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Introduction to Qi: What is it?

What is Qi?

Qi (pronounced chee) is the “vital energy” or “vital life force” within every person. Qi is all manifestations of energy, whether that is material or immaterial. Because it is energy, it is neither created nor destroyed, and is in continuous flux and transformation.

When talking about Qi, the concept of “yin and yang“ are used to understand the manifestations. Yin is Qi that is cold, passive, solid, heavy, descending, moist and dark, the physical side. Yang is Qi that is immaterial, hot, active, dry, rising, and aggressive. In the context of Chinese Medicine, the flow of Qi in the body is used to diagnose conditions. Illness occurs when there is either an excess or deficiency of Qi.


  • Structure

  • Night

  • Cold

  • Passive

  • Solid

  • Heavy

  • Moist

  • Dark

  • Earth

  • Moon

  • Slow

  • Humid

  • Ascending

  • Fluids

  • Calm

  • Death


  • Function

  • Day

  • Hot

  • Immaterial

  • Active

  • Rising

  • Aggressive

  • Sky

  • Sun

  • Fast

  • Dry

  • Descending

  • Energy

  • Expressive

  • Birth

Types of Qi


  • The most essential!

  • Inherited from your parents

  • Stored in the kidneys

  • Circulates through the organs, muscles, skin, and meridians

  • Power for all activities