By Jeanie Free, Licensed Acupuncturist, Doctorate of Acupuncture student at MUIH on What is Qi?
From the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) perspective, Qi is the life force in the universe that moves constantly. It may sound mysterious, talking about something invisible. However, Qi, the vital essence, manifests in both physical matter and energy.
Think about the universe and the constant gravitational forces that have kept the planets in orbit around the sun for billions of years. It is the power of Qi energy.
“Qi is energy produced by each cell, the binding force between those cells
and the work they produce: the sum of all metabolisms.” – Dr. Daniel Keown.
Qi energy is in all living organisms and manifests to support the function of each organ in humans and maintain the intrinsic energy that supports the homeostatic mechanism (e.g., regulating body temperature, hormones, or blood sugar in the body).
TCM also looks at the balance between Yin and Yang where Qi is the Yang quality in the body and blood is the Yin counter part. The nutrients in blood nourish and support Qi while Qi takes the lead and directs the blood flow. When Qi and blood are sufficient and work well together, an optimal health state may be achieved.
One way to conceptualize Qi and blood flow balance is to think of water pressure (Qi) and water supply (blood) in your home. When the water pressure (Qi) is insufficient, you experience weak water flow. With sufficient water pressure and low water supply (blood), you will also experience low water supply and hear air in the pipes. This is the concept of “internal wind.” The internal wind causes disharmony of the physical health with manifestations such as tremors, vertigo, severe dizziness, and numbness.
How to help regulate and boost Qi?
Qi Gong means “energy work” or “energy exercises.” The Qi Gong exercises strengthen the circulation within our body with our mindful intention to achieve health, spiritual clarity, and longevity. You might have heard of the saying “Where the mind goes, the Qi follows.” This means that where we place our intention, awareness, and focus is where the Qi energy will settle.
In other words, everyone has the capacity to regulate their own energy in the body. It takes practice to strengthen the body, mind, and spirit coherence with the Qi energy.
How can Acupuncture Help?
Acupuncture is a technique using hair-thin needles to access various acupoints on the body to promote natural healing by clearing blockages and stimulating the flow of Qi and blood based on the diagnosis. Some acupoints are used to promote relaxation which is very important to optimize whole-person healing.
MUIH offers auricular treatment to the community at no cost. For individualized in-depth care, the Natural Care Center (NCC) on campus offers affordable treatment options as well. For more information, please visit: https://muih.edu/community-resources/laurel-wellness/ or contact www.muih.edu/ncc
Jeanie Free, is a licensed acupuncturist currently studying for the Doctorate of Acupuncture program at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). She is on a mission to deliver self-care awareness to help clients restore and maintain harmonious health on a whole-person level.