Ki, Qi and Chi





Acupuncture is an energy medicine.  The energy that we work with in Oriental Medicine is known as ki (pronounced chee). It is sometimes spelled chi or qi in China. Ayurveda the ancient healing wisdom from India refers to a similar concept in the word prana meaning life force. So what is ki? It is a vital force found in all things. When practising acupuncture we consider ki to be a measure of a person’s vitality. When our ki is free flowing we are free of pain, make decisions easily, feel content and achieve tasks with ease. Ki that stagnates causes accumulations in the body resulting in cysts, tumours, obesity, cancers and a plethora of disease states.

The job of an acupuncturist is to measure and asses the quality of a person’s ki using traditional diagnostic methods such as abdominal palpation, tongue and pulse diagnosis. Using fine needles we harmonise the ki of different organs systems to restore balance and good health. We do this by building the ki or shunting an excess of ki from one system to another. We sometimes use moxa to warm the body and increase the yang ki. We aim to facilitate the free flow of ki in the body for optimal health and well being.

How well we utilise the ki available to us is dependent on how we live. The quality of the food we eat, the air we breathe, the environments we are exposed to as well as our attitudes. There has been research to suggest that just as the common cold is contagious so is a bad mood or a depressed state. This is reflective of how ki is transferred between people in all manner of interactions. For example the ki of the cook permeates the food. A client may be drawn to work with one practitioner over another because they resonate with their energy or ki. In it’s simplest state ki is energy and we all feel a sense of how our energy shifts and changes throughout the day as we respond to the environment around us.

Marion Woodhead

B.HSci (Acupuncture), BEd, BA, Cert. Zen Shiatsu, Cert. Oriental & Wholefoods Nutrition