Feng Shui has two premises and two levels of practice. The first premise is that of man’s state of mind and energy, which affects his environment, for good or for worse. The second premise is that the condition of the environment affects man’s internal state.
The Chinese medical model emphasises the nutritional value of food and is most often referred to as the “postnatal Chi”. Chi means the fundamental energy of the universe. In this context, it refers to the positive energy of the individual which can be achieved through nutrition and good food, essential to maintain the balance the Feng Shui forces inherent in the system.

Man has built kitchens from early civilisation, dating back 5,000 years. While building one, he ensured that basic elements of earth, fire, water and metal were in harmony. It is also the source of everything that is grown and cooked. The properties of the soil are used to make earthenware vessels and utensils.

Everything that is brought into the kitchen is changed in some way and this process of change is part of a far larger cycle of energy, a cycle that includes not only the preparation and cooking of food, but the entire e process of life itself.

For the Chinese, the kitchen and culinary skills are of utmost importance. In order to understand the world of Feng Shui and the art of Chinese cooking, it is important to understand the logic of their construction and why it was meant to be so. It was in these kitchens that they learnt to live, cook and eat in accordance with the dynamics of nature. The common expression, “you are what you eat,” conveys a truth that has been part of Chinese culture for centuries. You can also change what you are and how you feel by what you eat. We do this every day without particularly thinking about it. The most common ingredients in Chinese food are onions, ginseng, ginger root, garlic, carrot and spinach and they are said to be “medicinal foods.” You will find at least one of these in each meal being consumed by them.

A fundamental principle of Feng Shui is that there should be a clear distinction between different functions within the home and especially in a place like the kitchen where energies of different kinds exist. It is mandatory to demarcate the areas of each function.  
A stove or a hob well defined and kept away from water is most essential. A large window behind the sink is essential and should not be behind the stove. Colours like browns and beige are good for the kitchen although I personally prefer shades of yellows. Darker brown tones for the flooring are good and grouping all equipment which rely on water to one side is not only convenient from the point of view of plumbing, but ensures that there is no clash between elements. So a good and healthy kitchen culminates into not just good food but a healthy and harmonious environment which supports the occupants and connects them with the energies of the premises.

S B S Surendran
(The author is a master Feng Shui consultant and traditional Vaastu practitioner. He may be reached by phone on 080 25252456 or 25252109, or by email at fengshui@fengshuiserver.com.                      
Website http://www.fengshuiserver.com)