What is Qi?

Qi, often spelled as chi or ki is the natural energetics that run through all living things; it is a vital life force. Though it is a concept that is well known in many Asian cultures, the idea of Qi can still be very difficult to grasp from a western perspective however this article will attempt to assist in bridging the knowledge gap.

The main reason many people have trouble grasping the concept of Qi is because it is not visible to the the human eye. However much like oxygen, despite being invisible to the human field of vision – it is critical for all living things. Interestingly though, Qi can be trained to be felt even if it remains invisible to the human umwelt.

Where most people come across the concept of Qi is via Tai Chi or Qi Gong. Both have a strong association with the vital life force and are ways of nourishing and enhancing it. The Chi in Tai Chi is not the same as the term Qi we are exploring though. Tai Chi is the western phonetic for Taiji which translates roughly to “Supreme Ultimate” – a name of a system of martial arts.

To explore the concept from a biomedical or western perspective, Qi would be the biomagnetic energy that runs through our body. As the body is primarily composed of water, biomagnetic energy (and electrical signals both sensory and motor) move freely throughout it. This is why acupuncture works so effectively – it acts as a manual redirection of biomagnetic energy in the body (you can read more here).

Energy is a good thing regardless of perspective so learning to use Qi can enhance your energy levels and even be used to facilitate faster healing of injuries. Through the practice of Chinese Exercise Therapy, you learn to feel Qi and eventually redirect it using your mental thought process. Science has shown that the mind body connection is extremely powerful. For example in neuroscience if you think too much about an area of pain, twice as many motor and sensory neurons are activated and as such things feel twice as painful.

Enhancing Qi means to nourish it and allow it to flow through the body to keep things unblocked, lubricated and functioning well. Combined with proper diet and regular acupuncture treatment for maintenance, it can assist in extending life duration. It is the Chinese concept of Yang Sheng (to live a nourishing life).

With this knowledge in mind, it is never too late to begin learning how to strengthen and cultivate your Qi. Daily and proper practice of Chinese Exercise Therapy (Tai Chi or Qi Gong) will begin to show results in a short duration so please contact us to start your journey towards longevity and well being today.

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