Traditional Chinese Medicine

The Many Types of Qi- The Second Treasure

Anyone who’s heard of Chinese Medicine, practiced Tai- Chi or martial art, or even partake in video games with an Asian centric theme will probably have heard of the word Qi. Until I learned TCVM, I thought there was only one type of Qi. Turns out there are several types of Qi’s within the body and there are also Qi that can be derived externally such as through food and through the universe.


The  mother of all Qi is the Yuan Qi, which is the active form of the prenatal Jing. This Yuan Qi gets replenished from the prenatal and post- natal Jing.

The Yuan Qi gives rise to Zang Fu Qi (臟腑氣) and Jing Luo Qi (經絡氣). Jing Luo Qi refers to the Qi that travels through the meridians and is responsible for coordinating the Zang Fu organs.

Zang Fu Qi can be found in each of the internal organs- Lung, Heart, Liver, Kidney, Stomach and Spleen. The Stomach and Spleen Qi  also  combine to form Zhong Qi (中氣), which is responsible for holding the internal organs in their position.

When we eat, we take in the energy from the food. This is Gu Qi (穀氣). Gu Qi gives rise to Ying Qi (Nutrient Qi; 營氣) and Wei Qi (Defensive Qi; 衛氣). The former provides nutrients and help produces blood to support the whole body. The latter acts as a protective barrier against attack of external pathogens.

The Cosmic is full of Qi as well. This we commonly associated with the air we breath in but it also encompass light, electromagnetic forces and various energetic waves in space. When Gu Qi is combined with Qing Qi (Cosmic Qi, 清氣), it produces Zong Zi (宗氣), which provides the main function for the lung and heart.

When Gu Qi is combined with Spleen Qi, it nourishes the post- natal Jing, which in turns replenish Yuan Qi and the Qi cycle is complete.

When Qi is in abundant, the animal is healthy. When Qi diminishes, diseases occur.

There are 4 changes in Qi that can lead to diseases

  1. Deficiency- insufficient Qi to maintain organ function, often resulting in weakness.
  2. Stagnation- Qi become blocked, often lead to pain, stiffness and organ dysfunction.
  3. Rebellion- When Qi flows in the wrong direction. For example, Stomach Qi should always descend. If it rises instead of descend, then burping, nausea and vomiting occurs.
  4. Prolapse- There are some Qi that’s responsible for holing the organs in their normal place. Prolapsed Qi causes prolapse of rectum, uterus, and other organs.

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