As an Acupuncturist and Chinese Medicine practitioner, the most common question I get asked is “What is Qi? Is it real?” Like it’s some mystical transient thing. It is and it isn’t.
Qi (You may also see it spelt Chi) Pronounced like Cheese without the ease. It is most commonly translated into English as Life Force Energy. The direct translation of the symbol can also just be Gas. Gas is an invisible force. Does the make it mystical? Well if you ask the Oracle of Delphi you’ll get a big yes. But is Qi just gas? No way. Qi is information, consciousness and energy.
When you eat something, lets say an orange, the energy stored in the orange is known as Vitamin C. Vitamin C holds the information for healing connective tissue. The consciousness of the Orange is its sweet flavour. The sweet flavour is seductive to humans. Humans eat the orange. We get Vitamin C, our connective tissue heals. This is the process of Qi. It just happens. Oversimplistic but hopefully you get the idea.
Qi is in everything. No, Qi is Everything. I feel the best way to use it is Awareness. When you are in Awareness you are in Qi. Mindfulness is all the craze at the moment. Mindfulness without Qi is mindlessness. Qi is what you become mindful of. If Qi is stuck or deficient it’s near impossible to be mindful.
It is movement. Qi moves up, Qi moves down, Qi goes out and Qi goes in. If there is no awareness of the movement Qi stagnates and dissipates. This causes pathology.
From an Acupuncture point of view Qi is a pain killer, a sedative, a stimulant, a psychedelic, it is the peace that we crave so deeply.
Qi in humans is the internal pharmacopeia of hormones, gases, electricity and cells interacting and reproducing all day long without you having to lift a finger. Once you become aware of this the feeling is Blissful.
Qi in Nature is the smell the forest gives off, the run of the river, the waves of the ocean. Once you have are aware of Nature there is awe at it’s grace.
Qi in the Cosmos is the planets rotating around the Sun, the glimmer of the stars, the space itself. With awareness of this life is mystical.
Qi is the enjoyment of Life. Qi is Life. No Qi, No Life. Know Qi, Know Life.
‘Without Qi, there would be no Yin and Yang. Qi is the universe’s underlying plastic texture that explains change, the inexhaustible ink of the world. Qi takes countless forms. Qi allows things to become other things. But Qi is more than the cause. Qi is the cause, process, and outcome of all activity of the cosmos. Qi is the ceaseless throbbing, the substratum of the cosmos.’
– The web that has no weaver