There is nothing more fundamental to Chinese medicine than the understanding of the concept of qi. Qi is the life force, the vital energy within us. It is the sum of all the energies within our body to sustain life, control activities and maintain wellbeing.
Movements of Qi
Every movement of our body requires qi. Qi is constantly moving, ascending, descending, entering and leaving within our body. Qi is there to warm the body, to protect the body from external factors, to transform food and air into body fluids and blood, and to facilitate the body functions.
Conditions of Qi
Harmony of qi - When qi is in harmony, we enjoy good health.
Deficiency of qi – It is a very common problem with older people with difficulties in speaking loudly and moving bowel.
Stagnancy of qi - It is responsible for poor circulation and sluggish flow of blood, fluids and food which can cause internal blockages.
Sinking of qi – It can cause organs to collapse.
Rebellion of qi – It is qi flowing in the wrong direction such as hick-ups and vomiting.
All sicknesses can be diagnosed or tracked down to any one of these disharmonies of qi. Chinese medicine brings intervention to disharmony by acupuncture, herbal medicine and qigong exercise to restore the proper flow of qi.
Qi and Blood
Qi has a vital relationship with blood and body fluids.
Qi produces blood and body fluids. Qi moves blood and body fluids around the body. Qi holds blood and body fluids in place in the blood vessels
In turn, blood nourishes qi and carries qi to all the organs, muscles, tendons and body parts. Body fluids are essential for maintaining healthy qi and maintaining blood at the right consistency so that it will not become stagnate causing illness.
Besides moving the good things around the body, qi is also vital in moving waste such as bowel and water out of the body. Therefore, when qi is deficient, the person will not be able to move waste out of the body quickly and the toxins will be absorbed by the body causing deadly diseases.
Other than the 5 vital organs, blood and qi are of greatest concern to Chinese doctors. They always address blood and qi first when treating sick people. For people in good health, it is also a common practice to use exercise and diet regularly to promote and strengthen blood and qi for maintenance and preventive care.