How to embrace a central concept of Eastern mysticism without being a flake.
Learning about it can help you feel better—tenfold. Is it chi or qi?
Both terms have been used to describe this undercurrent force and while they are technically interchangeable, they vary slightly based on its cultural origin. “[It’s called] qi in Chinese medicine or prana in ayurvedic, yogic tradition,” says Annie McDonnell, LAc, of New York’s Joy Alchemy Acupuncture.
Scientists have found no way to detect it, but millions of meditation, yoga, taichi, and qigong practitioners around the world are intimate with it and regulate its circulation through their minds and bodies to manage their health.
Many techniques exist for working with chi. Perhaps the most well-known are acupuncture, tai-chi, yoga, meditation, and qigong (pronounced chee gong).
Here in the west there is certainly not much in the way of scientific evidence, but that is mostly down to the fact that the wrong type of instruments are being used, in order to measure the wrong type of energetic activity.
Qi (Pronounced Chee) is the vital force or life energy that flows through your body. The concept of Qi energy dates back thousands of years in Chinese History. Qi is written about extensively in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine written around 2700 BC by numerous ancient physicians. This manual is still required reading for many doctors of traditional Chinese medicine.
Can qi theory be scientific in this more rigorous sense? Skepticism seems reasonable here because no one has seen qi directly. Even the meridians (or channels) of qi in the body remain undetectable to Western instruments, yet T.C.M. practitioners spend years mastering the meridian anatomical charts.
I think the main thing Qi does is subconsciously boost your own willpower. This may be simplified, but it works like a placebo. If someone believes they have an increased energy about them that will allow them to defeat their opponent, their thought goes less into fear and doubt, more into trusting their body and their knowledge/technique.
Although surrounded by ancient mysticism, chi energy is that which Western scientists have called the Quantum Field. The theories are markedly similar when compared side-by-side.
The qi energy can be awakened and increased by exercises. It's not even difficult. You need to be persistent, but the method and the exercises are easy as pie. Still, they quickly lead to significant results.
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Qi Encyclopedia offers a platform for serious exposition from multiple points of view on that elusive, profound - and perhaps ultimately indefinable concept of Qi.
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