Part I: The Physical Body
Qi, pronounced “chee” and sometimes spelled “Chi” as in “Tai Chi” is the foundational energy of all life and matter.
It is the fabric of our existence. In human beings it flows through channels sometimes referred to as networks or meridians. Simply put, when people talk of being in balance or in good health, they are speaking of having abundant qi, a.k.a. lifeforce, flowing freely through the networks of the body. Most of the 12 basic networks have affiliated physical functions of the body, mostly major organ systems, as well as affiliated emotional patterns. There are also 8 extraordinary vessels as well as smaller divergent, deeper and lesser known channels of energy flow networked in intricate pattern throught the human biology.
The physical body can manifest many different signs of balance and imbalance. Examples of balance would include plentiful energy and a healthy digestion and immune system. Anything that does not feel right in the physical body would be an example of an imbalance. These include disease states, common colds, and allergies as well as any chronic or acute pain in the body.
If the body is low on its primary driving energy force, or qi, it might experience tiredness, digestive sluggishness or other GI issues, shortness of breath and other varied symptoms.
Excess Type Qi Blockages
When energy gets stuck in a network system there is local excess energy like that which would be created by an unwanted dam. This energetic stagnation almost always causes a physical sign of discomfort.
Having defiency qi or excess qi or both are all examples of energetic imbalance. There are other more specifically directed imbalances as well, such as a deficiency of yin causing menopausal symptoms or an excess of yang rising that expresses as hypertension and/or headache symptoms.
The causes of deficiency, excess, or any other type of energetic imbalance can be internal, such as from malfunctioning of a meridian system, or external, such as a blunt trauma. Blunt trauma and actually any other type of pain expressing itself physically are felt as ‘pain’ as a result of stagnation happening at energetic and/or physical communication pathways.
There is an old saying in Chinese Medicine:
“Wherever there is pain there is obstruction. Wherever there is obstruction, there is pain.”