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A New Day Healing Arts
621 E. Campbell Avenue, Suite 8
Campbell, California 95008
408- 378-1588 (Office)


Qi (pronounced "chee") and blood are the two most important complementary pairs of yin and yang within the human body. It is said that, in the world, yin and yang are water and fire, but, in the human body, yin and yang are blood and qi. Qi is yang in relation to blood that is yin. Qi is often translated as energy and definitely energy is a manifestation of qi. Chinese language scholars would say, however, that qi is larger than any single type of energy described by modern Western science.

Traditional Chinese Medicine views the human as being made up of basic substances that continually interact with each other to create the whole being. Literally translated as "air", Qi is the vital energy of any living organism and source of all movement and change in the universe. Energy we create from the digestion of food, air and liquids and how we interact with our environment via exercise, meditation, etc. Deficiencies or blocked Qi can result in an inability to transform and transport our food and drink, inability to keep warm or tolerate extreme temperatures, and a lack of resistance to diseases and chronic fatigue.

In acupuncture theory, qi is defined as having five specific functions:

  1. Defense: It is qi that is responsible for protecting the exterior of the body from invasion by external pathogens. This qi, called defensive qi, flows through the exterior portion of the body and plays an important role in the prevention of many types of diseases.
  2. Transformation: Qi transforms substances so that the body can utilize them. An example of this function is the transformation of the food we eat into nutrients to nourish the body, thus producing more qi and blood.
  3. Warmth: Qi, being relatively yang, is inherently warm. One of the main functions of the qi is to warm the entire body, both inside and out. If this warming function of the qi is weak, cold may cause the flow of qi and blood to be congealed similarly to the way cold effects water to produce ice.
  4. Restraint: It is qi which holds all the organs and substances in their proper place. Thus all the organs, blood, and fluids need qi to keep them from falling or leaking out of their specific pathways. If this function of qi is weak, then problems like uterine prolapse, easy bruising or urinary incontinence may occur.
  5. Transportation: Qi provides the motivating force for all transportation in the body. Every aspect of the body that moves is moved by the qi. Hence the qi moves the blood and body fluids throughout the body. It is also qi that moves food through the stomach and the blood through its vessels.

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"I choose to inhabit my days
To allow my living to open me,
To make me less afraid, more accessible,
To loosen my heart,
Until it becomes a wing,
A torch, a promise."
--Dawna Markova from Untitled

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Last modified: February 24, 2004

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