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What is Chi Energy?

In the Japanese anime, Dragonball, the Super Saiyan Heroes embrace something called Ki or Chi. Japanese use the term Ki and Chinese use the term Chi but essentially, they are both the same which means life force energy. For the sake of this blog, I will be focusing on the term Chi used by the Chinese culture.


Brief History of Chi

Chi Symbols

What Are The Exact Functions of Chi?

Is Chi Real?

Balance Chi Through Yin and Yang

Determine The Status of Your Chi

Key to Strong Chi

Final Thoughts

Brief History of Chi

The concept of Chi (or Qi) started about 4000 years ago that rooted from Traditional Chinese Medicine and over the years has been discovered in other cultures. Chi (Qi) can be used interchangeably in Chinese culture, Ki in Japanese Culture, Prana in Indian Culture, Pneuma in Greek Culture and Mana in the Hawaiian Culture.

While the term of the ancient Chinese concept exists under different cultures, they all have common interpretations such as, vital force, life force, vital principle, supernatural force or power, bioelectrical energy, energy flow, universal energy but the most common interpretation I’m finding for the concept of Chi is simply, energy; the essence of life.

Chi Symbols

If we take the literal translation from the historical Chinese symbol of Chi, it means “Fire” and “Nothing”, interpreting that the fire (energy) comes from nowhere and if we take the modern day symbol of Chi, it means “Air” and “Rice”, interpreting that the air provides us with oxygen and the rice provides us with glucose as fuel which all convert into energy.

Does this mean Chi is air? Does it mean Chi is rice? Not exactly. Believers of Chi energy state that it is an intangible matter that regulates one’s overall well-being. This includes physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance and according to the ancient Chinese culture, with Chi everything grows and without Chi, everything dies; The Universe is made up of chi energy, including us.

What exactly are the functions of Chi?

Practitioners of Chi state that there are six functions that can benefit the human body. Protect, warm, hold, raise, transform and transport.

Chi can protect body from external pathogens.

Chi can warm the body.

Chi holds our organs in place.

Chi raises us. Combatting gravity, Chi sends energy upwards.

Chi transforms the food, fluids and air we intake into energy.

Chi transports vital substances, fluids and energy throughout the body.

Is Chi Real?

Chi originates from ancient Chinese culture and traditional Chinese medicine that has been adopted from western believers but still have others skeptical. Although it’s impossible to blast Chi energy balls from our hands and embrace Chi to make our hair turn golden yellow like Dragon Ball's Super Saiyan's, there are a few humans in this world who have mastered skills that demonstrate Chi energy can be real.

Fire Mastery – Master Zhou Ting-Jue.

Probably the closest individual to mimic something that comes out of Dragon Ball is, Master Zhou and his unique ability to naturally emit intense heat from his palms, to the energy flow, or Qi. His most recent appearance was on Stan Lee’s Superhumans where he demonstrated his skill of channeling Chi force to his hands where he was able to dry wet sand in the palm of his hands and channeled Chi force to his hands once again where he demonstrated transferring heat of 185 degrees Celsius to a damp towel that began to omit steam which was held a few inches away.

Ice Mastery – Wim Hof

Wim Hof is an individual known for his ability to withstand freezing temperatures and has set the Guinness world record for swimming under ice and prolonged full-body contact with ice. He still holds the record for a barefoot half-marathon on ice and snow.

Martial Arts Master - Bruce lee

Bruce Lee does not need no explanation. Bruce Lee, a master in martial arts and founder of Jeet-Kune-Do, had the ability to complete 400 push-ups with one hand and one hundred push-ups on one thumb.

Usain Bolt - Fastest Man Alive

Known as the fastest 100m runner, Usain bolt set a world record at the 2009 Berlin, world championships by running a record time of 9.58 seconds for 100m topping a speed of 27.8 miles per hour.

These remarkable human beings may not be blasting Chi energy balls from their palms like Dragon Ball's Super Saiyan's but these are incredible achievements that prove that the human body is capable of harnessing such great energy, in other words for believers, Chi.

Balance Chi Through Yin and Yang

Chi may be intangible but to give an idea on how the energy moves through the body, it has been shared that Chi flows like a stream of energy throughout the entire body through a number of channels (meridians) that connect all vital organs. But if your Chi energy becomes imbalanced, your energy will then begin to flow more into Yin or Yang causing one to overpower the other resulting in your overall well-being negatively impacted by illness, pain and suffering.

How to Determine the Status of our Chi: The Good, The Bad, The Excess

Good Chi:

Energetic, good endurance, strong muscles, balanced immune system, fast healing, hearty digestion, clear mind and focus, good sleep

Bad Chi:

Low energy, allergies, depression, anxiety, slow healing, poor digestion, weight gain, lack of concentration and memory

Excess Chi:

Irritable, stress, tight muscles, headaches, poor sleep, shallow breathing

Key to Strong Chi

How can one develop and harness such an energy? According to practitioners, the key to having strong Chi is balance between the following:

1. Sufficient sleep

2. Regular exercise

3. Breathe

4. Eat healthy

5. Mindfulness and mental health

Final Thoughts. What is Chi?

With all the gathered information, here is my interpretation of Chi. Chi is an intangible energy, a separate entity from everything else, that surrounds us. It's not air, rice, fire, blood, water etc. Chi is Chi.

If we compare Western Medicine concepts for living a healthier and longer life to the concepts on balancing Chi for achieving a healthy and long life, the concepts from both beliefs consist of the same five key components for living healthy; sufficient sleep, regular exercise, breathe, eat healthy, be mindful and take care of your mental health. Is Chi real? In the end, the answer is up to you. It could be yes, for those who believe in Chi and no, for those who are not convinced.

Do you believe Chi is real?

Disclaimer: All information presented and written within this article are intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you should choose to follow or participate in any workout, program or practice, you do so voluntarily and do not hold Initial Mile and it's founder responsible for any cause of injury or death. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.



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