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TCM theory: Flows of Qi and Blood

TCM theory: Flows of Qi and Blood

Stagnation = Disease 
Good Health = Good Flow

Our Health Depends on Free Flow.  If Qi and Blood are abundant and flowing, we are well.  If the normal flows of Qi or Blood are constrained or mis-directed, we will become ill.


What is QI?

The source of all movement. 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.

Qi must flow and movement and warmth are signs that qi exists. 


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, and Blood is the mother of QI.  If the Blood is weak, both Qi and Blood will stagnate. It may be  necessary to Build & Move the Blood in order to Build and Move the QI and vice versa.


Obstacles to Flow

Where there's pain, there's no flow.  Where there's flow there's 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
  • obstruction
  • deficiency
  • stress 

Treatment of Stuck Flow

Chinese medicine is rich with techniques to strengthen and redirect flow. Acupuncture, herbs, massage, and movement therapies have evolved over many generations to improve health by improving flow.

Shen Clinic TCM consultation


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