About Qi

Maybe you have heard of the word Qi (pronounced “Chee”).  Some people find that word confusing or mystical.  It is actually very common sense and concrete. Qi is Life Force Energy.

Consider how a tree looks in each season.  You are seeing the progression of life force energy moving through the tree over the course of a year.  The growth and flowering of spring.  The maturation of leaf and stabilizing of growth in the summer sun.  In fall, the energy of the tree recedes from the leaf and into the trunk.  Winter sees the energy of the tree go deep into its roots, waiting through the dark and cold for spring light and warmth to return.  In this way you can see the Qi of the tree move through its yearly cycle.

 

As it relates to health and the human being, think of Qi broadly as the sum total of each person’s anatomy and physiology: how well tissue differentiation and specialization occur, how efficiently nutrients are delivered and waste products eliminated, how powerfully we fight off microbial invaders and how effective we are at maintaining the dynamic balance and homeostasis of our organ systems.

 

 

A little more specifically, Qi in the body is further categorized into Yuan Qi, Ying Qi, and Wei Qi.

Yuan Qi is similar to our modern understanding of DNA.  It is the blueprint, the fundamental plan from which your body is made.  Through modern methods, we know that almost every cell in the body is made and remade continuously throughout our lives.  Blood cells, bone cells and brain cells are all used, broken down, and remade: sometimes over months, sometimes over years.  When Yuan Qi works properly, we remake all those cells and tissues in our body in a healthy way.  Acupuncture Medicine ensures our Yuan Qi works as well as possible throughout our lives.

Ying Qi is the substance that our bodies use to remake those cells and tissues.  Acupuncture  Medical Theory shows how we form Ying Qi from the food we eat and the air we breathe.  Quality food and air make quality Ying Qi.  Acupuncture Medicine corrects the interrupted flow of Ying Qi to ensure it is distributed properly to the different organ systems in our bodies.

Wei Qi is our defensive energy.  It is analogous to our immune systems, and yet also a little more.  It is our body’s capacity to interface with the outside world and it works to keep us safe from injury and disease.  Acupuncture Medicine stimulates the production and circulation of high quality Wei Qi.

In a general sense, when Qi circulates smoothly we feel good – in our minds and our bodies.  When our Life Force Energy gets weakened or obstructed, over-stressed or under-nourished, we feel out of balance and our conscious mind becomes aware there is a problem.

Acupuncture Medicine is very specific about how Qi circulates in the body and how to restore proper circulation when there is a problem, whether that problem is a disease or an injury.  When Qi is circulating properly and in the correct amounts, your body is able to heal and recover from disease and injury completely and with strength.

Acupuncture works by stimulating the production and flow of Qi: your body’s natural healing response.  Acupuncture Medicine helps remove blockages in your body’s natural healing processes and helps support organ systems weakened by modern food, lifestyle, and stressors.

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