According to the Flying Stars method of fung shui, the sickness sector for this year is located in the northwest. If the front door of your home or business is located in this sector, there might be an increased incidence of illness and lethargy. However, if you are in the health profession and the sickness star is present at the entrance, it will enhance your business. Don't be overly concerned if your bedroom lies in the northwest sector as there are strategies to overcome the negative energy. As the sickness star is an earth star, using metallic colours such as white, grey and silver will reduce its energy. This explains why some fung shui masters suggest placing metal wind chimes or coins in the sickness sector. Other alternatives include metal objects such as lamps and sculptures. Note that the greater the weight of the metal, the more effective it will be. In the productive cycle, fire stimulates earth. Thus, using red, burgundy, purple or maroon in the sector will increase the malignancy of the star. Another method of alleviating the sickness sector is to employ a wu lou or bottle gourd, which is believed to absorb the negative energy. Using either dried natural gourds or ones made of metal should produce the desired effect.