What’s all the fuss about Qi?
What is Qi?
Qi, pronounced chee, is the energy that flows through the body. It’s not something that’s easy to equate in Western Medicine, but talk to any Chinese physician about it and we’ll rave about its huge influence on your health.
As the energy that makes up your body and the universe around you, Qi is the very stuff of life. According to Chinese medicine, Qi has multiple purposes: aiding the movement of blood, lymph, nutrients and toxins into and out of the body; nerve conduction; energy production and cognitive awareness.
In fact, it is so important that Chinese Medicine theories of health and disease are focused on the flow of Qi through the body in specific channels called meridians. Like feelings and emotions, Qi can’t be seen, yet it penetrates every part of our body, giving us sensations, vitality and life.
According to Chinese theory, when we die, Qi leaves our body and this ‘life force’ is gone. Those who have strong and abundant life force enjoy perfect health and vitality. In old age and sickness, Qi gets weaker; when it’s totally dissipated, the flesh-and-blood body dies.
The Science Behind Qi
This can all get a bit technical but, put simply, the first law of thermodynamics is that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only changed in form.1 If you were a wave in the ocean you will rise and fall as a wave, but still be part of the ocean. Your shape will change but you won’t disappear.
This is the same for Qi, which transforms and reappears in new states of existence. According to Chinese wisdom, Qi is the source of all movement in the universe. The motions of stars and planets, the radiation of heat from the sun – everything happens because of Qi.
There is an intriguing similarity between the theories of quantum mechanics and Qi. There is much still to be aligned, but see my Good Vibrations article if you are interested in learning more in the meantime.
Qi and Health
As we’ve said, Qi should flow free. If there is an imbalance or blockage, this eventually manifests as disease – although this can take many years.
We know that stress injures our Qi so every step we can take to alleviate it really does help. Luckily we have a period of grace from when our Qi is affected to when it manifests as a physical symptom. Our simple daily ritual helps rectify the issue at an energetic level.
The Qi channels travel around the body. Along these channels are a number of points where Qi collects and is more abundant, alsoknown as the ‘acupuncture points’. Each point has a particular function related to the mind, body or spirit and at these points energetic influences become concentrated and can therefore form part of treatment.
The great news is that you can access your Qi yourself a few ways: via acupressure massage; via the Hayo’u Method to encourage Qi flow; or through the practice of an exercise, Qi Gong, that manipulates the flow of Qi using movement and breath. All of these access points were drawn on when we created the Hayo’u Method in order to help you help your Qi!
Qi in Modern Life
Be warned: modern life destroys our Qi! Magazine advertisements, TV commercials and billboards all try and convince us to buy things that we do not need or to eat things we don’t want – in short, to over-consume or risk feeling inadequate. Social media often doesn’t help, posturing as it does with a distorted view of life through a #hashtag Amaro filter. These constant negative stimuli drain our Qiand create an imbalance in the body. Why do we need to understand this? Given that we are assaulted on average by over 5,000 messages a day, we need to protect our Qi and ourselves equally.2
What strong Qi gives us is the ability to prevent illness and manage the effects of stress before they become toxic. Chinese Medicine understands that protecting your Qi on a daily basis will stop the effects of stress in its tracks. Make use of that energetic period of grace we have before stress manifests physically with our Hayo’u One-minute de-stress rituals which are based on ancient and fundamental Chinese concepts of Qi to help you achieve energy, balance, health and wellbeing.