No Matter How You Spell It, This Keeps You Alive
Chi (pronounced like the ‘chee’ in ‘cheek’) is like air: you can’t see it but you sure can feel its effects. And you know pretty quickly when you haven’t got enough of it.According to ancient Chinese philosophy qi is the fundamental energy of nature and the universe. Every movement or change in the physical world is cause by movement and changes of qi. Similarly, everything you do, and everything that happens in your body, is driven by qi.
To maintain good health you must have plenty of qi, and it must flow throughout your body smoothly. This ensures that all your organs and tissues get the energy they need, when they need it.
Of your qi levels drop, or the flow of qi becomes blocked in your body, you will start to experience poor health. While we often us the term qi to refer to all the qi that resides and flows through your body, you in fact have several different types of qi working to keep you healthy. Here are some of the main categories…
Different Types of Qi
- Source or Primary qi
- Pectoral or Essential qi
- Defensive qi
- Nutrient qi
- Functional qi
Source or Primary qi
This is the qi you inherit from your parents. Source qi is based in the kidney and from there flows throughout your body via your meridians. Source qi’s most important role is to provide your organs with the energy to function properly.
People born with too little source qi are prone to illness. However people born with plenty of source qi aren’t necessarily off the hook, because source qi needs nourishment. This nourishment comes from food and air (see pectoral qi below).
If you’re worried that you don’t have enough source qi, and that you’re going to be unhealthy all your life, help is at hand. Traditional Chinese medicine – herbal therapy and medical acupuncture – are the booster shots you need to maintain a healthy body.
Pectoral or Essential qi
The qi forms when clean qi from the lungs and qi of food essence from the stomach and spleen combine. As the name suggests, your pectoral qi is stored in your chest.
Pectoral qi has two main purposes:
- To support the heart. According to traditional Chinese medicine your heart is your most important organ. Not only does it control your circulation, but it’s also responsible for regulating body temperature, among other things.
- To support the lungs, which control respiration.
Formed from the qi of food essence, defensive qi is your 24-hour a day bodyguard. It dwells in your muscles, skin and hair, and defends your body against attack from external pathogens that can make you sick.
Defensive qi has the ability to open and close the pores of your skin, among other things, to regulate the moisture and temperature of body tissue.
This type of qi once again originates with the qi of food essence. Nutrient qi circulates in the blood vessels, and both generates new blood and nourishes existing blood as it circulates.
We use the term functional qi in relation to the function of a particular organ. So for instance, if you’re diagnosed with a liver condition we’ll say your liver is qi deficient; or your liver qi is stagnant ect. – depending on the exact nature of your condition.