Zen makeover: The direction your bed is facing may be making you sick!

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  • New study claims that the way your home is set up could be affecting your health, your finances, and even your work productivity

  • Co-author: ‘Modern medicine now recognizes the powerful effects of the ‘envirome’ on health.’

FAIRFIELD, Iowa — Could your interior design skills actually save your physical and mental health? A new study explains that just by pointing your bed and other furniture in the right direction, your well-being could greatly improve!

A team from Maharishi International University looked at 40 years of research into the practice of Maharishi Vastu architecture (MVA). Whether you call it “Zen” or “flow,” they found that where certain objects are inside a building — as well as the direction they face — can impact everything from stress, to sleep, to mental health.

Study authors describe MVA as a holistic wellness architectural system which aligns buildings with nature’s intelligence. The result creates a balanced and integrated living environment that promotes the general well-being of the people inside.

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“We were surprised to find that something so ancient has so much to tell us about how buildings can improve our health and productivity,” says lead author Jon Lipman, AIA, director of the Institute for Vedic Architecture at Maharishi International University, in a media release.

Is your bed facing the wrong way?

According to the study, if your head is facing to the east or south when you sleep, you’re more likely to have a lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Meanwhile, people with homes that have an entrance facing south display poorer mental health and have more financial problems. Sounds like you may need to bring a compass the next time you’re looking to buy a house!

Whether you work in an office or at home, it might also be time to turn your desk around! Researchers found that facing east while you work leads to greater brain coherence and helps workers complete tasks faster.

Cleaning up the ‘envirome’

Researchers note that many studies into MVA look at how building layouts impact stress and increase comfort. This new review provides more evidence that where we place our belongings could also influence the physical well-being of the person spending most of their time in this place — or as the researchers call it, their “envirome.”

“Modern medicine now recognizes the powerful effects of the ‘envirome’ on health,” says study co-author Robert Schneider, MD, FACC, and Dean of the College of Integrative Medicine at Maharishi International University.

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“The envirome includes all the natural and man-made elements of our environment throughout the lifespan, notably the built environment. This review of the science suggests that buildings constructed according to principles of Maharishi Vastu architecture function as positive elements in the envirome to enhance mental and physical health and well-being. Further advances in neuroscience offer plausible physiological explanations for these effects.”

Where does MVA come from?

Study authors note that Maharishi Vastu architecture is a revival of an ancient architectural system from South Asia. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the Transcendental Meditation organization, developed several principles of architectural design that researchers have found can benefit the health of the people living or working in such a building.

Some of the principles include:

  • The building’s main entrance should face the east or north.
  • Building walls should align with the cardinal directions.
  • The floor plan clearly assigns key functions to specific locations within the building.
  • The floor plan also allows occupants to face the most ideal directions during work and sleep.
  • MVA emphasizes the use of non-toxic, natural materials, increased fresh air, and reduced electromagnetic radiation.

The findings are published in the journal Global Advances in Health and Medicine.

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  1. Studies like this have been tested under controlled conditions. One test was held in an empty mono-colored room with no windows and under double-blind conditions. A design group of top practitioners of the principles of architectural design (as described in this article) was brought in under blindfold. The blindfolds were removed and the group was told to set up the room as the “energy and direction would be most beneficial.” Because they had no windows and no sense of direction (blindfolded upon entry), they were forced to rely on the actual “energy of the room.” Once satisfied, they presented their design. The next day, they were brought into the same room under the same conditions. The room had been brought to its original condition with no furniture or design. There were told to design the room as the energy directed. This test was repeated for a total of ten days with four separate design teams. What the designers did not know is that the room was on a mechanical axis allowing the scientists to rotate the room in a different direction for each test. The conclusion? The direction or “energy” of the room had no bearing on the designers set up choices. It was fully random within statistical margins.

    1. No! Say it isn’t true! New Age is for REAL!!! lololol. Let’s this be a lesson, folks. Just because someone is in authority they can still know diddly squat about anything. The subject matter of this article is beyond stupid.

    2. And that is why that experiment is not a valid one. A true one would have the natural earth surroundings, sunlight, landscape, and its natural atmosphere.

      1. I studied Feng shui…
        I don’t agree with it all. As a Christian God’s Word is a lamp into my feet.
        But there is energy in a room, in the world.

    3. Presumably the room already had a door in it regardless of it’s orientation, so that’s one aspect that couldn’t be changed.
      In my own home there are locations within rooms that amplify or resonate with low frequency sounds from external sources. These could have been avoided during the design stage had such things been common knowledge at the time.
      My preferences include a kitchen that faces east for the morning sun and bedrooms that are not affected by the afternoon sun during hot summer weather – practical considerations that are obvious and most probably accounted for in Feng Shui along with the more subtle considerations – but nobody seems to have a definitive answer on whether many of these principles hold good for the southern hemisphere.

  2. I am facing east at my PC desk and eating Cosmic Crisp apple slice for a morning snack.
    I drove east to the filling station and headed he car to the east. My conclusion. I think someone has too much time on their hands and it isn’t me.

  3. How very Chinese. Notice how all our news has a positive Chinese flow to it? Almost like the Chinese own stock in these media companies and websites or something.

    1. When you say a bed “faces East etc”… is that the direction the head of the bed is at while standing at the end of the bed, or the direction it is facing while laying in the bed with our head on the pillow?

  4. This knowledge and much more relating to the East is based on early Hebrews and Yahowah (God’s name) who led them, compared to Asian theories including direction for your bed, but that isn’t nearly as trendy today.

    1. Some of these calculations are mentioned in Tractate Berakhoth 5b in the Talmud when mentioning certain advantages of copying in our homes some of the “furniture” orientations in the Holy of Holies.

  5. Please stop trying to make “science” out of things that are fundamentally not scientific. You can do a “study” to investigate the science underlying the fairytale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. And apparently you can get it written up in “Study Finds.” I’m sure the bed that Goldilocks declared to be “just right” was the one facing east.

    The authors of the “study” had the audacity to claim no conflicts of interest. But they have a business selling house plans and doing consulting on their vastu houses, and they wrote this “study” to give themselves credibility. If you want to sell snake oil, you’ll need some marketing materials — just do a study that lists all the benefits of your snake oil and be sure to include a lengthy list of irrelevant references. Get it written up in “Study Finds” and you’re ready to start filling orders.

    Look, if you believe that ancient cosmic architecture will increase your bank account, just own it. Try it out and see if your bank account grows or shrinks after you’ve paid for all those house plans, all that consulting, all that earth moving and all those expensive materials. Even if your bank account ends up empty, at least you’ll feel good about yourself. Just don’t call it science. Please.

    1. I once had a centrally located office within a much larger office area. Apparently the thinking was this would offer good scope for keeping an eye on things. My office had a couple of visitor’s chairs opposite my desk, one of which was located nearest the door and almost directly opposite my own chair.
      The problem with the location of this chair was that nobody could sit in it for more than a few moments without feeling queezy – and it had nothing to do with me.
      So, it wasn’t long before I moved to a corner location within the larger office area and everything there was fine.
      If for some reason there is an area or areas of your home that have a detrimental effect that may be quite subtle, it may, over time, take it’s toll affecting your overall performance and/or having an impact on your general outlook.
      I’m not saying getting everything right in your home will positively affect your income – but getting it wrong can obviously give you a handicap you could well do without.

  6. Sounds like 1980s California ‘New Age’ mumbo-jumbo at it’s finest. Whatever happened to meditators ‘levitating’ while practicing TM? I have yet to see a televised public demonstration. And has an increased number of folks meditating led to a reduction in crime?
    Police statistics in 2022 don’t support that claim.

  7. You can easily test this hypothesis on a typical city block with houses that face each other, one house entrance facing south, the other facing north. Taking into account bedroom locations for each house etc.

    Then see if the occupants fit the predictions of financial status, lower heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. We all know what those findings will be. This is why you will never see objective tests of this nature being performed

    This is nothing but confirmation bias/placebo effect pseudoscience.

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