Jings – Chi (or Qi)
Chi、Jing、blood and fluid all are basic substances that construct human body and sustain body’s vital activities.
Jing : Jing is a collective term for all useful, essential yin substances in human body including chi、blood、Jing and fluid.
Chi : Chi is intangible, vital microparticles in human body. As a vital force, it drives body systems’ physiological activities. Chinese medicinal theory regards chi is the very source creating the universe and Jing、blood and fluid are originated and transformed from chi.
Blood : Blood is red liquid.
Fluid : Fluid is a collective term for all liquids in body except blood.
Chi is yang and mobile with driving and warming force. Jing、blood and fluid are yin in static state with nourishing and moisturizing function.
Ancient Chinese believe chi is intangible, vital microparticles and is the basic element that composes the universe and Mother Nature. The creation、development and changes of all things including all living entities in the universe is the result of chi’s movements、changes and transformations from chi to tangibles and from tangibles back to chi.
Chinese medicine applies the same theory and regards human is Mother Nature’s creation and, likewise, is made by chi. Chi in human body constantly moves up and down, in and out, transforms into tangibles and from tangibles back to chi. Human body is a living organism.
So as, Chinese medicinal theory (CMT) regards chi is also the basic element that makes human body and sustain human body’s vital activities. There are other basic elements that also contribute to the creation of human body such as blood、Jing and fluid, however, from CMT’s view, these other elements are transformed from chi.
Human body affected by Mother Nature
The environment we human live converges the chi from sky (yang chi) and the chi from earth (yin chi). Here the yin and yang chi(s) exchange and form the four seasons with hot and cold temperatures. Since human is the creation of Mother Nature sharing with same yin and yang chi source, human body’s vital activities are affected by Mother Nature’s rhythm of seasonal changes、nature’s chi transformations、yin and yang exchanges and five elements cycle (wood、fire、earth、metal and water).
Chi is intangible in eyes
Chi is such a tiny particle that cannot be seen by our eyes. Only thru body systems’ vital activities and physiological function activated by chi, we can locate chi’s existence and movements. Chi in the body also has yang chi and yin chi. Yang chi is warm and yin chi is cold.
Where is human body’s chi from?
Human body’s chi is from Postnatal Jing and nature’s air. Postnatal Jing is transformed from Prenatal Jing and food essence by spleen.
Prenatal Jing is in charge of human’s reproduction and is inherited from parents. It forms a life beginning with an embryo and nourishes the embryo till birth. Sperm is“Jingzi”in Chinese. Prenatal Jing is stored in kidney.
Postnatal Jing comes from the foods and water we eat and drink. Stomach digests and decomposes foods and water into chyme and distributes chyme to small intestine. Small intestine digests and transforms chyme into food essence and distributes food essence to spleen. Spleen digests and transforms food essence and Prenatal Jing (distributed by kidney) into Postnatal Jing and distributes Postnatal Jing to Lung. Lung transforms Postnatal Jing and nature’s air into human body’s chi (Zong Chi、Ying Chi and Wei Chi).
How does chi work?
- Blood production and driving force
- Kidney chi drives human body to grow and develop (Refer the chapter of Zang Organ – Kidney).
- As an energy flow, chi drives body systems to function.
- Chi produces blood and drives blood circulation and body fluid’s metabolism. When chi’s driving force weakens, blood production will be in shortage and it could cause a series of health problems.
- Warming effect
Yang Chi is the heat source of the body. It warms our body and maintain our body temperature. With chi’s warming effect, chi activates and drives the physiological functions of our body. Blood gets warmed by chi to flow. Only with the warming effect, chi can transform to blood and fluid.
When yang chi is short supplied, the pathological symptoms could be cold limbs、weak functioned Zang and Fu organs、slow blood and fluid flows.
- Defense Chi
Chi sustains the vital activities of our body. If chi is strong, the body vitality will be strong, too. If the body vitality is strong, the immune system will be strong as well.
- The Defense Chi defends our body surface against outside invasions such as adverse environmental elements – wind, heat, damp, dry, cold and fire. The Defense Chi flows outside blood vessels and reaches outside skin.
- As soon as an adverse chi invades our body, the Defense Chi will fight and expel it out of the body.
- The Defense Chi boosts body recovery. After invasion gets expelled, Defense Chi will restore yin and yang balance allowing the body to recover and back to health.
- Governing power over yin Jings
Chinese medicinal theory emphasizes that chi plays a leading role in sustaining life. Jing、blood and fluid are yin Jings. Chi not only drives Jing、blood and fluid flows but also governs and regulates them from losing or overruns.
- Chi restrains blood to flow inside blood vessels without spilling out.
- Chi governs and regulates the secretion and excretion of fluid such as sweat、urine、saliva、gastric juice and Intestinal juice etc. against unnecessary losing.
- Chi lifts and positions body organs in place without sagging. Weak chi may result in bleeding、organ sagging、frequent urination etc.
- Nourishing and moisturizing the body
Chi provides nutrients to body organs sustaining their vital activities.
- Both Chi and blood nourish body and sustain body’s vital activities.
- Defense Chi warms and nourishes muscles、sinews、bones、skin etc.
- Ying Chi (Nutritional Chi) transforms into blood and nourish body systems.
- Chi via meridians also nourishes body organs.
- Tangible, intangible and inter-changing transformations
Chi transformations constantly perform in human body including tangiblization、intangiblization and inter-changes of different tangible substances.
Tangible substance transforms into intangible chi ie. food essence with nature’s air transforming into Defense Chi. Chi transforms into tangible substance ie. Defense Chi transforming into blood. Jing transforms to blood or fluid is an inter-change transformation.
Chi has four movements:
Upward movement: Chi flows towards upper-jiao (or upper warmer, upper heater)
and middle-jiao (or middle warmer, middle warmer).
Downward movement: Chi flows towards feet.
Inward movement: Chi in skin flows inside the body.
Outward movement: Chi inside the body flows to skin.
Each body organ has its way of chi movements to complete its metabolism, such as lung chi utilizing all four movements to function and stomach chi sending food residue downward. However, all chi movements coordinate with each other in a balance and harmony way.
Different from western medicinal view of life ending with brain dead, CMT defines death is the very moment a person’s chi stops flowing.
The Kinds of Chi
- Yuen Chi (Primeval Chi)
Yuen Chi is genetic chi transformed from kidney’s Prenatal Jing. The Prenatal Jing is past down to us from our parents and is the basic essence forming life. This chi originates from kidney, spreads to the whole body and is nourished by Postnatal Jing. It drives human body’s growth and development, warms and activates the physiological activities of body systems.
Yuen Chi flows to body systems and out to skin, starting from kidney, passing sanjiao, along with meridians and subcutaneous tissues.
- Zong Chi (Pectoral Chi)
Zong Chi is transformed from Postnatal Jing and nature’s air. This chi forms in lung and converges in chest. It flows in heart inside the blood vessels assisting heart
in driving blood flow.
- Ying Chi (Nutritional Chi)
“ying”in Chinese means nutrition or nutrients. Ying Chi, yin nature, is also transformed from Postnatal Jing and nature’s air. It flows in blood vessels, transforms into blood in middle-jiaō and provides nutrients to sustain body systems’ physiological activities.
- Wei Chi (Defense Chi)
“Wei” in Chinese means protection or defense. Wei Chi, a part of the immune system, protects body systems against external invasions. Same as Ying Chi, It is the co-product of fresh air and the food essence. Comparing with Ying Chi, Wei Chi is tougher and flows faster. Ying Chi flows inside blood vessels; Wei Chi flows outside the blood vessels. Wei Chi circulates around the body, out to skin, in an orderly repetition.
- Wei Chi protects body surface against external invasions. It fights and expels external harmful chi.
- Wei Chi warms body and nourishes muscles、skin and body hair.
- Wei Chi regulates sweating and adjusts body temperature to balance body’s internal environment with outside environment.