All sentient beings have the aspects of consciousness, energy and a physical body. Within this category of life, we, as human beings, have the the ability to develop all these these aspects to their full potential.
Vital energy, aka Qi (pronounced chee), co-ordinates what our mind wants to do into physical state and mediates the actions to achieve what the mind wants.
Here we are interested in developing and harnessing Qi in order to fulfil our human potential for living a healthy, meaningful and purposeful life. Qi is a term used to express life force. It is the totality of life processes that differentiates a living person from a corpse.
A good level of vitality and wellbeing indicates a strong life force. A weak life force results in a sense operating below par and a lack of vitality in all aspects of our life.
Qi can be simply and systematically cultivated for overcoming illness and improving overall vivacity in our lives.
The concept of life force is not unique to the ancient Chinese. It is called prana in India, qi in China, ki in japan, vital force in homeopathy etc. The principle of life force formed the basis of these various systems of medicine and healing.
How does qi flow affect health?
True health, like Qi, is not a place or destination, rather it is a state of meaningful adaptation to change, of flow. We can say that Qi is always seeking or moving towards health and wellbeing because it is always seeking to flow smoothly and purposefully.
Chinese Medicine is an umbrella term for the inter-related disciplines of acupuncture, tuina massage, herbalism, qigong, dietary therapy, meditation. All these disciplines seek to balance and enhance the flow of qi to promote health and healing.
Qi also extends beyond the physical dimensions and has an influence on our emotions, creativity, focus and receptivity for spiritual evolution.
Unbalanced qi flow creates emotional agitation and distress whereas balanced flow creates a sense of being at ease.
The benefits of smooth qi flow?
When qi is flowing in a smooth and balanced manner it enhances focus and creativity in all aspects of our life such as arts, business, relationships, clear decision making, sports performance etc. Qi flow can make us more receptive to deeper and more expansive states of consciousness.
How can we generate a healthy flow of qi?
One of the key tenets of Classical Chinese Medicine is stated in the Huang Di Neijing
“Bu Tong Zi Tong, Tong Zi Bu Tong”
If there is no free flow (of qi), there is pain.
If there is free flow (of qi), there is no pain
This tells us that any tension or pain in the body indicates that the flow of qi is not smooth and harmonious. If left unattended then this stagnation of qi will gradually lead to deeper levels of sickness. In order to maintain a pain-free, optimal state of wellbeing then qi should circulate smoothly and powerfully through all layers of the body without disruption.
Making our qi flow smoothly and harmoniously is the most basic objective of Chinese medicine and self-healing arts. This is accomplished through balancing and directing our qi to remove blockages in the acupuncture channels/meridians.
Chinese medical treatments such as acupuncture, tuina massage or herbal medicine can help you to unblock and direct the flow of qi through your body to promote general well being as well as to address specific health issues.
Self-cultivation practices such as qigong and tai chi will enhance your experience of qi and create a smooth and harmonious qi flow through many layers of your body and emotions.
When we combine Chinese medical treatments with our own self-cultivation practices we have a potent, effective and lifelong method for maintaining our own health and wellbeing.