The Full Meaning of Qi in Chinese Acupuncture

| February 10, 2010 | 0 Comments | 582 views
I use the word Qi (pronounced'chee ') here to mean function.The word Qi is used in many ways-to mean needle sensation (as in'De Qi', which means that the energy has arrived), for breathing, for energy, for power, for anger, for working with energy and so on.
I believe that the word Qi, when used alongside Blood, yin and yang, stands for function and movement.We can also talk about healthy Qi or function.Someone who needs to urinate every 15 minutes is suffering from hyperactivity of the bladder, which means that function is not appropriate. Healthy function is to be able to control urination depending on the quan-tity of urine in the bladder.If someone feels the urge to pass urine even though the bladder is nearly empty (as in nervous bladder) or if a person cannot pass urine when the bladder is full (as occurs in prostate enlarge-ment), the bladder Qi is deficient (in both cases, it is not a healthy Qi).
Qi, as in function, has a yang nature-but it should not be confused with yang.It is true that climatic warmth activates organ function and cold slows it down.However, a pathogenic yang would actually inhibit organ func - tion.For instance, the healthy digestive function of the stomach is affected during gastritis, and an inflamed joint suffers restricted mobility.Thus, it is evident that Qi and yang are not one and the same, although there are similarities.
In this book, the word Qi is always used to show function, movement and wind.Hyperactivity of an organ would have rising Qi (or excess Qi) and hypofunction would be Qi deficient.
Each organ has its own function.
●Heart Qi synthesizes and circulates Blood and warmth,and governs mental activity and speech.
●Spleen Qi circulates Blood and fluid in the periphery,distributes nutrition, firms the connective tissue and senses taste.
●Lung Qi governs respiration,the opening and closing functions of the skin, the immune system and senses smell and touch.
●Kidney Qi governs water metabolism,the reproductive and the urinary system and senses sound.
●Liver Qi governs the storing and releasing of Blood in the vessels,generates wind for free flow of Blood,energy and fluid,controls muscles and tendons and senses sight.
Qi means function.In the case of the skin, it means the opening and closing function, which is important for adapting to temperature change. A patient whose Qi is deficient will feel very cold when there is a 2 ° C drop in temperature, and will feel very warm if the temperature becomes slightly warmer.Such individuals adapt reasonably well to weather that is constantly cold or warm, but changing temperature requires quick function of the skin.These patients tend to suffer from respiratory and skin prob-lems, particularly during the changing seasons of the year (spring and autumn).
he functions of the skin are:
● to open the pores and eliminate heat, sweat and sebaceous secretion
● to close the pores and hold in heat and fluid (especially sweat)
● absorption (egof nutritive creams applied externally)
● to participate in immune system
● sensitivity to touch, pain and temperature
● the firming of the skin, which depends not only on the skin, but also on the connective tissue that holds the skin firmly to the muscle-this is a function of the Spleen.
Factors that can affect skin function are:
■cold,which closes the skin during winter and reduces the Qi
■pathogenic heat(inflammation),damp(from excessive damp-producing foods)and wind(chemicals that irritate the skin)
■hot showers or baths in winter and exposure to cold weather
■poor skin hygiene(not cleaning or excessive make-up creams)
■Blood deficiency,which reduces the function because there is insufficient Blood to fuel functional energy.
Skin sensitivity is a sign of good function of the skin.When the skin is thick with thin or thick fluid, and therefore the yin aspect is comparatively higher than the yang, skin sensitivity is reduced.When we insert needles into our patients'skin, it is very noticeable that some patients are very sen-sitive to pain and some are not.
 Those who have a thin skin (Blood deficient) or those who have a hot skin (yang excess) are generally more sensitive to pain or touch.
The principle of acupuncture analgesia is based on raising the pain threshold by either sedating the yang or tonifying the yin of the skin in the area of the surgery,so that patients feel less pain.

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