A Wu luo/Wuluo is a metaphysical apparatus that is used in Feng Shui to protect and strengthen health.
When placed next to the bed of a sick patient, or simply to protect against the qi of sickness, the wuluo can be remarkably effective.
Over the past 22-odd years of recommending wuluo I've seen consistently good results, so it is a Feng Shui object that can be used, whether you believe in Feng Shui, or not.
A most effective size is around 25cm. Sometimes you can purchase small wu luos; if so, purchase 7 small ones and string them together with golden thread so they can be hung together close to your bedhead.
Hole in the Top
For a wuluo to be effective it should have a hole in the top so it may absorb the negative qi of sickness. It is also because the gourd will then resemble the Trigram Dui from the Yijing:
For this reason, the figure-8 shaped bottle gourd is the best.
The wuluo is soft, like balsa-wood. It is very easy to whittle a hole in the top, big enough for your thumb to fit in. Or alternatively, you can gently and easily cut the top stem right off (be careful using a knife, do not apply pressure):
New or Used?
I believe that buying a new wuluo without a hole in the top is the best way, because once the hole is placed, then it begins to work, and so can start to absorb energy from whatever environment it is located in.
Wu Luo can be left natural, or can be painted a golden colour. After you have pierced the hole at the top, paint with spray paint or rub-on golden paint in a tube.
Sometimes they can be purchased already painted with images. That's fine as long as they are not red. If they have a red ribbon or tassel, remove it.
Refresh Your Wu Luo
Every so often take out your wuluo and dust it off, then refresh it by pouring in a small amount of clear alcohol and swishing it around for a minute. Pour out the alcohol and let the wuluo dry in the sun or on top of a heater. This can be done just before Chinese New Year, when you may be moving your wuluo around according to the annual Feng Shui influences.
If you can't get one
Try a vase shaped like a wuluo.
If you are not feeling well, particularly belly-related problems, pour hot water into a wuluo and lay down, relax and gently rub the wuluo over the affected area. It has a soothing effect and absorbs the sickness qi.
Where to buy?
In Australia, try www.thegourdfather.com.au
Want more info?
Here's an article about Calabash by Master Joseph Yu