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Certified Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano is the CEO and founder of Feng Shui Manhattan (established in 1997). She provides bi-coastal remote and on-site consultations, seminars, workshops and classes in New York, California, New Jersey and Connecticut. In addition, Laura is a resident teacher at the Metropolitan Institute of Design in Syosset, NY.

Laura Has been featured on Bravo TV's "Watch What Happens Live," hosted by Andy Cohen, News China Television, The New York Times, PBS, The Real Deal New York, BBC Radio, Fios 1, CBC Television and The 98.3 FM K-JOY Radio Morning show. 


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Certified NYC Feng Shui Expert Laura Cerrano has over 20-years of on-site and remote Feng Shui & Design consulting. Consultations, seminars and classes provided in New York City and Los Angeles California, along with National and International locations.




According to Feng Shui - Is My Bathroom Draining the Energy of My Home?

Laura Cerrano

Lead photo courtesy of cocoparissienne

Lead photo courtesy of cocoparissienne


"Dear Laura,

I've been fascinated with the topic of Feng Shui for several years know and I have become really confused with certain things. For example, I've read in books and articles that my bathroom is considered a huge drain on my energy. Is this true?

Thank you,

Kathryn Walsh"


Dear Kathryn, 

Thank you for emailing me and what a great question! I have been teaching Feng Shui to public and private clients for 20 years. During this time I have found Feng Shui to be very subjective in  how each consultant is trained and how they choose to perceive the principles and their life experiences with the Feng Shui changes for themselves and with their clients. Another important observation is to understand Feng Shui speaks in the language of metaphors and symbolism, as that is how it was developed 5,000 years ago. So now its time to bridge ancient wisdom with today’s lifestyle. 

With that said, let’s explore possible reasons to how this Feng Shui bathroom principle came to be. According to the BTB Ba-gua map and Five Elements Theory, if you have too much representation of the water element or actual water inside your home or in a particular area, it could result in creating an in-balance of energy flow.

Lets say we have a bathroom located in the gua (life section) of “Career.” Why would this be a possible concern in Feng Shui?  When the toilet, tub, and sink are done being used the water drains away. Practicality wise, this is a good thing. From a Feng Shui perspective, if this happens repetitively each day, though the entire year this becomes a metaphor of energy draining away.

Pop Question: Did you know the Ba-gua map also associates with body parts? That’s right! In Feng Shui its believed your home is a living space, not just a space you live in. 

In the area of career, one of the associated body parts is your kidneys. In western physiology, the kidneys are a vital excretory organ whose main function is to create urine to help rid the body of toxins and unwanted water. TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) practitioners view the kidneys as a very important organ that not only regulates the urinary system but also exercises control over the reproductive, endocrine, and nervous systems. Simply put, if you have too much water element from a Feng Shui perspective in this area of your home, it could increase your chances for illness (which is true if you over hydrate your kidneys). 

To sum this up, YES, the principles of Feng Shui would love to see water flow in a balanced presentation that ‘generates’ energy moving inside of your home vs away. 

Are there non invasive remedies that could be put in place if a bathroom is in the career life section? Yes, there is!


Quick Bathroom Tips:

  • Keep the bathroom door closed. 


  • If you have any leaky pipes or drains, fix them. From a practical reason, this investment will save you money in the long term. From a Feng Shui perspective, leaky pipes are symbolic of wealth reduction and possible physical illnesses. 
  • You could tie a 9 inch cut red ribbon around your bathroom sink’s drain pipe. Why? This is what we call a “transcendental cure (working with the unseen),” passed on by his High Holiness Professor Lin Yun. This is not about stopping the actual water drain, its symbolic of stopping energy drain. According to Professor Lin Yun, the red ribbon cure’s power comes from the intention of why you tie the red ribbon around the drain pipe; and that is because the red ribbon symbolizes protection from excess drain energy. Keep in mind, some consultants may feel this suggestion is a “myth” and that is perfectly fine. At the end of the day, it’s your choice for discovering what works for you. 


  • Adding at least one plant in your bathroom is recommended. Why? The direction of energy flow with the drains moves downward. The plant grows in an upward vertical direction. This is said to help neutralize and stop the pulling of draining energy away from your home. 


  • And finally, the most modern day feng shui suggestion is to establish an overall atmosphere inside your bathroom that is “spa like.” This does not mean you need to go and invest in a brand new bathroom (unless you are already in the market to do so). It means, to create a space that is enjoyable to be in. Take notice of the colors, the smells, the textures, your light sources, etc. They all play a part in balancing the overall energy. 

Naturally, there is more to this discussion, yet these are some starter points to get you going and even possible see Feng Shui in a different light.

5 Ba-gua Map Life Sections Not to Be Ignored When Feng Shui-ing Your Home

Laura Cerrano

photo credit by Ben Garratt

photo credit by Ben Garratt

Feng Shui is estimated to be around 5,000 years old. It’s a lifestyle practice that provides environmental healing for the body, mind and spirit by harmonizing your home and office. The Ba-gua map is one of many tools utilized to help identify strengths and weaknesses within those given spaces. It also provides the opportunity to illuminate insights into the conscious and sub-conscious minds of those occupants as the home and work environments become metaphors of one's life.  

The Ba-gua map is a grid of nine life section which can be laid upon an entire floor plan or single room. By doing this, it helps to explain which areas of a home influences specific areas of your life. The four most common Feng Shui life sections addressed in written articles and spoken about on television and radio include wealth, health, love and career.

These life sections of course appeal to our senses immediately due to their concepts, yet there are five equally important life sections that need your attention. They include family, reputation (fame), creativity, helpful people and wisdom. It’s important to remember these life sections may look separate on the Ba-gua map, yet they are all interconnected, influencing one another.  Below is an overview of the five most commonly ignored life sections on the Ba-gua Map from a conceptual Feng Shui perspective.


1. Family and Ancestors

One of the easiest ways to address this life section inside your home is by displaying happy family photos. Of course, be sure the selected images of those family members are truly supportive of you. You could also use symbolic references that tap into your ancestral heritage. As an adoptee from Colombia, I don’t know my biological family’s background, yet I have always had an intuitive interest with various indigenous cultures. From that, I have researched stories and symbolic meanings, utilizing that information in my life and home as a means to assist in reconnecting with my biological heritage from South America. 


2. Wisdom, Spirituality and Knowledge

Photo Credit: Ashley Batz

Photo Credit: Ashley Batz

Wisdom, also referred to as spirituality and knowledge, is a fascinating life section that allows you the opportunity to refine and develop stronger intuition and self-growth in all areas of your life. Begin by asking yourself, what daily routines have I adopted to positively improve my “inner Feng Shui?” Become more mindful with whom allow inside your circle of influence. Are they adding value to your life or draining your energy? Have you made time to learn those new topics of interest that has been repetitively ‘dropping’ into your mind? These are quick insights in how to take action with nurturing your spirit and expanding your wisdom. 

In regard to your home, become open and receptive in connecting with your personal practice of faith or whatever you choose to believe in. Displaying word art (positive affirmations from those who truly inspire you) or visual cues, such as with images or statues that references your beliefs are options to help harness wisdom, spirituality and knowledge. This is especially important when navigating challenging times in life. 


3. Reputation and Fame

This life section is also referred to as fame and do to that title, some people may associate this Feng Shui concept it with being selfish. I invite you to be receptive to a different perspective when addressing reputation; “how you see yourself, is how others see you.” Essentially, when you are making changes to the overall dynamic configuration of your home, your personality and dreams are being expressed simultaneously though your conscious and subconscious minds. This allows you to establish stronger environmental metaphors within your home that align with your true authentic self. 

To begin the process of revealing a clearer reflection of you, it’s a common suggestion to declutter. By clearing away items that no longer represent the unneeded past, you are creating room for greater self-expansion and expression. 


4. Creativity and Children

This life section associates with children and that does not have to be taken so literally. Allowing your own inner child to be playful and spontaneous is essential during the process of manifesting and transforming. Activities could include painting, dancing, music, cooking, writing or even partaking in fun social outings.  Embracing this Feng Shui concept is also giving yourself permission to create a work-life balance. From a scientific viewpoint, CNN reports engaging in creative ventures protects neuron growth by promoting the production of new neurons, which are crucial for maintaining a healthy central nervous system and can assist in preventing Alzheimer’s.

Addressing creativity and children from within your home from a more practical approach could be accomplished by displaying photos of your children, if you have them. Or you could utilize more accented colors throughout your furnishings that suit your personality. Even the display of musical instruments and playing music is a wonderful addition.


5. Helpful People and Travel

Photo credit: Jonathan Simcoe

Photo credit: Jonathan Simcoe

The energy of helpful people could be of service by jump-starting the other life sections. How so? Chances are, if you need help with getting a promotion at work or improving health you’ll need assistance at some point in time. Asking for help is essential when making positive changes in your life, yet some could feel it’s a sign of weakness. Please know, it's not. If anything, it’s empowering and it gives you options on how to resolve a challenging situation and cultivate new ideas; “Ask and you shall receive.”

In regard to acknowledging helpful people within your home feel free to display images or gifts given to you by those who are truly helpful in your life. They could be friends, family, co-workers or even acquaintances. For those who wish to combine a more metaphysical approach, you could call upon “unseen” sources for help. Common references could include Jesus, Buddha, various Arch angels or what ever you personally believe in.

To enhance travel energy think about one to three top places you envision traveling to. Write them down and research your choices. If you wish, you could even display a world map inside your home to promote more travel. Release the worry of, “I don't have enough money or time for travel; “where attention goes, energy flows.” If you truly believe in the need for adventure or vacation, time and finances will find either a practical or creative way to align with that request.

Have fun, be creative and playful with your approach to Feng Shui. It’s a step by step process that can be pleasantly surprising when you allow yourself to be open and receptive to change.