At the core of this ancient medicine is the philosophy that Qi (pronounced [chee]), or life energy, flows throughout the body. Qi animates the body and protects it from illness, pain and disease. A person’s health is influenced by the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Qi flows through specific pathways called meridians. There are 14 meridians inside the body. Each of these is connected to specific organs and glands. Meridian pathways are like rivers flowing inside the body. Where a river flows, it transports life-giving water that provides nourishment to the land, plants and people. Similarly, where meridian pathways flow, they bring life-giving Qi that provides nourishment to every cell, organ, gland, tissue and muscle in the body.
An obstruction to the flow of Qi is like a dam. When Qi becomes backed up in one part of the body, the flow becomes restricted in other parts. This blockage of the flow of Qi can be detrimental to a person’s health, cutting off vital nourishment to the body, organs and glands.
Accidents or emotional trauma, stress, lack of exercise, overexertion, seasonal changes, poor diet, or excessive activity are among the many things that can influence the quality, quantity and balance of Qi.
Normally, when a blockage or imbalance occurs, the body easily bounces back, returning to a state of health and well-being .
However, when this disruption is prolonged or excessive, or if the body is in a weakened state, illness, pain, or disease can set in.