Qi is one of the most important concepts necessary to understand Chinese medicine. Qi is pronounced “chee,” and in Chinese it is written as 氣. Qi is unique and fundamental to Chinese medicine.
Most of the time qi is translated as “vital energy,” but qi is not just vital energy. Qi is universal. It embraces all manifestations of energy from the most material aspects of energy, such as the earth beneath your feet, the stars in the sky, everything surrounding you, plants, animals, and even the most immaterial aspects, such as light, movement, heat, nerve impulses, thoughts, and emotions. In Chinese medicine, life is considered the gathering of qi. If the qi is dispersed, then life will end. In another word, qi forms life. If you have harmony qi, then you are healthy. If you have disharmony qi, then you are unhealthy. Even though Traditional Chinese Medicine is a very rich and sophisticated system of rational medicine, it essentially seeks to understand and make harmony in human life. Qi also consistently flows, transforming endlessly from one aspect of Qi into another. It is neither created nor ever destroyed; it simply changes in its manifestation. Qi is very similar to the physics conservation law. Physics conservation law implies that energy can be neither created nor destroyed, but can be changed from one form (mechanical, kinetic, chemical, etc.) into another. Over two thousand years ago, Chinese medicine realized and pointed out that everything is made of qi. Later on, Albert Einstein found the mass-energy equivalence E=mc^2, which explains the relationship between mass and energy. It states that every mass has an energy equivalent and vice versa.
According to Chinese medicine, qi flows in the human body through meridians. (Meridians are like a huge network covering the human body everywhere.) In short, acupuncture inserts needles through acupuncture points, regulating qi movement and composing different qi together to achieve bodily harmony. Thus, this is how acupuncture can help people stay healthy.©Dr.Li Zhang