The Qi in the Chinese Medicine: all about it
Qi is a concept of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Chinese Medicine is a system with more than 2500 years, composed by different practices, like the widely known acupuncture or Chi Kung. Chinese Medicine gives a special attention to harmony.
The concept is based on the principle that any system in harmony is a healthy system, while a system in disharmony tends towards disease and suffering. The system can be any system on the Universe, and the theory applies to the human body and mind.
In this theory, Qi is the primary force that creates and links everything in the Universe. Let’s learn more about it.
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What is Qi in Chinese Medicine?
The concept of Qi is specific of the Chinese Medicine system and might be hard to understand on our Western idea of disease and cure. So, let’s get deeper into it.
Qi is what embraces all things in manifestation, or all the systems from the densest to the most subtle. It has two main branches, and one is the physical, the air, water and food. The other is more immaterial, the energy itself that flows in each body. Qi is in continuous flux and continuous transformation. Qi is everything, and paradoxically, it’s nothing. It’s not created, and it’s not destroyed, but it changes with its manifestations.
The imbalances and interruptions of the flow of Qi are responsible for the diseases experienced by the human system.
What is the Qi on the human body?
To understand Qi, it’s necessary to learn more about its relationship with Yin and Yang. They are portions of Qi. Yin is the cold, passive, dense, solid, descending, dark and moist portion, and corresponds to the physical aspects of the Universe; while Yang is hot, active, dry, rising, aggressive and ethereal.
Yin and Yang are not separated; they both always coexist and are continually changing, in a flow of adjusting to one another and endlessly transforming one into the other.
When there is harmony in the yin and yang aspects of Qi, the result is health and well being. When yin and yang are not balanced, illness and pain show up.
In the body, we can find a deficiency of Qi, which can be lack of sleep, quality food, fresh air, clean water, or other physical things the body needs to maintain its functions properly. It can also be the result of insufficient mental stimulation, social interaction, or nurturing feelings.
An excess of Qi can also happen, and it’s a consequence of environmental toxins coming from pollution, for example, excess of sports, overeating, significant amounts of stress or negative emotions.
To avoid disharmonies is necessary to cultivate a quiet mind and a healthy body so that we can have sufficient mindfulness and clarity to perceive our own needs and do not exceed or live in scarcity.
The four types of Qi in the human body
The four types of Qi in the human body are:
- Parental Qi, related to the Qi that comes from the moment of conception. It’s in the kidneys.
- Pectoral Qi, or zong, is produced by the breathing. It’s on our chest area.
- Nutritional Qi, from the food we eat and is present in the blood system.
- Defensive Qi is responsible for protecting the body from being ill, and it’s the yang energy of nutritional Qi.
These four types have five functions in the body: actuation (what keeps us alive), warming (regulates temperature), defense (the body from external threats), containment (responsible for the functions of each organ), and transformation (processes).
Because the world is in constant change, as well as our lives, Yin and Yang dynamics are always shifting as well, and have an impact on the balance of Qi. To keep our system healthy, the balance in Qi is vital, and the diagnosis of Chinese Medicine is based on this factor, as well, as the processes of treatment.
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