Qi (pronounced “chee”) is any energy or any force that moves, has direction and can consolidate into physical substance.
Qi flows throughout the body, animating and protecting it from illness and disease. The quality, quantity, direction of flow, and balance of Qi influence your health. Qi is directly influenced through acupuncture, herbal medicine, diet, martial arts such as taiiji and qi gong, and life style choices.
Qi can disperse and condensate, the same way that water has many forms. Water can become ice and take a solid form and it can become steam and take a gaseous form. Qi is the same way; it can condense into physical form and it can disperse into energy. Just like water, Qi is in a constant state of flux. Depending on the conditions that surround it, depends on what state you find it in. Even ice in its solid state is melting and becoming water again and steam collects, condenses, and becomes water as soon as it hits another surface. Qi is not static, keeping a particular form absolutely.
Orientals understood that qi flows through Channels, sometimes called Meridians, in the body. These Channels are analogous to the pipes in a water system or the empty river bed that allows water to flow through. They are the empty space that have the potential for energy to flow through them.
The Qi flows in the Channels in a predictable manner, like currents in a waterway. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water and nutrients that nourish the land. In the case of the Qi, the Channels bring energy and life giving force to your body. There are 14 main Channels that traverse through out the body and are connected to the organs, muscle groups, nerves, and glands. Each Channel has acupuncture points, sites where the Qi can be influenced.
Where Qi goes, blood goes. Qi is the motive force for the blood to move.
When Qi flows freely throughout the body there are no health issues, no pain. You enjoy good physical, mental and emotional well-being. Any obstruction of Qi in the body is like a dam, backing up the flow of Qi in one area and restricting it in others. Blockages prevent the distribution of the nourishment (the blood) that the body requires to function in optimal balance.