So you may have heard me or someone else use the word ‘Qi’ before and thought to yourself, wtf is Qi? First things first, it’s pronounced ‘Chee.’ Go ahead, say it out loud. :)
Qi can be difficult to translate from Chinese Medicine, but it’s often understood in Western culture as our inner energy level; it is the energy essential for life. Its main characteristic is motion–the activity of life. All functions of the body and mind are manifestations of Qi. Basically, Qi is a mixture of energies derived from the food we eat and the air we breathe, plus an element inherited from our parents which we are born with. All of these “ingredients” combine and are transformed in a variety of ways to make Qi that circulates in the body.
Listen up because this is important! Your health depends on a sufficient, balanced, and uninterrupted flow of Qi. Qi circulates through the body along a continuous circuit of pathways known as meridians. These meridians flow along the surface of the body (protecting you from the external factors that might result in illness) and through the internal organs (which is essential in the process of nourishing all the tissues of the body). When you are healthy, you have an abundance of Qi flowing smoothly through the meridians and into and out of the organs, allowing your body to function in harmony and balance.
Qi is what allows Yin-Yang balance to be maintained in the body. According to Chinese medicine, illnesses take hold when the flow of Qi is disturbed, unbalanced, or blocked. To restore health, Chinese medical practitioners seek to free and realign the flow of Qi through acupuncture, herbs, food, or all three combined.