What is Qi?

This is a question that Western trained minds find difficult to answer. It can’t be seen, measured by machines or explained by the ‘Gold Standard’ double blind, placebo trials.

Eastern Medicine however, places great importance on this ‘energy’. Explanations are often poetic and incorporate the greater world, even cosmos around us rather than the Western approach which tends to break things down into the smallest component.

At the recommendation of Dr Are Thoresen, I started reading a book ‘The Tao of Physics’ by Fritjof Capra,  a physicist by training. It was a revelation. Although my knowledge of physics is limited to first year University physics and that was more than 20 years ago, its concepts are something that has always fascinated and gelled with my way of thinking, So here were two of my favourite topics in the one book.

Suddenly I found that the way most of us look at the world was old school, as Capra calls it ‘the mechanistic world view of Descartes and Newton’. Modern physics was all about energy and forces. ‘Things’ are actually concentrated balls of energy.

Qi has been described as the network of fascial tension through the body. It was through my exposure to osteopathic techniques and the importance of fascia that I was able to palpate the changes in Qi. My veterinary training taught me to feel the blood pressure pulse, This was like learning to feel the pulse on a different level. Changes in tension, tapping into the ‘Qi’ would be a form of energy change and my skills as a acupuncture veterinarian has certainly benefited from this.

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