In TCM chi is pronounce as chee, spell as Qi means energy. Chi is the vital force, which keep as alive, healthy and active. In TCM, qi is considering as the fundamental substance of the human body, and its movements explain various life processes.
Vital energy Qi (Chi)
Qi represents an invisible energy flow, which circulates in plants, animals, and human as well as this universe. It animates the physiological functions, health and wellbeing of the individual.
Qi in its physiological sense constitutes, replenishes, and nourishes the human body. Qi is often mentioning as vital energy, because it has believed to be the motive energy derived from the essential substance for different vital processes.
Classification of Qi
The energy Qi is of two types they are inborn and acquired.
- The congenital or inborn Qi is the innate vital energy inherited from the parents during conception, which is stored in the kidney. It is essentially limited and the quality and amount of this Qi represents our basic constitution.
- The acquired or postnatal Qi is obtain from the foods we eat and the air that we breathe. It is the vital energy gathered in the chest, which is synthesis by the spleen from the food and by the lungs from the inhaled fresh air. From the chest, this qi circulates through the body organs and tissues.
Since qi is invisible, it can only be realize through its actions.
Functions of Chi
Qi has five functions; they are
- The energy source of body activities,
- Providing warms and nourishes the body,
- Protecting the body surface against any pathogenic factor,
- Vehicle of transportation inside the body, and
- Maintaining harmony among body organs
Chi obstruction: Illness
As per TCM, energy distributes throughout the human body along the energy networks called meridians, which connects all parts of the body. A healthy individual requires normal circulations of qi; any stagnation or restriction of this circulation develops illness to social difficulties. The circulation of qi is disturbing or stagnating by mental or emotional condition. For example, anger may lead to dizziness, headache, or distention of the stomach with impaired appetite. On the other hand, the exercise of mind such as qigong can support the circulation of qi.
Some common TCM treatments are diet, exercise, meditation, herbs and acupuncture to enhance or correct the chi flow.