Qi (pronounced chee) is the vital force that is the source of all life. It is the basis of
Chinese Medicine and is what gives us life and provides animation. When qi flows smoothly
through the meridians of the body, like a gentle breeze through the tree tops, we feel healthy
and alive. When qi is stagnant, similar to a dam blocking the flow of a river, it disrupts the flow
of energy and circulation to the downstream tissues. Alternately, when there is not enough qi,
akin to a dried-up riverbed, there is not enough energy and blood flow to nourish the
downstream tissues. Both situations – stagnant qi and deficient qi – can lead to you feeling
tired and fatigued.
How can you boost your qi to increase your overall vitality and well-being?
In Chinese Medicine, there are 3 sources of qi -
Lung qi or qing (“ching”) qi is the source of energy that we receive through breath. As you take
deep breaths filling the lungs with air, you take in oxygen. The oxygen is transported via the
bloodstream to the cells where it is utilized to break down food in order to get the energy you
need to survive. Increasing the capacity of your lungs and exercising your lungs daily is essential
to boosting your qing qi. Here are a few suggestions to maximize your lung qi -
Digestive qi or gu (“goo”) qi is the energy that comes from the food and drink that we consume.
Digestive qi relies on the health and strength of our digestive organs and meridians such as the
stomach, pancreas, liver and small intestine. Gu qi is dependent on the healthy functioning of
these organs to break down the food that we eat and readily assimilate the nutrients. It is these
nutrients that provide the building blocks for the activities and daily functioning of our cells. To
strengthen your digestive qi –
Essence qi or jing qi is the reserve of energy and essence held in the kidneys. The kidneys are
considered very important organs in Chinese medicine. They are shaped like kidney beans, each
one about 10-15 cm long, and are located on either side of the spine deep in the abdomen. We
are born with jing qi, receiving this essense from our parents. We have a finite amount of jing
qi. To protect and preserve your jing qi follow these simple tips –
Daily exercise, deep breathing, eating a healthy diet, eating throughout the day, maintaining a
balanced lifestyle, reducing stress and getting a good amount of sleep are all ways to boost
your qi. Try incorporating one of these suggestions for 21 days and see if you feel more alive
Acupuncture is a great additional resource to maximizing your energy as it tonifies lung qi,
boosts digestive qi and nourishes kidney qi.