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OPEN for ACUPUNCTURE - Call (510) 848-4372 for an appointment
OPEN for ACUPUNCTURE - Call (510) 848-4372 for an appointment


The Ideas of TCM

The Ideas of TCM

Theory of Qi and Blood - Flow.



Our Health Depends on Free Flow.  If Qi and Blood are abundant and flowing, we are well.  If the normal flow of Qi or Blood is constrained, we are ill.


Question: What is QI?

Answer: Qi is the source of all movement. Qi is the source of all heat 

Chinese medicine is about qi. This word is usually translated as life force or life energy. We study where it comes from, where it goes, and how it flows. Your body is nourished by, cleansed by, and dependent on flows. Think of your qi as all your body's energies, electrical, chemical, magnetic, and radiant.

Chinese medicine is also about obeying natural law. Matter and energy, (flesh and qi, body and mind), are governed by natural law. Natural forces such as gravity, time, inertia, friction, yin, and yang,  affect us all, every moment, inside and out.

Qi must flow. Movement shows that qi exists. Warmth shows that qi is present.

Types of Qi

There are many kinds of qi. There's qi of the channels and qi of the collateral channels, protective qi (WEI QI), digestive QI (GU QI), central qi (ZHONG QI), and original qi (YUAN QI). There's normal qi and perverse qi, kidney qi, lung qi, and liver qi (every organ has its own qi).

Qi and blood nourish the body. We say that Qi moves the blood, and blood is mother of the qi.

Normal flows of qi and blood are the basics of good health. When they are abundant and flowing, we are well.
When blood or qi is weak, stuck, or flowing improperly, we are ill or we will become ill. 


Blood Flow

QI moves the Blood, but Blood is mother to the QI.  If the river is dry there can be no flow at all, so at times, it is necessary to Build the Blood in order to increase and Move the QI.   


Obstacles to Flow

Where there is pain, there is no free flow.  Where there is free flow there is no pain.  Obstacles to the free flow of energy and fluids make us unwell.  Acupuncturists or practitioners of TCM endeavor to promote the flow of qi and blood, in part by eliminating obstacles to flow.  Common obstacles include, injury, deficiency, and stress or emotional constraint.

Next: Theory of YIN and YANG - Balance

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Did you know that Dr. Shen is also an artist and photographer? See his work here. 

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