Understanding Qi (Energy)
Does East Asian medicine philosophy seem mysterious?
To many, it can.
The wondering of why acupuncture needles are put in certain places, why we sometimes feel off without knowing why, and what all the hype is around tai chi or qigong is enough to make us feel this medical philosophy is a sort of enigma we just have to have blind faith in.
Because of this, Dr. Graves is breaking down the reasoning behind much of his practice in order to provide insight into the world of East Asian medicine…particularly with the concept of qi.
What is qi?
In East Asian medicine, qi (pronounced “chi”) is energy, or the basis of life.
It is known as the universal force and exists in:
- human beings
- movement, exercise
and countless other things, thoughts, and actions.
Qi can move in, out, and around the body freely depending on activity, emotions, stress, hormones, sleep, diet, movement, and other environmental and lifestyle factors.
The goal is to keep it preserved and balanced, replenishing it when depleted and calming it when in excess, making sure it doesn’t get stuck.
How do we get qi?
Everyone is born with qi that is passed down from biological parents (the quality and amount of qi based on their health).
Throughout our lives, we continue to absorb qi through what we eat, the activities/movement we do, the weather and elements around us, and our overall lifestyle.
As we age (in addition to emotional trauma, injury, and unhealthy life choices), our qi can become unbalanced, leading to unusual physical and emotional symptoms as well as illness and disease – eventually, culminating in death when it’s fully depleted.
How does qi get unbalanced?
Throughout our life, there are times when we can have:
- too much qi
- too little qi
- stuck qi
Imbalance can derive from things such as overdoing it, too much stress, poor eating, lack of good movement, and unhealthy habits.
This can lead to pain, sleep issues, digestion upset, hormone imbalance, and emotional distress in addition to eventual illness and disease.
How do you balance qi?
Acupuncture is one of the most vital therapies in balancing qi in East Asian medicine. Placing fine needles throughout different meridians in the body can help stagnant qi become unstuck, help produce more if necessary, or release excess.
In addition, herbal supplements can be a useful tool. Whether these are to help you sleep better, manage stress, soothe your digestion, or ease your pain, they all work to treat the root cause of an issue and in return, balance qi.
Personal self-care also plays a significant role in balancing qi and can be created by:
- getting good, quality sleep
- eating a well-balanced, healthy diet
- staying hydrated
- practicing meditation, yoga, tai chi or qigong
- daily movement
- getting outside, sitting in nature, and getting a bit of sun
- sitting with emotions and processing them
- connecting with loved ones
Think about what your day looks like.
Are there things that “take it out of you” or create too much energy?
What are you doing on a daily basis (or what can you do) to balance that?
Qi is ever changing and the choices you make in living your life can result in how much, how little, or how smooth of a flow your qi.
To help balance your qi and create a foundation for harmony in the body moving forward, please call us at (303) 688-6698 or schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation and/or a regular acupuncture appointment with Dr. Graves here.
The CNMA office provides Chinese and naturopathic medicine therapies such as acupuncture, herbal supplements, holistic counseling, and massage to those in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Centennial, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, and the greater Denver metro area. Virtual appointments are available for those in other areas.