What is Qi?

SkyQi is usually translated to mean the life force or vital-energy that flows through all things in the universe. TCM distinguishes several kinds of qi. Qi can be defined by five cardinal functions:


  • Actuation (Energizing) of all physical processes in the body, especially the circulation of all body fluids such as blood in their vessels.
  • Warming the body, especially the limbs.
  • Defense against external pathogenic factors
  • Containment of body fluids. Keeping blood, sweat, urine, etc. from leakage or excessive emission.
  • Transformation of food, drink, and breath into qi, xue (blood), and jinye (fluids).

A lack of qi can be characterized by pale complexion, apathy, lack of strength, spontaneous sweating, laziness, trouble digesting, shortness of breath, and a pale-enlarged tongue. In order to keep our body healthy, we need to also keep our qi, our energy, and our spirit in balance.

The blood and energy in the channels are circulating unceasingly in the whole body, when the cold-evil invades the cannel, the blood in the channel will become stagnating, and the pain will suddenly occur.

The human being comes of existence when receiving the original substance and energy of heaven and earth, and the interflow [qi] and the combat of the original substance and energy cause the shaping of man. The original substance which enables the evolution of human body is called the essence of life; when the Yin essence and the Yang essence combine, it produces the activities of life which is called the spirit; the function of consciousness appears along the spiritual activities is called the soul…

Back to top