What is Qi?
At Fusion Health, Qi is one of the things people ask us about most frequently.
Qi is one of the most important concepts in traditional Chinese medicine or TCM, which inspires so much of what we do here at Fusion Health.
Qi is often defined as 'life force' or 'energy', but in reality, the term encompasses so much more than that and can't easily be translated into a single English word or phrase. We like to use the term 'vitality' to sum it up.
Qi is in constant motion and flows through the body via the organs and meridians (energy channels). As it travels, Qi invigorates your body, mind and senses. It gives you the capacity for thought and emotion, and other useful stuff like imagination, willpower and the ability to make decisions.
Another of Qi's roles in the body is to enable transformation in all its many different forms, including:
- Growth - both your transformation from child into adult and the growth of tissues like your hair, nails and skin cells
- Digestion - the process that allows you to transform the food you eat into the nutrients and energy you need
- Reproduction - the process in which your own cells are transformed into those of your children
- Ageing - the changes that occur as you get older
Qi also gives your body strength and structure and enables you to move. We're talking about movement in all its forms here, including:
- Physical activity like walking, running, jumping or dancing
- Involuntary movements like breathing, the peristalsis that propels food through your digestive tract, and the heartbeat that keeps blood moving around your body
- From the perspective of TCM, even thoughts and emotions can be a form of movement. If that seems a bit abstract, think about the way a new idea changes you, or the way that you're moved from one emotional state to another when something touches your heart
Without Qi, you simply wouldn't be able to function - in TCM it's regarded as the driver of all physiological activity.