The Circulating Life Force

That is Qi, or Chi, or Ki

It's all energy no matter how we slice it.  Doesn't matter if we call it molecular energy, atomic energy, life force, power, Spirit, it's all the same stuff.

What enery does for all systems is animates, circulates, vitalizes, replenishes, and supports the optimal function of the system.

Qi is simply the Chinese word for energy or life force.  Some say Chi, the Japanese say Ki.  It's all the same.

Qi is life.  Without it we have no life.  With too little, we have poor function.  When Qi gets stuck it causes pain. 

The Chinese Character for Qi, denotes rice and vapor.   

The rice represents the physical aspect of Qi while the vapor represents the non-physical aspect of Qi.  Non-physical means that which we can't see with the naked eye, yet we can't say doesn't exist, like the wind.   



Some physical aspects of Qi are:

  • blood
  • lymph
  • cells
  • bone                                                                        

Some less-physical aspects of Qi are:

  • circulation
  • nerve conduction
  • thoughts
  • breath

It is the management of your Qi that determines your health.  The choices you make over a lifetime either supports your Qi, or puts a strain on Qi.  Straining Qi would be overwork, too little or poor quality sleep, poor nutrition, or excessive stress.  All these types of strains ask your Qi to give beyond it's means.  If this request is made for too long, symptom(s) will appear in order to get your attention.  If symptom(s) are ignored, or are suppressed, a more serious disease pattern emerges. 

You can't "see" your thoughts or emotions, yet they exist (such as love, joy, peace, resentment, judgment, worry, fear).  If any emotion or thought is given too much air-time, it leads to disharmony.  This is because each organ system relies on circulation and movement to function well.  Thoughts and emotions, as non-physical Qi, can burden and back up the system, disrupting proper function.

Lack of physical movement leads to sluggish circulation of Qi, which may stagnate, causing physical pain.  

If poor circulation is allowed to persist, things like inflammation can’t be flushed out through the lymph system.  Vital nutrition, via the blood, can’t nourish as intended.  Cellular debris builds up.  This would be akin to never changing your vacuum cleaner bag, and wondering why the vacuum isn’t doing what it’s supposed to.

I’ve often said that if bodies were glass and we could SEE what was happening inside, we’d do a lot of things different.

How do you care for your Qi?  I’m glad you asked.  There are a few core tenets in Chinese Medicine such as:

  • We must eat whole foods that have life force intact.  Junk food has no Qi.  It is dead food.  In fact it costs extra Qi to break down junkfood. There is “junk” and there is “food”.  Real food, that is alive and whole, has Qi. We replenish our Qi every day primarily through the food we eat.
  • Deep breathing allows oxygen to circulate throughout the whole body.  Oxygen is an important form of Qi.  Your body lives on the stuff.  Deprivation causes major problems.  Short, shallow breathing is considered deprivation.
  • Allowing healthy thoughts, while disallowing repetitive, negative thinking keeps Qi moving well. 
  • Qi must flow well in your body for health to be your outcome.  It’s why Acupuncture is so health-promoting because it moves Qi.

These are a just few Qi considerations.  More to come in future posts. For now, how might you support your Qi better?  It’s a good question to ask yourself.  Write down some thoughts.  Be willing to play with some possibilities.  It’s trial-and-error for each of us. Never give up. Your health is worth it.