In Taoist sexology: Is sex good or bad for health? I briefly introduced the concept of Qi and mentioned that it is one of the “three treasures” of the human body, according to Taoist philosophy. In today’s post, I will further delve into this life-force energy and explain how it functions in the human body. Please note that the below content is for informational purposes only and in no way is intended to be a substitute for medical advice.
What is Qi?
Qi is a vital energy that activates the human body and animates all lives. It is what makes our hearts pulsate, keeps our blood warm, and brings air into our lungs. It is the life force behind our ability to think, speak, move, and exercise.
Thanks to this vital energy, our internal organs continue to function even when we are asleep or fall unconscious. Thanks to this vital energy, we can enjoy physical activities and leisure events that enrich our lives. It is the abundance of Qi that makes us strong, joyous, and lively, while the lack of it leads to lethargy, chronic fatigue, depression, or weakness.
Qi energy continues to circulate in our bodies through invisible channels called meridians. Therefore, the smooth flow of this energy is essential for health. When its flow is blocked, we are subject to discomfort, and if this continues, we could fall ill.
However, as it is invisible, its actual existence still raises quizzical eyebrows from modern medicine practitioners, and there are many people, especially in the West, who look to its existence with dubious eyes.
According to traditional Eastern medicine, this life force is an essential element for our well-being. Qi is akin to the fuel of an automobile that enables the automobile to function. Qi is akin to the electric power of a stereo system that enables the system to produce sound. It animates us and keeps our bodies warm and healthy.
A person who suffers from Qi deficiency could experience lethargy, a debilitating immunity system, chronic fatigue, depression, cold extremities, etc. The deficiency could occur when a person undergoes overexertion, self-destructive life patterns or a mental or emotional shock. It is also possible that a person is inherently deficient of this energy, given that original Qi is inherited from parents. Qi is Yang in nature. Therefore, the over-consumption of Yin foods could create excessive Yin in the body and thereby could lead to deficiency in this energy.
Qi as Yang and blood as Yin
In our bodies, there is a constant circulation of blood and Qi. According to traditional Eastern medicine, blood is a visible manifestation of Yin, and Qi is an invisible manifestation of Yang.
Qi is the force that moves the blood and produces heat and moisture. Blood distributes essential ingredients to the cells of our bodies and nourishes the tissues. Good circulation of blood keeps us calm and enables us to relax and sleep peacefully. Without this vital energy, the blood cannot circulate and eventually will become harden. Without blood, Qi cannot circulate either and will eventually stagnate in the body.
In order to better understand the relationship between Qi and blood, think of the flame of a candle and the wax of a candle. The flame, which is Yang, is comparable to Qi, which is also Yang. The wax, which is Yin, is comparable to blood, which is also Yin. In case of a candle, the wax continues to provide itself for the flame to emit a light. When the wax is exhausted, the flame has to fizzle as well. A candle can emit a light because of the continuous interaction between the wax and the flame. As the candle cannot give off a light without the flame or wax, we cannot maintain our lives without blood or this vital energy.
Qi in the Universe
Qi is a universal life-force energy. While it is usually associated with energy in the human body, this life-force energy naturally exists in nature and in the Universe. Feng Shui, for example, is a study of Qi energy in the physical environment surrounding us.
The activation of Qi leads to the growth of plants, the flowing of rivers, and even the formation of a galaxy!
Therefore, the energy dynamic behind the circulation of blood is also behind the movement of stars and planets. The energy dynamic behind the creation of a single cell in your body is also behind the creation of a planet. The energy dynamic that leads to the death of your body cells also leads to the dissolution of a star and a galaxy.