The “Qi” Theory

By Milos

The Theory of Life Force (Qi) is at the core of Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). It proposes that everything in Nature is made of energy called Qi (“chee”). This energy animates live things but also inhabits material world (matter is described as “Qi taking shape”). In addition to being an “ingredient” of everything, Qi is also the energy that “makes things happen”. Air is used to illustrate those seemingly opposing qualities of Qi. Qi moves just like air moves in the form of wind but Qi also moves other things, just like wind will move water to create waves.

In Human body, Qi is the “energy” we have but also the energy that makes a heart beat or lung deflate. Our organs collect Qi from air and food (Lung and Spleen), transform it (Liver), move it (Heart) and store it (Kidney) for constant use. TCM and Acupuncture believe that even our thoughts and emotions are manifestations of Qi.

According to TCM and Acupuncture, we are born with a finite amount of energy and we spend it as we go through life. The energy we posses is more abundant the younger we are and this explains why our skin and bones heal so much faster when we are young or why, as we grow old, our Immune System weakens or fails.

Qi is one of the three entities that govern the human body. The other two are “Blood” and “Moisture”. Unlike Qi which is invisible, “Blood” is a matter that creates and nourishes the tissues. “Moisture” governs the interior of the body keeping it at optimum temperature allowing all parts to properly function. Qi is the third component and it is in charge of generating movement, action and growth.

Qi follows the flow of Blood and travels down pathways called Meridians. All Meridians have Points that can be used to regulate the flow of Qi. Acupuncture is an art of “moving the Qi”.

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