What is Chi?

What is Chi?

BMHC_140916_9639Qi the Chinese spelling or the american version Chi is considered to be the force of life itself. We can think of this in western terms as energy. When we speak of energy related to the body in the western world we are typically speaking about the workings of metabolism, the breakdown of food and drink into carbohydrates, proteins and fats and the energy these substances will give us. We may also think of things like energy drinks and coffee or tea. We may even have a little bit of understanding of herbal teas and energy boosting teas like Ginseng tea. In eastern thinking though Chi is the raw essence of life itself. If you think of a plant that is green, lush and vibrant this plant would be considered healthy. It could also be said that it has strong Chi.

A plant that is wilted and dying,even though you are watering and caring for it, has little Chi. The essence of life is leaving this wilting plant. Is it possible to gather more of this life force called Chi to our bodies, to ourselves? While we are embodied and functioning in the world is it possible to have more of this vital life force? It is possible and the practice of gathering this Chi is called Qigong.(Chi Kung) Qigong means the skilled practice of gathering Chi (universal life force or energy). What is the difference in the experience of a plant with abundant Chi versus the plant that is wilting and dying? I do not actually know but the plant with the healthy Chi, the abundant Chi, looks a lot happier. When I was about eight years old my Chi was strong. Even at eleven years old my Chi was strong. Around twelve years old my Chi, my vital energy was bleeding out. I was stressed, scared, confused, wrestling with negative emotions and outlooks on life.

By the time I was fifteen I had developed a severe spinal disease, the doctors said it was so bad that I would be crippled by the time I was thirty. After developing scoliosis, a degenerative spinal disease and being told by my doctors that my spine looked like I was eighty five years old. I decided I needed to somehow change my life and heal myself, not just physically, but mentally, emotionally too. I tried some different western approaches and found some relief but not enough to stop there. I began practicing Qigong and Martial Arts. I began working with a Doctor of Oriental Medicine as well as a Martial Art Master. I began receiving Medical Qigong healing treatments and I began learning how to use Chi to protect my body in my Martial Arts practice. I spent the first few years out of high school training in Martial Art and Qigong many hours a day.

I also spent many hours practicing in the middle of the night. After a few years of this kind of training my hands began to feel super charged. I learned to break boards and bricks without injury. (most of the time) I also began to use Chi to facilitate healing for others. I began to learn how Chi flows through the body and how good it feels when there is a good Chi flow. I also learned how depressed and frustrated and lethargic I would feel when the Chi flow would slow down. In Chinese Medicine/ Medical Qigong Theory when the Chi flow is blocked dis-ease begins. This dis-ease may begin as a feeling of stress or anxiety or depression, or anger even. In times it may cause a feeling of lethargy or apathy. Overtime though physical pain and disease will often result. If we can catch this cycle soon enough we can prevent disease and even heal disease in some cases after it has begun. Such was the case with me.

My spine was full of arthritis and the doctors said I would mostly be crippled by the time I was thirty. I healed myself completely! And that was just the beginning! It is not just about dis-ease on a physical level though. I know some of you do not have health issues but are drawn to Qigong for the uplift it gives you in terms of mood and attitude. So I am also talking about mood and attitude! Our moods can really bring us down, so can our attitudes, I know mine did but I have learned that physical exercise, breathing and so forth can really change your whole experience of life and living. Increasing Chi flow, to me is a great thing to master.

To me you cannot be rich unless you have abundant Chi, abundant energy. I see so called wealthy people who made a lot of money and they are now retired. They spend a lot of their money on hospital visits and so forth and their vitality is going. This life to me is worthless,in such cases who cares how much money or prestige or anything else you have. Life is about feeling good, I think. I like the way I feel after practicing Qigong. Yes I did heal my spine through Qigong practices and yes I have used it as a meditation. I have extended healing Chi to others and facilitated some pretty powerful healing experiences for people. All of it is great! Best part of all is I really like how it makes me feel!

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