- Inherited from the mother and father at conception
- Stored in the Kidneys
- Essential for the growth and development
- Derived from the food we eat and air we breathe
- Can be used up during a life cycle unless supplemented by good nutrition, regular life style, and gentle exercise.
In the body, Qi has these functions:
- Source of all movement, accompanies all movement
- Protects the body against external damaging influences – wind, cold, heat, damp, dry, summer heat (I’ll blog about this later).
- Governs the transformation of food and air into Qi, Blood, and other body fluids.
- Ensures stability and governs retention – keeps everything in its place and going the proper direction
- Warms the body
Within the body, there are various types of Qi each with a role and direction of movement. If Qi flow is interrupted, a disharmony or counter flow of Qi occurs. This is when disease and poor health occurs.
- Deficient Qi: caused by illness, old age, weak constitution, and poor diet. Fatigue and weakness commonly seen.
- Stagnant Qi: local pain or non-specific distending pain, pain better with gentle movement, emotional disturbances or feeling stuck commonly seen.
- Rebellious Qi (Counter-flow Qi): dizziness, headache, high blood pressure, cold limbs possible. Depending on the organ system affected, Lung can include cough, wheezing or asthma. Stomach can include hiccups, nausea, or vomiting.
- Collapse of Qi: within the body usually showing as being unable to hold something in such as a varicose veins, hernias, hemorrhoids, or at extremes a prolapse of rectum or uterus.
How to improve your Qi?
- Diet: Proper nutrition, in both food quantity and quality, as well as time of day and food combinations should be regarded to improve the quality of one’s Qi.
- Physical Activity: It is important to harmonize the flow of Qi and Blood and to develop strength in the body.
- Excessive labour can drain Qi and Blood leading to deficiency.
- Excessive sitting can weaken the vitality of the body’s Qi and Blood leading to stagnation. The goal is finding harmony and balance with the seasons, your constitution and stage of life.
- Life Style: An inappropriate lifestyle can be both a cause and effect of Qi disharmony. A person who is “always running around” has no beginning or end, and drains their Qi. Someone who is “always sitting around” cause the Qi and Blood to stagnate and feels like they are stagnating within their life.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture needles do more than release a tight muscle as used in dry needling or IMS therapy, they are used to stimulate acupuncture points. These points are on the meridians, where the qi flows. By stimulating these meridians, a Registered Acupuncturist enhances, raises or restores the flow of your body’s qi.
In the ancient Chinese medicine text the Nei Jing (Inner Classic of the Yellow Emperor), Chinese medical practitioners have always been concerned with the maintenance of health.
“To administer medicine after an illness begins is…like digging a well after becoming thirsty, or casting weapons after a battle has been engaged.”
For over 2000 years, prior to the development of modern medicine, TCM doctors and acupuncture practitioners have been trying to tell us to eat better, live better and do more exercise for our Qi!
Does your body feel like this old car? Are you ready to improve your qi? Begin your journey to a different tomorrow. I’m here to help.
[photo credit: Darren Kirby]