Traditional Chinese Medicine – The Concept of Qi (Energy)
The Concept of Qi (Energy) correlates with Prana and Ki in the Ayurvedic (Indian) and Japanese systems respectively, being the basic Life Force Energy of the Universe, which is within each one of us.
Balance is the keynote, and it is said in the texts, that “The Union of the Qi of Heaven and Earth produces a healthy and happy human being”, therefore to keep these two balanced and strong is vital. This is the basis of our Immune system.
‘Before Heaven Qi’
‘Before Heaven Qi’ is the name given to the Qi that we receive from our parents and is also known as our Constitutional Energy, which is situated in our Kidney area, and supports our whole system energetically, so it’s best to treat this energy with great respect, otherwise if our foundation weakens, illness will follow.
Our Constitutional Energy
Our Constitutional Energy is very different from all other energies in the body.
If we imagine that the quality of the Constitutional Qi below the navel (known as the Hara or Dan Tien) as electricity, then it cannot be destroyed by water.Whereas, the quality of Qi in all the other organs like the Heart, Spleen, Lungs and Liver etc, is like a bonfire, and can be put out by water.
The Qi of our Constitution is very different in quality and much more powerful than the Qi of the organs, and needs to be, as it supports all organs, and everything else in our body – it is our ‘root’ energy.
‘After Heaven Qi’, is the Qi determined by the foods and liquids that we consume, and the air that we breathe.
In other words this Qi is determined by worldly things, whereas our Constitutional Qi is more on a Spiritual level, and given to us via our parents at the point of conception.
Acupuncture uses channels or meridians throughout the exterior and interior of the body. These channels are extensions of the Organs, which meet, cross and travel together in different parts of the body, transporting Qi which maintains all bodily functions.
Qi moves, transforms, warms, protects and raises.
The primary functions of Blood are to nourish and moisten. Healthy blood is the outcome of all bodily functioning, and relates to our mind, our thinking. If we are negative, this will damage our Qi, which in turn will affect our organs, and eventually our blood will weaken and cease to adequately nourish our cells, leading to health problems. So healthy benevolent thoughts towards ourselves and others, is the way forward.
The great Chinese text the ‘Nei Jing’, states that ‘Qi commands Blood, and Blood is the Mother of Qi’.
Basically, we need Qi to transform food into Blood, and in return Blood calms, cools and soothes the active Qi.
Thus we have Yin and Yang – Blood is Yin, and Qi is Yang.
Diagnosis is based on assessing the strength of these two, and treating them accordingly.
Qi is invisible relative to Blood which is very visible. As the invisible Qi is initially required to make Blood, it helps us understand that beyond our physical world, there is an invisible force that sustains it.
‘The phenomenon of life may be likened unto a dream, a phantasm,
a bubble, a shadow, the glistening dew, or lightening flash – and thus they ought to be contemplated’.
From: The Buddha – The Immutable Sutra.