Meridian Massage

Chinese Medicine

Holistic Living

What is Qi?

Taiji practiceQi is Energy

Qi (“chee”) is not a western term.
“Qi” comes from a culture vastly different than European based cultures. Although cultures differ, people everywhere in the world wonder about the same things: Why are we here? Where did we come from? What is life? What is death?
One answer from Chinese culture is Qi.
Qi can be translated as the energy that enlivens us. If we jump out of bed quickly, we might think that our muscles are what enliven us. But what urged the muscles to act? Neurotransmitters is one answer from western science. But what woke up the neurotransmitters?  Circadian rhythms is one answer. But what manages these rhythms?
What is the “thing” behind the incredibly complex “thing” we call our physiology, brain, blood, bones, muscles, skin, all bundled into a single human being? One culture’s answer is Qi. There is no equivalent of this term in English.

Rather than looking for more words to define Qi, we can set ourselves to the task of experiencing it. If Qi is what is enlivens us, then feel into what enlivens you. Feel for activity of something so subtle that it is usually not even noticed.

Plumaria flowersTo understand Qi, wonder about life

Notice the changes in plants as the seasons change and wonder about that. Try to feel how your body shifts with the changes in the seasons. Feel how your breath moves from your nose into your lungs. How does the air enliven you?

Qi and Breath

Qi is also translated as breath.
Breathe, feel, and contemplate. This is how you form a personal, living translation of the term “Qi.” We gather Qi from the air we breathe. This implies that there is more to air than oxygen.

woman practicing Qi Gong at the beachQi must be experienced

Qi is that which enlivens us.
Qi is energy. Qi is gathered from the air and the food we eat. Qi flows through our body in pathways, called meridians or channels. Every cell needs Qi in order to live.
Bring your awareness to the breath and feel for Qi. Bring awareness to the heartbeat, and wonder about Qi.  Sense, feel, explore your way into a felt experience of Qi.
 
 
 
 
 

Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.

24 Comments

  1. […] medicine has no equivalent notion of Qi. Qi is the difference between Chinese Medicine and Western […]

  2. […] clear stagnation out of the body tissues and meridians, whereas Qi Gong focuses on circulating Qi (“chee”) through the meridian […]

  3. […] “Self-cultivation” is a term that grabbed my attention while studying Chinese medicine. Chinese medicine offers many avenues toward balance and health, and acupuncture is just one of those methods. Self-cultivation or self-care, is another approach toward vitality and well-being that is encouraged within Chinese medicine. Practices such as meditation, Taiji, Qi Gong, and Dao Yin are all specific forms of self-cultivation. These practices all focus on maintaining abundant and flowing Qi (what is Qi?). […]

  4. […] Meridians are pathways for the flow of energy, called Qi (“chee”). […]

  5. 4 Acupressure Points to relieve back pain on May 12, 2016 at 5:00 am

    […] use acupressure points to activate the energy within the meridians. This energy is called Qi (“chee”) in Chinese medicine. Back pain is often the result of stuck or stagnant Qi in the meridian. By activating the […]

  6. […] pain of tennis elbow arises from Qi (“chee”) that is stuck in the area. Qi or energy, can get backed up in areas of over use, such as the elbow in this case. One result of stuck Qi is […]

  7. How to Apply Pressure to Acupressure Points on July 7, 2016 at 5:00 am

    […] your intention focused while sensing the Qi (energy) at the acupressure […]

  8. […] Chinese Medicine has given me an appreciation for Qi. My best guess is that Qi is the “stuff” that is gone at death. You should spend a day trying […]

  9. […] My next endeavor was the study of Chinese medicine. During my three and half year study of acupuncture and herbology, I integrated Chinese medical theory with my massage skills. I continue to explore how to use hands-on contact with acupoints to balance the energy, referred to as Qi (“chee”). […]

  10. […] Qi is abundant and flowing through us, we feel happy, healthy, vital, responsive, present, and lively. […]

  11. […] hard creates tension. Tension blocks the flow of Qi (energy). If you’ve been working hard at massage, you might be feeling pain in your hands, wrists, […]

  12. […] right.” Add gentle kneading and circular movements to encourage the flow of blood and Qi (“chee” – energy) within the local […]

  13. […] your intention focused while sensing the Qi (energy) at the acupressure […]

  14. […] use acupressure points to activate the energy within the meridians. This energy is called Qi (“chee”) in Chinese medicine. Back pain is often the result of stuck or stagnant Qi in the meridian. By activating the […]

  15. […] Meridians are pathways for the flow of energy, called Qi (“chee”). […]

  16. […] points, acupoints) were identified. Points are specific locations on meridians where the Qi can be […]

  17. […] points, acupoints) were identified. Points are specific locations on meridians where the Qi can be […]

  18. […] Qi (“chee“) is the energy that travels in the meridians. Physical manifestations as diverse as ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, jaw, neck, and head pain can all arise from slow-moving “stagnant” Qi in the Gallbladder meridian. Even though your gallbladder was removed, you may experience pain in these some of these joints as a result of Qi stagnation in the Gallbladder meridian. The good news is that you can relieve that pain by working with the Gallbladder meridian even though you do not have a gallbladder. […]

  19. […] Qi (“chee“) is the energy that travels in the meridians. Physical manifestations as diverse as ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, jaw, neck, and head pain can all arise from slow-moving “stagnant” Qi in the Gallbladder meridian. Even though your gallbladder was removed, you may experience pain in these some of these joints as a result of Qi stagnation in the Gallbladder meridian. The good news is that you can relieve that pain by working with the Gallbladder meridian even though you do not have a gallbladder. […]

  20. […] Qi (energy) is the basis of the physical structures of the body. When the Qi is plentiful and flowing, we experience ease of movement. Abundant and flowing Qi manifests as supple and toned muscles and flexible joints. […]

  21. […] Qi (energy) is the basis of the physical structures of the body. When the Qi is plentiful and flowing, we experience ease of movement. Abundant and flowing Qi manifests as supple and toned muscles and flexible joints. […]

  22. […] works with the energetic system of Chinese medicine. There are 12 pathways where the energy (called Qi “chee”) flows through the entire body.  These pathways are called “meridians” or […]

  23. […] works with the energetic system of Chinese medicine. There are 12 pathways where the energy (called Qi “chee”) flows through the entire body.  These pathways are called “meridians” or […]

  24. […] is the “Mother of Qi,” meaning that without Blood, there is no Qi. Blood in Classical Chinese Medicine is much more than the red liquid of western […]

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