In Chinese medicine, Qi (commonly referred to as chi) is the central focus of acupuncture. But what is it, exactly?
In translation, Qi literally means “breath” or “air,” and is often used less literally as “life force” and “energy flow.” Essentially, it’s the vital force behind life, allowing living beings to thrive and live balanced lives. Acupuncture treatment helps to balance Qi, as an attempt to achieve qigong (balanced chi.) This is important as all living beings within the universe have movements, and changes in their Qi.
According to acuhealing,com, Qi has many bodily functions including:
· Promoting Action (vitality, promoting physiological functioning)
· Warming Action (the main source of heat for the human body)
· Defending Action (guarding the body and skin from invading diseases)
· Consolidating and Governing Action (keeping blood flowing, controlling sweat, storing and excretion of bodily fluid)
· Promoting Metabolism and Transformation (helping us to properly digest and dispose of food waste)
Qi blockages are often the result of emotional problems. In eastern medicine, emotions are energy – and any negative emotions such as stress or sadness can manifest in the body, ultimately causing Qi imbalances.
When there is stagnant, unbalanced or blocked Q, problems, pain and disease arise. This is why acupuncture plays such an important role in maintaining and improving health. By tapping into and stimulating sources and locations of the energy, the fine needles puncture the body to stimulate specific acupuncture points and meridians.
Through acupuncture therapy, the hope is that the Qi will begin to flow more smoothly, improving health, pain, and other problematic symptoms.