What’s qi?

by Mary Beth Huwe, L.Ac.

Qi (“chee”) is a way of understanding the body’s interconnectedness. Like electricity, qi is not a substance but rather a dynamic exchange between positive and negative states called yin and yang. It is essential to anything that lives and grows. It is the force that means we are alive. All living things have qi – birds, dogs, plants, fish.

Because humans are conscious, we have a more complex expression of qi than, say, marigolds, and this is not always to our advantage. This more complex expression gets tripped up and pathological in more ways and in more places. When this happens, an acupuncture needle can restore the proper flow of qi in the body and move out obstructions.


This essay first appeared on The Lantern Project. It appears here with permission.