What is energy/Qi?
We make qi by combining food and air. Our ability to make qi will depend partly on our physical constituion, partly on our lifestyle. In its simplest sense our qi is our available energy. We need energy for all the body’s activity: for movement, for digestion, for warding off illness, to get through the day.
When the qi is weak, this means that we are underfunctioning in some way. How this shows itself will depend on our individual stregths and weaknesses. For some, a particular organ may lack the power to do its job well. For others, insufficient qi may cause lethargy or the immune
system may become weak.
We can increase our available energy through breathing, physical exercise and postural alignment. Conversely we can lower our available energy through shallow breathing, sedentary lifestyle and distorted posture. Fresh air is also important as a source of good quality qi.
Qi levels may be reduced by environmental factors such as electromagnetic fields and geopathic stress. In some natural environments the quality of qi is particularly high, which we often experience as a sense of uplift. Our core beliefs and mental attitudes will also help determine our qi level, life-affirming and self-valuing beliefs helping to give us fuller access to our vitality.
Qi easily becomes stagnant when its circulation in the body is restricted by tension. So relaxation is a major key to the liberation and formation of qi. Qi stagnation is discussed under part 2.
To support and increase our qi we need to eat foods which release energy steadily into our system over a long period of time. This quality is partly described in the west as complex carbohydrates which provide a sustained source of energy.
It is also important to eat foods whose qi has been interfered with as little as possible by processing, transport, or irradiation. So we need to include as much fresh, local organic food in our diet as possible. Microwave cooking will also significantly deplete the level of available qi in food.
Foods to tone qi:
Beef, cherry, chicken, coconut, date, fig, ginseng, goose, grape, ham, herring, lentil, licorice, longan, mackerel, micro algae, molasses, oats, octopus, potato, rabbit, rice, royal jelly, sweet potato/yam, shiitake mushroom, squash, sturgeon, tofu.