In the body, Chinese Medicine classifies all different types of Qi or energy. Usually the classification is based on what the energy is doing. If the energy is performing a function in a certain organ, then it is classified as the Qi or energy of that organ. So there are many different classifications or types of Qi in the body because every aspect of our physical body, the muscles, tendons, ligaments, glands, organs, etc all have a function, do something, or have energy. In addition our thoughts, mind, and emotions also have energy, do something, or have a function.
So all in all that is a lot of different “types” of Qi that can can be differentiated and classified. But it really is the function of energy that is being classified. In reality, energy is energy, it is all the same but it has many different functions. In other words, Chinese Medicine classifies many different “types” of Qi but these are not different “things” that can be put into a box and labeled, like here is a box of Qi A and here is a box of Qi B, it is just a classification of the function of different aspects of the body.
The reason Chinese Medicine is so detailed in its exploration and categorization of the body is because the goal of Chinese Medicine is to cure disease. There has to be a frame work from which to work from when getting the body to heal itself from disease and disharmony. If a part is not functioning properly, then the goal is to bring that part back to the way it needs to function for the entire system (body) to function at its optimal state. This type of understanding of the body is also used in what is called Medical Qigong, which is a part of Chinese Medicine.
For a regular practitioner of Qigong, the Chinese medical understanding of Qi and how the body functions is a little beyond what you need to know. Actually, you can benefit from Qigong without knowing anything at all about the theory. All you have to do is practice the exercises. Very simple right? But yet many people will make it overly complicated.