By Bella, yoga & qi gong teacher at Udara Bali

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), everything revolves around qi (chi) or energy. Qi is the life force or vital energy that comprises the physical body and the emotions a person experiences. Practitioners of TCM emphasize the importance of balanced qi for overall well-being, as imbalances or deficiencies in qi can lead to physical or mental health issues.

The great philosopher Wang Yangming (1472–1528) highlighted the interconnectedness between the universe and humans, attributing their existence to qi. TCM incorporates unique concepts such as the correspondence between nature and humans, original qi, and the unity of body and mind, which are reflected in quotes like “Tao generates the one (the original qi),” “Everything involves both yin and yang, whose interaction results in harmony,” and “Nothing is perfect but everything is indispensable.”

Qi promotes change and healing. It is the life force that drives growth and transformation. Viewing health issues from the perspective of TCM, understanding the fluid and transformational qualities of qi reveals that nothing is immovable, unworkable, or permanent at the level of energy; nothing is impossible to heal. It is the level where miracles can happen, provided the requirements for healing are met.

While most people monitor their financial bank accounts, they often neglect their pranic or energy account, which is more crucial. Our energy/qi activates our immune system and healing power, and without it, our physical and mental well-being suffer and become unbalanced.

A healthy human being enjoys the balance between yin and yang. Inability to adapt to outer environmental changes and suffering from extreme emotional disturbances are common problems that modern people face, leading to a loss of prana/qi. Under the guidance of TCM and Taoism, we can learn the core teachings of oriental life-nurturing wisdom and regain our intrinsic awareness.

Life force/prana/qi may refer to Spirit, the vital principle within all living things, or vitality, which is the ability to live. Life force/prana/qi may not be seen, but it is very real and can be felt as it flows through the body. Some characteristics of qi are warmth and tingling sensations.  Below picture can describe the different forms of Energy:

In TCM, it is believed that everything is made up of qi, including the physical body and the feelings a person has. When qi flows freely in the body, a person may feel more balanced and more ‘in flow’ with life, almost without any physical and mental issues.

There are two major kinds of qi in the body: essence qi, often referred to as prenatal qi, is the innate qi inherited from parents at conception, while postnatal qi is our basic daily energy that we cultivate through our diet, lifestyle, and activity.

While we may not be able to change the prenatal or innate qi, we still have a chance to increase the qi in the body through some qi cultivation activities. Here are some practices that can increase qi/life force:

– Yoga

– Meditation

– Qigong, Tai Chi

– Being in nature

– Breathing fresh air

– Movement

– Relaxation

– Healthy diet (nutrition & digestion)

– Good quality and enough rest