bells (of high quality) or offer flowers or food.
The aura bubbles protect the house from outside influences, as a person's aura protects the body. The simpler the form of a building or property the stronger the aura. Unfortunately, creative shapes and over-designed buildings actually weaken the energetic body of the house. Added sun rooms without support from a basement or towers standing against a house (rather than over it) do more harm than good. Split levels and half-basements completely compromise the energetic structure. The more corners and edges the house aura must accomodate, the more total strength it loses.
Another very common situation is the proximity of living spaces. You can imagine that if a house's energy field extends fifteen feet, the ideal distance between two buildings needs to be a minimum of thirty feet with anything closer conceding an overlap of these energy fields. In the case of an apartment a person is literally living, at least partially, in the energy of his neighbors and vice versa!
There are precautions one can take when searching for a new home. Besides, taking into account sufficient distance to neighbor structures, try to find a simple, regular form for your house and property. Square or rectangular shapes, if not too long, are best. Irregular shapes such as L-forms and U-forms create missing areas. In traditional Feng Shui these situations are corrected by completing these forms with landscaping. Missing corners can be established by placing a tree, lamp post or large rock where a regular form would naturally complete itself.
In the case that there is no present possibility to change a situation or if these measures do not feel sufficient, new tools are available to balance these energies. In Europe, because of tight living conditions, energetic shields have been developed that address the above situations.