What is Qi in TCM?

In TCM, "Qi" is one of the basic substances that constitute the human body and life-sustaining activities.

In biology, energy is an attribute of all biological systems from the biosphere to the smallest living organism. Within an organism it is responsible for growth and development of a biological cell or an organelle of a biological organism. Energy is thus often said to be stored by cells in the structures of molecules of substances such as carbohydrates (including sugars), lipids, and proteins, which release energy when reacted with oxygen in respiration.

So, Qi means energy or power, it has the same pronunciation of air(oxygen) or gas. People can not live without Qi, the Qi is the basic energy for people's life.

In TCM( Traditional Chinese Medicine), Qi has more meanings, Qi can move in the meridians, Qi also can combine with blood to support the energy to internal organs.

In TCM, there are different kinds of Qi, Yuan Qi is the oraginal energy transfer from mother' energy to baby alive, so it is called "pre-heaven energy"(Xian Tian Zhi Qi). Yuan Qi is from human's kidneys and support body lifetime, if Yuan Qi run out, the body's life will be end.

And the Zong Qi, Ying Qi and Wei Qi is come from the air, food and water energy, so it is called after-heaven energy(Hou Tian Zhi Qi).

Zong Qi is inside the lungs, come from breathing of the air or oxygen. Zong Qi control the body's breathing, speak, cardiac blood condition.

Ying Qi is move inside meridians made from the Spleen and Stomach, made of the food and water energy, and combine with blood circle whole body to support nutrition.

Wei Qi is move outside the meridians and on surface body like temperature radiate and surround the whole body to protect body, if outside temperature is too cold or hot, it will notice body at once.

Jing Qi ( meridian Qi) is move inside meridians, it is combine with Yuan Qi, Zong Qi and Ying Qi, so it also called "real energy"(Zhen Qi). Zhen Qi is the energy to stimulate by acupuncture needles.

Qi and meridians on human body also build up energy field of human being, acupuncture treatment is not only stimulate the Qi to cure to illness, to recover the damage of body energy field system is the acupuncture treatment biggest difference from western medicine.

Qi is the gas form of energy.
Energy density is a term used for the amount of useful energy stored in a given system or region of space per unit volume.
For fuels, the energy per unit volume is sometimes a useful parameter. In a few applications, comparing, for example, the effectiveness of hydrogen fuel to gasoline it turns out that hydrogen has a higher specific energy than does gasoline, but, even in liquid form, a much lower energy density.
Chemical fuels are substances that release energy by reacting with substances around them, most notably by the process of oxidation. I believe the Qi is a kind of chemical energy. The heat of combustion, which is the energy released due to a combustion reaction and often applied in the study of fuels. Food is similar to hydrocarbon fuel and carbohydrate fuels, and when it is oxidized, its caloric content is similar (though not assessed in the same way as a hydrocarbon fuel.
Biofuel can be broadly defined as solid, liquid, or gas fuel consisting of, or derived from biomass. Biomass can also be used directly for heating or power—known as biomass fuel. So, the concept of Qi in TCM actually is come from food energy with the breathing air through bio-chemical active move into meridians to support human body.

J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Feb;11(1):171-3.
Biophotonics in the infrared spectral range reveal acupuncture meridian structure of the body.
Schlebusch KP, Maric-Oehler W, Popp FA.
This study shows, for the first time, evidence of the existence of the acupuncture meridian structure in the human body. After moxibustion (or similar light stimulation) of the body in the 3-5 microm range, "light channels" appear on the body, which appear to be identical to what are known as meridians in all textbooks of Traditional Chinese Medicine. These findings appear not only to confirm the existence of acupuncture meridians, but they also open a new window on understanding the energy transfer dynamics of the human body. Furthermore, it is likely that living matter is not in the ground state, but permanently electronically excited.

PMID: 15750378 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]


Anat Sci Int. 2005 Dec;80(4):177-80.
The perineurial vessel: a possible candidate for the structural basis of the meridian (Jing-Luo) in Chinese medicine.
Hashimoto PH.

A new concept is proposed of the 'perineurial vessel' as another vascular system of the body. The effects of acupuncture and moxibustion are explained as mechanical or thermal stimulation of intraperineurial cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Fenestrated venous capillaries of circumventricular organs, including the choroid plexus, instead of arachnoid granulations, are shown to be the main site of CSF absorption. A new concept is also presented of a double circulatory system of the body, namely, in addition to the cardiovascular system, a lympho-liquid system with complete fluid circulation throughout the entire body.

Publication Types: Review PMID: 16333912 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

If anybody ask me again "what is Qi in TCM?"
I will definitely answer "enerqi"   "能量气" 
Ok! I can give you the clues now!
What is blood in TCM? Answer: enerblood.
What is Yin in TCM? Answer: eneryin.
What is Yang in TCM? Answer: eneryang.
Diagnosis for the energy level conditions of different kinds of energy in TCM?
Answer: deficiency of ener-? or excess of ener-?
Treatment ways of different kinds energy in TCM?
Answer: the techniques of tonify ener-? or sedate of ener-?
So, it is very clear now! Do you understand?
Again, What is the pattern means in TCM?
Answer: It is describe the energy field conditions of the patient's body.
For example: enrqi and enerblood deficiency pattern. Kidney eneryin deficiency pattern.
Five elements: enerwood, enerfire, enermetal, enerearth, enerwater.
Enermeridian: enerLu meridian, enerLi meridians, enerSt meridians......
Enerherb: for example: Ma Huang: taste is pungent, slightly bitter; nature is warm; enermeridian(归经) : enerLu & enerUb which means this herb's energy go into Lu & Ub meridians.
So, for my comprehension, the TCM actually is the energy art of healing.
Hi, my dear friends:
If you want use my new concepts to understand TCM, please! remember me! 

 

 

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Comments

K K Mishra's picture

According to Chinese

According to Chinese philosophy two forces, the Yin and the Yang came out from the great one The Tao. Giving birth to these two forces implies that the Tao also has some form of Qi. The yin and the yang are also forms of Qi. The Qi that is that which comes to exist because of interaction of yin and yang is also a form of Qi. Thus, the following three levels of Qi are obvious:
1. The Tao level
2. The yin-yang level
3. The visible and invisible (structure / existence) Qi level
This third level Qi is the subject matter of treatment. It falls ill and gets well.
                     The invisible                              TAO                          1st level Qi

                     The zero worlds       YANG                            YIN        2nd level Qi


                     The visible                                 Qi                              3rd level Qi

This tri origin module is all pervading and visible in micro and macro systems. The real world is continuously flourishing / unfolding according to this principle. All the three levels of Qi are known as ‘Qi’ without any differentiation. Anything and every thing is Qi. Yet for practical purposes we may say "All that can be the subject matter of treatment, follows a set of rules and has a purpose to serve is Qi".   

Feng Mei's picture

If Qi in TCM is not a

If Qi in TCM is not a substance, the diagnosis of Qi deficiency of TCM will be no meaning, and there will be no Qi tonify herbs and Qi tonify acupuncture techniques use in TCM treatment. The confuse concepts of Qi will damage our TCM system in the world. To distinguish the concept of Qi in TCM from the concepts of Qi in philosophy or other fields, I found a new name "enerqi" to instead of the name for Qi in TCM. "Enerqi" means energy Qi which is definitely meaning a substance condition of Qi in TCM field. If anybody ask me again "what is Qi in TCM?" I will definitely answer "enerqi":) 

 

Feng Mei's picture

Ok! I can give you the clues

Ok! I can give you the clues now!
What is blood in TCM? Answer: enerblood.
What is Yin in TCM? Answer: eneryin.
What is Yang in TCM? Answer: eneryang.
Diagnosis for the energy level conditions of different kinds of energy in TCM?
Answer: deficiency of ener-? or excess of ener-?
Treatment ways of different kinds energy in TCM?
Answer: the techniques of tonify ener-? or sedate of ener-?
So, it is very clear now! Do you understand?
Again, What is the pattern means in TCM?
Answer: It is describe the energy field conditions of the patient's body.
For example: enerqi and enerblood deficiency pattern. Kidney eneryin deficiency pattern.

So, for my comprehension, the TCM, actually is the energy art of healing.

 

K K Mishra's picture

Dear Mei, what you said

Dear Mei,

what you said doesn't go against the philosophy. I think acupuncture is factually the Taoism applied for the welbeing of common men. Everyone is free to rename in order to distinguish the Qi of the three levels (the third level Qi is seen in innumerable varieties - the food Qi, the blood Qi, the body fluids etc etc.). You have done very well by specifying blood,yin, yang etc.Cogratulations.

What do you think of Qi in various extra vessels how would you like to name them? I consider them to be storing portions of the Qi originalis - Yuan Qi.

As a student, anxious to learn I should like to know about the intensity(ies) of Qi in these vessels. Will you oblige?

regards

k k mishra 

Feng Mei's picture

Thank you very much!

Thank you very much!  mishra:)

Please see it! you will understand!

About your question, please look here:

New meridians schedule

                                                                      By Feng Mei 01/17/2011


Small intestine:  go out, fire energy,          11:00am-1:00pm(Wu),   "Du9" to Du 14 to Si1;
Heart:              go in,   fire energy,            1:00pm-3:00pm,          Ht9 to Ht1  to   St1;
Stomach:          go out, earth energy,         3:00pm-5:00pm,          St1    to          St45;
Spleen:             go in,   earth energy,         5:00pm-7:00pm,          Sp1  to St12  to St1;
Large intestine: go out, metal energy,         7:00pm-9:00pm,          St1  to  St12 to  Li1;
Lung:                go in,   metal energy,         9:00pm-11:00pm,        Lu1 to St12 to <Li20>;
Urinary bladder: go out, water energy,        11:00pm-1:00am(Zi),    Ub1  to        "Ub67";
Kidney:             go in,   warm water energy,  1:00am-3:00am,         Kd1 to St12 to Si19;
San Jiao:           go out, warm water energy,  3:00am-5:00am,         Sj23    to         Sj1;
Pericardium:      go in,   warm water energy,  5:00am-7:00am,         Pc1  to St12 to St1;
Gallblader:         go out, wood energy,          7:00am-9:00am,         Gb1     to      Gb44;
Liver:                go in,   wood energy,          9:00am-11:00am,        Lv1      to      Du20;

Comment 1: from Du20 to Ren1, there is the central meridian, the Liver Qi from Du20 go down into central meridian, come out at Du9, go to Small intestine meridians and go on the 12 meridians Zi Wu Liu Zhu cycle. If the Qi from Du20 go to 8 special meridians, that is Da Zhou Tian cycle. Please see Da Zhou Tian.

Energy go on for Da Zhou Tian:

Du mai: combine energy go up;
Ren mai: combine energy go down;
Dai mai: combine energy go flat;
Chong mai: combine energy go up;
Yang Qiao mai: combine energy go down;
Yin Qiao mai: combine energy go up;
Yang Wei mai: combine energy go down;
Yin Wei mai: combine energy go up.

Comment 2: there are 5 Dai meridians on human body, the Qi from central meridian come out at Du15 and Yin Tang is head Dai mai, come out at Du14 and Ren22 is throat Dai mai, come out at Du9 and Ren17 is upper jiao Dai mai, come out at Du6 and Ren12 is middle jiao Dai mai, come out at Du4 and Ren4 is (lower jiao) Dai mai.

 

 

shaktimanah's picture

Qi-Chi-Ki, all mean

Qi-Chi-Ki, all mean (Shakti-pot )i.e. energies, both mundane & divine both internal & universal.
In the Tao “all energies in the creation’ are considered/(honored) as Qi  essential life force.
All energies are categorized as (Yin-Yang) in essence some-times one is stronger than the other
and is thus known/classified -called yin or Yang, but the basic understanding is that there is no absolute
Yin or Yang. Briefly’ Yin is receptive & cool Like the (Spider) calmly passively waiting to receive whatever  it can attract it’s way.(I’m thinking (Deep dark cool waters) a lake or a pond, Yang  energies on the other- hand have been described as (A big Cat on the prowl/hunt) ready to respond react and create change sudden and immediate changes Think the same water rushing over and down the side of the mountain- digging a path like a raped flowing river, the same elements /(energies)  at  different intensities!
“Back to Qi” Actually, we eat, sleep, drink, sleep, work out & make love all for the sake of reintroducing’ fresh clean energies into the body and or it’s intamint environment.
In (TCM) Qi is considered as the catalyst to all life and aspects of it, from rejuvenation or Longevity to  healing and pleasure.                                                                                                                                                  Some say the body can be compared to a big battery and is the energy runs to low too often the organs will suffer in their performance’ and or fail outright.                                                                                   Further 8-of-10 cells w/in the body have an energy producing component called the mitochondria! Hence qi is also w/in us, but in limited/Finite quantity. (“The original seat of qi,”) in the body is the heart,   when the heart which follows the minds emotional state, is relaxed and opened the infinite universal-qi  is/can be attracted and made available to the body in infinite quantity. When the mind is relaxed/ calmed down the heart becomes relaxed’ the Organs are nourished and in responding’ they intern help heal the muscles and bones as well as clearing the fog in the mind. Fresh energies are therefore essential and provoking/drawing  them from the universal origins by the internal energy practices seems to be the best and simplest practice. Qi gong Tai-chie massage & or meditation etc.
 

K K Mishra's picture

You said "Briefly’ Yin is

You said

"Briefly’ Yin is receptive & cool Like the (Spider) calmly passively waiting to receive whatever  it can attract it’s way.(I’m thinking (Deep dark cool waters) a lake or a pond, Yang  energies on the other- hand have been described as (A big Cat on the prowl/hunt) ready to respond react and create change sudden and immediate changes"

FIRST FORCE IS YANG. YIN SHOWS NEXT AS RESPONSE. OTHERWISE HOW SHALL WE EXPLAIN DEATH. 

 “The original seat of qi,” in the body is the heart"

SEAT OF "THE CONCIOUSNESS" i.e.. ACTIVE MIND IS HEART. IT'S MOST IMPORTANT  ATRIBUTE IS 'BANDHA' i.e. ADHESSIVE AND COHESSIVE FORCE THAT CAN TRULY ATTRACT ALL KINDS OF ENERGIES . . . you are right sir. 

BUT THE ACTIVITY MUST EMERGE FROM NON ACTIVITY - THE ABSOLUTE (YIN) NOT YET MANIFEST THE TAO. THAT WHICH IS MANIFESTED CANNOT BE ABSOLUTE (ETERNAL) 

YOU ARE RIGHT WHEN YOU SAY "Fresh energies are therefore essential and provoking/drawing  them from the universal origins by the internal energy practices seems to be the best and simplest practice. Qi gong Tai-chie massage & or meditation etc."

TCM calls it (THE HEART) emperor of Shen - Po! They (TCM classcs) talk of a variety of souls! 

 

martyeisen's picture

To model Qi you must use as

To model Qi you must use as many of its important properties as possible - see “Qi in Chinese Medicine at    http://yang-sheng.com/?p=194
 

Some possibilities appears  in  “Some Modern Scientific Theories of Qi” - see
http://yang-sheng.com/?p=8138
 

Tiller’s theory seems the best because it allows Qi to be controlled by the mind and It is the fundamental subtle energy from which everything is formed.