What is Qi?

What is Qi?

Qi is Speaking, Listen Up

What is this thing called Qi (chee) you ask? Great Question…

Qi is ALL the things

From the tallest tree, to the smallest cell, from the flow of tears, to laughing so hard you cry, to anger, pain, high energy, fatigue, calm, anxiety, love, peace, vibrant health to weakness…  Qi is the Vital Energy, life force that enlivens your entire being.

Qi is the energy that drives all activity and change within the universe and within us. Qi is light, sound, heat, emotion, thought, matter and all the other things and processes that exist in the universe. Even the Five Elements we discuss here, need healthy qi flow to keep generating. 

How can qi improve our health and create homeostasis?

Health is an inner resiliency that allows you to meet the demands of life.  According the the World Health Organization, Health is a complete state of physical, emotional and social well-being, not just an absence of disease. Homeostasis is not a static state, it means you’re able to adapt to changes and stressors comin atcha, especially these days, it helps you thrive in the face of environmental, physical, emotional and mental stresses.

When qi is balanced and flowing freely, internal stability and harmony occur.  The body flourishes and the full expression of you, your health, possibilities, joy, ease, and vitality is expressed. YAY to that! Let your freaky qi flow baby!

Because qi is in a constant state of flux, always transforming, neither created nor destroyed; it simply changes its manifestation. 

Einstein said, “Everything is made up of, and radiates energy” He knew a thing or two about qi.

Can we see the qi? Another good question, glad you asked. 

Nope, not really. Just because you can’t see it, doesn’t mean it isn’t real or doesn’t exist. One of the my favorite ways to explain this is something one of my favorite teachers that I worked with for years after I graduated is Dr. Tran Viet Dzung explained like this:

“There is only ONE medicine, one medicine with two parts; matter and energy. You simply can’t have one without the other. Western medicine is a medicine of matter. Like labs, blood work, etc., it’s everything we can touch, feel, measure, see. Energy medicine is immaterial, we can’t see it, touch it or feel it, but we know it exists.”

Think about a leaf blowing in the wind. We can see and touch the leaf blowing, but what we can’t see is the energetic force, in this case, the wind that is blowing it. We can’t see or touch the wind, but we know it is there. 

Qi permeates everything in the universe – there is nothing that is not a manifestation of qi. Hmmm I guess we can see or know the manifestation of qi then. Interesting ;-)

Again, Qi (life force) is the energy that drives all activity and change within the universe and within us. Qi is light, sound, heat, emotion, thought, matter and all the other things and processes that exist in the universe.

It (Qi) provides us the power to accomplish everyday activities.  It is necessary for growth, development, movement, maintenance of body temperature, protection against illness & disease and overall regulation of the body… and by the way, plants and all things in nature too.

Qi is a combination of different energies… ancestral qi, which is essentially our inherited constitution, and acquired qi, which comes from the food we eat and the air we breathe. There’s a lot to unpack here, and I will, but just not in one sitting.

Clearly, our physical, emotional, and mental health are influenced by the quality, quantity, and balance of Qi.

So, what keeps our qi in check and flowing freely? Damn, you’re just full of great questions… 

Of course living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. 

Good food (healthy, real, whole food)

Good friends

Good activities

Good outdoorsy things

Good love

Good rituals

Good spirit

Good vibes 

You know, all the good things!

What else? What other things influence this thing we call qi?

Well, Acupuncture of course… Acupuncture (the use of fine needles) has the ability to influence qi in our body, by accessing special points along special meridians, (pathways/channels) that our qi flows through to maintain our health.

So too does pressure on these points, and even better, (in my humble opinion) using pure, unadulterated essential oils on acupuncture points also have the ability to influence our qi too, in a pretty profound way actually.

What negatively affects our qi flow and qi quality? 

Poor diet

Lack of movement


No fresh air

Unregulated moods

Negative Nelly’s for “friends” 

Too much of pretty much anything… even too much of the good stuff like sex can deplete our qi. Too much cold food, too much alcohol, too much sugar, too much social media scrolling, too much news, or even too much exercise.

Moderation in most things can be your friend, but some things you may need to simply kick to the curb for good. C’mon, you know what they are… people, foods, moods, attitudes!!!

One thing you can do today is grab a bottle of pure Bergamot essential oil and place it on Ear Shen Men. I would use this combo at the start of every acupuncture patient, and you can immediately feel their nervous system relaxing and calming down… that’s some serious qi shape shifting action baby!!! Try it on yourself or on a client… 

Different Essential oils influence or have an affinity for different meridians and organ systems in our body, and they also influence different levels of qi… some more surface, like Wei Qi which keeps those nasty pathogens away and protects us, and some deeper levels of qi like Yuan Qi … Prenatal qi ancestral qi.

Similar to the concept of high, middle and base note oils, we can classify our oils based on how an oil might reach and impact different levels of our qi. Classifying our oils this way helps us understand the function of the oils. 

If you want to truly learn more about this then I recommend you checking out Essential Oils & Classification mini course… it may be mini, but it is definitely mighty. 

Share Your Experience with our your Slow Living Essentials Community. We'd love to hear from you. 


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