The four types of Qi

There are four types of Qi in Chinese medicine concepts:
  • parental Qi,
  • acquired Qi,
  • inherited Qi and
  • wei qi.

To understand the our state of health, we have to know our own resources of Qi. Some people are blessed with strong energy resources inherited from their parents at birth. Others will need to work hard to boost their inherent energy levels by a healthy diet and lifestyle, and avoiding toxins and po1lutants, which can damage Qi.

Although some Qi is inherited from our family, Qi can be gained or dissipated throughout life.

Parental Qi ...The four types of Qi ...

Parental Qi is the Qi you get at birth. It is determined by your parents' state of health at around the time of (and particularly at the moment of) conception, and by the mother's health during pregnancy and labour.

This correlates directly with modern research. It is known that the sperm of men who drink heavily, smoke or who are under severe stress is of a lower quality. We also know that the health of a baby can be affected by drugs taken by the mother, by her lifestyle, or by trauma during pregnancy.

Parental Qi can be thought of as the deposit account in a bank. The deposit account can be used occasionally for special things, and to fall back on in times of emergency. It can be added to from a surplus in the current account. You get a reasonable 'interest' rate if you don't need to draw on funds very often. If this account is consistently overdrawn, you will need to fall back on your inheritance nest-egg to survive.

Acquired Qi ...The four types of Qi ...

Acquired Qi is the energy derived from the things we consume after we are born: food, fluids and air.

Poor diet, excessive alcohol consumption or polluted air can contribute to bad health, even in those with strong parental Qi who are born healthy.

The Acquired Qi is just like the current account in banking. The current account covers day-to-day living expenses. It will fluctuate according to your needs and the time of year. It can be depleted and renewed frequently. If you keep 'overspending' and this account is consistently in the red,you will have to keep drawing from your deposit account.

Inherited Qi ...The four types of Qi ...

Inherited Qi is the essential you. It is largely determined by the general constitution of your family, and explains why certain conditions can run in a family, even if they may sometimes skip a generation.

The Inherited Qi is the nest-egg. i.e. a one-off lump sum that cannot be substantially added to, and once it is used up you are broke!

Sometimes people can be born with a poor inheritance, such as those who suffer from congenital illness. With time, this basic store of Qi gradually erodes. In Chinese Medicine, some natural aspects of ageing, such as the menopause, may be related to the gradual depletion of Qi.

Wei Qi ...The four types of Qi ...

One of the main varieties of Qi is defence energy or Wei Qi. This is usually equated with our Western concept of the immune system. Wei Qi is seen as providing the main defence against attack from external "evils". If Wei Qi is strong, then the person is less likely to suffer from the sorts of colds and chills that the external evils might trigger Wei Qi does not circulate in the blood but travels through the skin and muscles where it controls the opening and closing of pores to regulate body temperature and moisten the skin.

Wei Qi movements

Wei Qi circulates during the day travelling up the spine, across the head in the morning, down the front of the body during the afternoon to reach the lower spine at night, where it retreats back into the body.

This means that the time of any external injury is highly significant in Chinese medicine. A head injury in the morning, for example, is likely to damage the circulating Wei Qi and so will be harder to treat than a head injury later in the day.

Managing These Four Types Of Qi

By eating properly, resting and exercising, you will keep your Qi current account in the black. Over a period of time, this will lead to a surplus, which can be siphoned off into a Qi deposit account. If left untouched, the Qi deposit account will grow.

Work out the relative strengths and weaknesses of your Qi Hnances. Use this to decide which areas of your health maintenance need special attention. Nurturing Qi during the good times will increase your basic store of Qi. And that is also your energy resources to combat disease.

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