The Vital Energy in Our Body - Qi

Qi (pronounced “chee”) is the motive energy of all life and activity. It is the "life force" circulating through the body and animating it, actuating its motions and functions.

This vital energy is constantly circulating, rising, falling, getting expelled and being absorbed. We call these movements the 'qi mechanism'. The 'qi mechanism' refers to the increase, decrease and movement of qi, ie the physiological action of qi. To experience the effect of Qi Flow, try this simple qigong exercise.

Traditional Chinese therapies include various exercise and massage techniques (e.g. Qigong Exercise ) that are designed to strengthen the inner Qi energies.

Various Types Of Qi

There are a few types of qi:

  • Wei Qi the main defence against attack from external "evil" qi.
  • Parental Qi are our birth gifts, carefully deposited in a saving account to provide important resources when they are needed.
  • Acquired Qi is our current energy account. It is boosted by a good lifestyle and used up as our energy levels fail.
  • Inherited Qi is our nested-egg. A one-off store whose amount will vary with each individual.

The Major Disorders of Qi

The major disorders of Qi are described as follows:

1. Stagnant qi (Qi Zhi) is blocked or does not flow normally. Swelling in an organ can be an example of stagnant qi.

2. Deficient qi (Qi Xu) is not available or unable to carry out qi functions. An example of qi deficiency is the body's inability to maintain normal temperature, a function of qi.

3. Sinking qi (Qu Xian) is not able to perform its function of holding or supporting the organs; uterine prolapse is an example of sinking qi.

4. Rebellious qi (Qi Ni) flows in the wrong direction. A manifestation of this condition. would be vomiting.

A balanced qi mechanism maintains normal physiological activities. When the qi is out of balance, as when blockage in the qi flow results in a steep increase in the levels of qi and pent-up qi, it will lead to illnesses.

Herbs to regulate Qi

Herbs are used in TCM both to invigorate and energize deficient Qi and to move Qi around the body to avoid stagnation and to regulate the Weak Qi is treated with tonic herbs, while sluggish or stagnant Qi needs remedies that help to move Qi through the channels.

Herbs to tonify Qi include Ren Shen, Dang Shen, Huang Qi, Shan Yao (Chinese yam, Dioscorea opposita), Bai Zhu, Da Zao, and Gan Cao.

Herbs to regulate sluggish Qi and combat stagnation include Chen Pi, Zhi Shi (unripe bitter orange fruits, Citrus aurantium), Xiong Fu, Mu Xiang (Saussurea lappa), Tan Xiong (sandalwood, Santalum album), Xie Bai (Chinese chives, Allium mocrostemon), Mei Gui Hua (Rosa rugosa), and li Zhi He (leechee kernels, Litchi chinensis).


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