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  1. #1

    What is Qi in TCM? Energy?

    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 bio-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]
    Last edited by feng; 30-05-2012 at 23:36.

  2. #2
    As we known, in philosophy, the concept of Qi may not only means "substance". If the 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"
    Last edited by feng; 03-06-2012 at 13:32.

  3. #3
    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.
    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.
    So, from now, we should understand, the TCM is use the way of balance or coordinate different kinds of human body's energies to create a better condition of body energy (self control) system. And in TCM theory, I don't find any way of killing energy which to directly kill the sick energy, it always to find a way to let sick energy go out of body, for some meaning, this is a kind of weak treatment way compare to western medicine, but, on the other hand, if the sick energy too strong and can not be killed anyway, the TCM can use a balance way to hold the body energy with the sick energy as a balance or negotiate condition to keep patient alive, this is the basic idea of TCM to treat cancer patient.

    Hi, my dear friends:
    If you want use my new concepts to understand TCM, please! remember me!

    Copyright by Feng Mei L.Ac.
    Last edited by feng; 09-06-2012 at 18:19.

  4. #4
    So, for my comprehension, the TCM, actually is energy art of healing.

  5. #5

  6. #6
    Qi can be interpreted differently in different contexts
    In the field of TCM another word for "energy" could be "information", it makes the concept of Qi more understandable, I think, although information in fact is organized energy.

  7. #7
    I agree that Qi is information and have suggested that nitric oxide is its carrier:
    and - Intercellular communication, NO and the biology of Chinese medicine.

  8. #8
    Qi is more than information. According to Chinese philosophy it is the basis of everything - see

    A scientific theory first requires all of the properties of Qi - see

    Then, you try to use modern scientific knowledge to explain as may of these properties as possible - see

  9. #9
    If Qi is information energy, then the interesting thing happened, I am a dreamer, I always dream about future, I also practice Qi Gong. So, that is why I can get the information energy and dream of future, sometimes it get true of future, but sometimes it also make mistake


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