Is your bed facing the wrong way for wellness? According to a study in Global Advances in Health & Medicine, the direction of furniture, doors, and other objects in a home or building can influence a person’s physical and mental health.
Researchers from Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa examined 40 years of data related to Maharishi Vastu Architecture (MVA). Based on natural law, MVA is an ancient system of design that promotes a harmonious living space for better health, less stress, sounder sleep, and more. An environment that emphasizes non-toxic, natural materials, increased fresh air, and reduced electromagnetic radiation is also an important tenant of MVA.
Key Research Findings
- Sleeping with your head to the east or south is linked to positive health outcomes, such as lower heart rate, blood pressure, and serum cholesterol levels.
- Homes with south entrances are associated with poorer mental health and more financial problems.
- Facing east while working is associated with greater brain coherence and faster task completion.
- Occupants of Maharishi Vastu architecture homes or office buildings show higher creativity and report improved health and quality of life.
- 88 percent of participants reported that living in MVA was associated with a higher overall quality of life
- 80 percent found improved physical health
- 71 percent exhibited improved mental health
- 89 percent of respondents attributed the improved quality of life to living in an MVA home
- 78 percent said their family relations improved
- 85 percent reported less stress
- 80 percent reported improved mental health
- 88 percent of parents said their children were happier
- 92 percent reported greater overall success
“Published research suggests that incorporating MVA principles into buildings correlates with significant improvements in occupants’ physical and mental health and quality of life: better sleep, greater happiness of children, and the experience of a heightened sense of security and reduced stress. The frequency of burglaries, a social determinant of health, also correlates,” say the study authors.
The improvements in physical health, mental health, well-being, security, family relationships, professional achievement and satisfaction, and self-actualization reported above in MVA homes and offices are in the areas predicted above by MVA’s source literature. What may account for the substantial and widespread correlations? The authors hypothesize that it is the holistic integration of MVA’s elements.
But, in particular, reported findings are consonant with MVA’s predictions regarding the effect upon human subjects of building orientation and human head direction, which raise building orientation and head direction as novel factors to be further studied in the search for ways to improve the effect of buildings upon health.
The impact, for better or worse, of buildings on public health is well documented. Almost two decades ago Evans wrote, “The built environment has direct and indirect effects on mental health.” Indeed, the hazards of urban life that are the subject of much of the field of public health are often proposed to have arisen substantially because most architectural and urban design is not adequately integrated with nature (e.g., Bowers et al, 2021; Davis et al 2021). The findings collected in this paper give hope that MVA buildings, with their wide-ranging and profound agenda of alignment with nature, may reduce these hazards.
While more research is needed, the literature reviewed herein raises the possibility that incorporating the technology of MVA into the world’s future buildings may significantly reduce disease and promote health.