By Hayley Stobbs R.Ac, CNC
Qi is the vital, interconnected fabric of life phenomena, ‘stuff of the universe’, with electromagnetic energy as it’s leading constituent. The word Qi, pronounced “Chee”, is commonly used in regards to strength or health. This vital source is the life force that supports physiological functioning and disease prevention.
”Simply put, the body is full of energy or Qi. For example, the heart is constantly sending energy into the body through electrical systems that control the timing of the heart beats. Veins carry energy the same way lightening carries electricity.” - Alyssa Dazet, LAc
The oldest and most comprehensive medical classic compendium contains over 3000 references to Qi. The roots of Qi as 'the vital substance of living beings' evolved from Daoist writers who explained the body as a microcosm of the universe. Environmental observations were thus applied metaphorically to the body itself and this art merged and evolved with the science of human anatomy and physiology and yin and yang theory (complementary yet opposing forces).
”Every human being has a life force or vital energy. It remains in the body as long as there is life and leaves at the time of death. This life force is called Qi in TCM and Prana is Ayurveda, and is a manifestation of yang.” - Claudia Welsh, DAOM
Health Properties of Qi
Qi describes functional activity of the body. Qi transports, holds (contains), transforms, protects, and warms. For example, Spleen Qi sinking results in organ prolapse.
Qi as structure and quality. Qi is apart of dense, aggregated, material (continuous) structures, and can transform into dispersed (discontinuous) forms. For example, the human body on earth (dense), transforms into a dispersed form of energy with death.
Qi in health. The vitality of our organs and overall mind-body-spirit depends on balanced and adequate Wei Qi (defensive, protective Qi), Gu Qi (food Qi), Zong/gathering Qi (food + air), Yuan Qi (source Qi), Zhen Qi (true qi consisting of Ying Qi (nourishment) and Wei Qi), Zhong Qi (central Qi), Zheng Qi (upright Qi), and Shen Qi.
Qi as movement. Qi ascends, descends, exits, and enters. The 'Qi mechanism' within main meridians and networks of channels can be visualized as a system of roots, trunks, branches, and stems where nourishment flows, or as roads and motorways in which traffic requires regulation.
Qi as climate and emotions. The human body is one inseparable whole with meteorological forces (heat, cold, damp, dry, fire, wind) and emotions (joy, worry, grief, fear, and anger).
I hope my post has given you insight today. If you’re interested in acupuncture I’d be happy to guide you along. Please visit www.vcaspa.com to book online or call 250-590-4341. To learn more about my acupuncture practice, follow @hayley_stobbs on Instagram.
In health & happiness,
Hayley Stobbs R.Ac, CNC