What is Qi?The first question that a student has is – What is Qi?

The problem is usually that the student has a notion of what they think Qi is, what it should do, and what it will do for them. Usually these preconceptions or belief about Qi are very convoluted and can range from notions that Qi is some mysterious force or that it gives the practitioner superpowers. This type of understanding does nothing to further the student’s practice of Qigong, but instead will leave them confused and disappointed when they don’t experience what they expect.

Lets start with the basics- the Chinese character for Qi is ? and it is pronounced “Chee”, like the first part of the word cheese.

Qi is not a mysterious force- even though we can not see it or measure it accurately with scientific equipment. The best translation for Qi is energy and it is everywhere. We have it in our bodies, it is in other living things, and all around us. If we feel energetic and full of energy, we can say that our Qi is strong and if we feel tired and run down, we can say that our Qi is weak. Understanding Qi can be that simple. If we are alive we have Qi, if our energy runs out, then we cease to live.