Five Animal Frolics QigongIn the body the function of energy or Qi can be divided into six different categories. Lets briefly introduce these categories.

1. Transforming

Energy or Qi in the body is responsible for carrying out transformational processes. In Chinese Medicine these processes include: the Spleen transforming the food we eat into the material that is utilized to nourish and repair the body, the Kidneys transform fluids, the Bladder transforms urine, the Heart transforms raw materials into blood. In a western sense we can look at any metabolic process as an act of transformation. Transformation takes place all over the body and it is one reason why Qi or energy is important.

2. Transporting

Energy or Qi is responsible for transportation. In Chinese Medicine some of the different classifications of transportation include: the transportation of vital substances, the transportation of fluids, and the transportation of energy. Different organs play their role and the Qi of the organ is what carries out the role.

3. Holding

Energy or Qi is responsible for holding. The Heart holds the blood in the blood vessels, the Kidney and Bladder hold the urine, and the Lungs hold the sweat. With a larger perspective we can understand that the body is made of many membranes and tissue, some of them large and going down in size to the individual cell walls. All of these structures depend on energy or Qi to maintain their integrity.

4. Raising

Energy or Qi is responsible for raising. This is important because one of the main natural forces that we encounter at every second is the force of gravity. The Spleen is responsible for raising the organs and the Kidneys send energy upwards.

5. Protecting

Energy or Qi is also responsible for protecting the body from external pathogens. This protective function is governed by the Lungs. Think about how when you are tired and run down (lacking energy) you are more susceptible to catching a cold. Strong energy can protect the body from colds and other environmental factors that can damage the health.

6. Warming

Energy or Qi is responsible for warming the body. In fact many of the processes in the body either depend on heat or produce heat. This is all a function of the body’s energy.

You will notice that these processes or functions of Qi are all concrete physiological things. They are based in the real world and how the body functions. Now some of the explanations do not follow the western paradigm, but they do describe physical aspects and functions of the body. Practicing Qigong can strengthen the Qi and by doing so it strengthens the body’s functions.