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Mary Zhang, Chinese Medicine Clinic, Kansas City -- Mary Zhang, licensed acupuncturist and doctor of Chinese medicine, Kansas City Missouri, understands the importance of balance and harmony of the body, mind, and spirit. The founder of Chinese Medicine Clinic, Inc., she considers herself a life coach for patients. --  Specializing in Infertility and other Reproductive Wellness with Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Licensed acupuncturist, received her medical degree from the Chinese Medicine University, Liaoning, China. Over the past fifteen years, Mary has practiced Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in China, Germany and the United States in both hospital and clinic settings. She has taught classes and seminars in various hospitals and universities.

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Qi, is identified as an essential substance that is full of vigor and flows quickly.


"Blood" is the red liquid circulating in the body's veins and vessels; it helps carry nourishment throughout the entire body.  Similarly,  "body fluids" are a general term for all the water contained in the body and necessary for life.


Qi is attributed to Yang, because of it's mobility and warming function; Blood and body fluids are ascribed to Yin because they are motionless; their purpose is to both nourish and moisten the human body.


Qi is also named Yang Qi
and the Blood and Body Fluids, Yin Fluids of the body.


Explanation of Qi


Qi was originally of philosophic perception. The ancients believed that the world changes and that things in the world can transform from one to another. Consequently, when they tried explaining the world with through common substance, they determined that a substance must have two properties, invisibility and motion.


Invisible was determined as having no certain shape and could create various kinds of things.  Air, the original meaning of Qi, is an example of such a substance--it cannot be seen but its movement as wind, can be felt. This then meant that the most basic substances found in the world, its movement and change, explained the  creation, development and change of all things in the world.


Thus Qi -- blood, is the most fundamental substance in the construction of the human body and in the maintenance of life activities.  Any significant matter can be regarded as a special process of the movement of Qi, and life.


Man depends on nature for his production and growth and must observe the common laws of the world. As everything in the world comes from the interaction of Heaven Qi and Earth Qi, man must breathe to absorb Heaven Qi and eat to absorb Earth Qi. The food Essence transformed and transported by the spleen must be sent up to the lung to combine with fresh air to produce the nutrients necessary for man's life activities.


Formation of Qi

The human body develops from the combination of three kinds of Qi:

  • Primordial Qi inherited from parents

  • Fresh Air Qi inhaled by the lung

  • Refined Food Essence Qi transformed from the spleen

Primordial Qi is originates from the congenital essence of the parents; it is the primary substance to produce an embryo.  It forms the source of the human body and its life activities. Without congenital essence there can be no human body. After birth, the congenital essence is stored in the kidney to promote development and to control the reproductive activity of the body. Fresh air Qi is inhaled by the lung after birth; it is the main source of Qi of the human body. The refined food essence is generated by food which is taken in after birth.  It is distributed all over the body to produce nutrients, Qi and Blood  via the actions of the spleen and stomach.


Qi, found in the human body, has five functions:
pushing, warming, defending, controlling and steaming.


1. Pushing
Qi is a vigorous substance that flows quickly throughout the human body. It promotes body growth and development as well as the movement, distribution and discharge of blood and and body Fluids.

2. Warming
Qi, as a Yang substance, is rich in heat, which warms organs, skin, muscles and tendons thus, helping to maintain normal body temperature and other related functions.  Motion produces heat, consequently, body temperature is maintained by the constant movement of Qi.


3. Defending
The self-protective abilities of the body result from the combined action of several physiological functions, of which Qi plays a vital role. The defensive effect of Qi mainly indicates that it can prevent the invasion of external pathogenic factors into the body. In general, external pathogens invade the body through the skin, nose and mouth. Defensive Qi functions to protect the body surface as well as controlling the opening and closing of pores, thus assisting in the prevention external pathogens invading the body.


4) Controlling
Qi has the function of controlling the flow of blood and body fluids to prevent unnecessary loss of body fluids.  Qi keeps the blood flowing within the vessels helps to control the amount (excessive loss) and time limit of such secretions (loss) of sweat, urine, gastric juice, and saliva.  When Qi is deficient, Yin Fluids will be profusely lost.


5) Streaming
This refers to various conversions occurring along with the movement of Qi. It includes the changes of Qi during its movement and the generation and metabolism of Essence, Blood and Body Fluids and their transformation. That is to say, any changes of substances can be considered the result of the transforming effect of Qi, such as transformation of Food into nutrients and wastes, that of wastes into feces, that of nutrients into Qi and Blood, that of Body Fluids into sweat and urine, and the discharge of urine and feces. As the transforming effect of Qi in the human body is a process in which the metabolism of the substances take place, it forms the essence of life.


If you have more questions about Qi and its important role
in your body's health, don't hesitate to visit with Dr. Zhang.

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