Qi - The Vital Force (The energy that gives you life)
by Grace Curley
The Second Treasure
🔥 Qi (Vital Essence)
The second treasure is called “Qi”. In Taoism, qi is the force that animates the universe, sets the world and everything in it into motion, and the force that sustains all things once they are created. It is known as “energy” or “life force".
So, what exactly is qi? Biomedicine does not recognize qi as a physical substance of the body, and yet it is key to Chinese medicine. Qi is the "vital energy" of the body - meaning the energy that facilitates and underlies all functions vital to it's continued survival and existence.
What does Qi do?
- Qi is the source of all cellular movement in the body
- Also the source of all large-scale movement of the body within the world
- Warms the body to maintain a healthy temperature
- Defends the body against pathogens
- Transforms food into useful substances for the body to use
- Helps the body to hold things in their proper places (for example, it keeps organs from prolapsing and contains blood in the vessels).
In the classics of Chinese medicine, it is said that ...
“human life depends upon qi” and that “when qi gathers, the physical body is formed; when it disperses, the body dies.”
In other words, qi is what makes the difference between a living, breathing, *mooing cow 🐄 and a raw steak 🥩 behind the glass at the butcher’s counter.
The idea of “Qi” in the Three Treasures also includes two other vital substances: blood and body fluids. Blood and body fluids are included in the category of 'qi' because they cannot form without the transformative actions of qi.
Blood is seen as a major yin substance in the body, due to the fact that its main function is nourishing the body with oxygen and nutrients. Body fluids encompass all fluids in the human body from sweat to tears to lymphatic and synovial fluid.
Got enough Qi energy?
Every cell of the body has it's own individual Qi energy. A lack of Qi energy means that your cells do not have enough energy to perform their vital functions.
We are made from 130 Trillion (130,000,000,000,000) of these cells. All trying their best to keep themselves healthy and full of Qi energy. We must do our best to help them by increasing the amount of Qi energy stored in our bodies.
Often times, a Qi deficiency will manifest as pain, inflammation, irritation or a lack of strength. This usually happens in a localised area such as within an organ, bone or joint and is caused by a blockage in the flow of Qi energy to that area. If this goes on long enough, cells within the affected area will begin to die and the body will spiral down into fatigue and exhaustion.
For example, a Qi deficiency in the Heart with manifest as a lack of heart strength; leading to poor circulation, palpitations (irregular heatbeat) and heart pains. The heart is a major electro-magnetic centre of the human body and when deficient in Qi will result in a lack of joy and a general feeling of melancholy 💔
A deficiency in the cells of the digestive system can lead to poor digestion, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), gut permeability (leaky gut), constipation and unwanted gas.
Other general indicators that you may have a Qi energy deficiency include: Anxiety, dry (flaky) skin, brittle hair and mental fog.
Here's are some critial steps to increase your Qi energy
- Ensure you are getting sufficient rest and sleep (7 - 9 hours).
- Meditation centered on breath (Pranayama)
- Regular exercise to increase the amount of energy the body has access to
- A healthy balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat
- Give your mind a rest from the stress of everyday life. Avoid multitasking and take a few days off from responsibilities