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What is Chi?

written by Head Health Nutter November 18, 2010

You’ve probably heard of “Chi” in reference to the Chinese symbol yin and yang, their art of decorating, Feng Shui, or their martial art, Tai Chi. But have you ever wondered what this mysterious essence is or how it relates to health? In today’s post we find out!

Chi, Ch’i or Qi is life energy, a subtle flow of electromagnetic energy which links all things in the universe. It’s the invisible part of our world and it’s a concept shared across cultures, some describe it as: air, breath or spirit.

In China it’s called Chi, in Japan it’s known as Ki (also spelt Qi) and in India Prana. Western scientists (quantum physicists) call it the quantum realm as they study the universe at the atomic and subatomic level.

The following information is sourced from Essential Feng Shui: Your Practical Guide to Health, Wealth and Happiness by Simon Brown.

Chi stays mainly within entities such as human bodies, plants or buildings, but some of it constantly flows out and some flows in from other sources. Your own personal chi energy is always mixing with the chi energy around you. In this way you are connected to the immediate environment, and ultimately to the whole universe.

How Chi Affects Health

Certain situations produce unhelpful chi which causes problems for people, even physical or mental ill-health.

Negative Chi: Anything synthetic (fibers, building materials, artificial lighting, air conditioning) add their own artificial chi energy. It negatively influences the chi energy of occupants and could lead to mental and physical exhaustion.

Stagnant Chi: Dark corners, cluttered rooms and dampness produce slow-moving and stagnant chi energy. Living in an environment like this can lead to a slowing down of your personal chi energy, which may cause serious health problems and a loss of direction in life.

Fast-Flowing Chi: Long corridors, straight paths or several features in a straight line increases the flow of chi and can destabilize it. Fast-flowing chi energy directed towards you could push some of your own chi energy, making you feel insecure and under attack.

Cutting Chi: If chi energy passes a sharp corner it begins to spin and swirl, forming eddies and whirlpools like a fast-flowing stream passing a sharp bend. Cutting chi can occur inside or outside buildings. It can make personal chi energy spiral, leading to disorientation and confusion and, in time, ill-health. Plants and fabrics can soften sharp edges.

Personal Chi

Along the center of the body are seven concentrations of energy called chakras, similar to large organs where blood concentrates. Spreading out from the chakras are 14 paths of chi energy called meridians. These flow along your arms, legs, torso and head. Like blood vessels and capillaries, they take chi energy to smaller and smaller channels until each cell is nourished by both blood and chi energy.

While blood carries oxygen and nutrients, chi energy carries thoughts, emotions and your dreams in life. It also carries some of the chi energy from the environment. Therefore, what you think and where you think it will have a direct influence on the cells in your body.

Chi energy operates as a two-way process whereby the way you think influences your chi energy, and your chi energy influences the way you think; so your environment will influence your chi energy and that change will alter the way you think and feel.

Many factors affect the chi energy that comes into your body – among these are food, weather, the people you are with and your environment, including rooms, buildings, cities and countries. Like trees planted in the best soil for their needs, we also thrive if we are planted in an environment that has the most appropriate chi energy for us.

Chi is an ancient concept and fairly complex. Now that we have a basic understanding of this enigmatic force, stay tuned for the next post, “What is Yin and Yang?” where we learn a comprehensive way of looking at the world in terms of chi, and how it affects you.

Even though we can’t see chi energy, can you feel it? Please share with us any of your experiences with chi as you understand it.

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1 comment

Martial Arts Equipment July 29, 2013 at 8:34 am

Well to me Martial Arts means respect and discipline.
I have trained in different Martial arts now for well over 21 years.

I have seen various people appear and disappear but one more thing that I
have noticed is the respect and discipline which has changed those peoples perception of
Youngsters that have started which have been on the wrong side
of the tracks, always in trouble and no idea how to respect
other kids. Place them in a controlled environment with discipline and fighting and they soon start
to understand.
Martial arts is a way for infants and adults to get rid of their aggression without hurting or bullying anyone.


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