Welcome to the MIT Qigong Blog





Sunday, July 31, 2011

What is Qi? (Qi Magazine 1993)

"I do not believe in Qi!", "It's impossible!", "I don't believe you can move a person without touching them!", "It's all psychological!" When I heard some people say those things, I thought to myself "Great! Keep saying that, don't change until you die!" What I was surprised about was those who said it practiced Taiji!

Nowadays, many scientists and doctors go to study acupuncture, Qigong, Homeopathy, Fung Shui, I Ching etc. They all want to find out 'What is Qi?' They want to find out how the eastern culture and skill can 'save' the world. Through their studies, they have already found that Qi covers many things: infrared radiation (heat), static electricity, magnetic fields, gamma rays and other tiny particle streams. They still need to do more research.

Within the Chinese Culture, Qi is the 'spirit.' The Chinese character for Qi is made up of two 'words': one is 'rice', the other is 'steam'. When we cook rice using water and fire we see steam, so the first time we 'saw' Qi was from observing steam. Therefore Qi has no shape, it is not fixed, it is something you might see, something you might smell and something you might feel.

For example, air we call 'empty Qi', the weather we call 'Heavenly Qi', someone who is very proud we say he has 'Spiritual Qi', and even when we go to a restaurant and the food is very good we say 'very good Wok Qi.' 

Whilst practicing Qigong, Qi flows along all the channels and acupuncture points, to balance the body. It is the same as the universe. All the stars and planets have their own orbit to keep the universal order. More closer to home, if all the traffic flows smoothly on the motor ways then the entire system will run smoothly. When your Qi is strong you can transmit it out to help others who are sick. This is what Qigong masters have done for many years to help the sick rid themselves of disease.

If the Chinese didn't believe in Qi, our culture would not have endured it's 5000 year old history intact. Today it is the same culture using the same medical principals. Qi is not something to 'believe in', but do you have the enlightenment to understand it?

-Michael Tse 
Editor of Qi Magazine