What is CHI?


“Because the eye gazes and catches no glimpse of it, it is called elusive;
Because the ear cannot hear it, it’s called rarified;
Because the hand cannot feel it, it is called infinitesimal;
It’s rising brings no heat, it’s sinking no darkness.
It is called CHI.”

Tao Te Ching


People who are not familiar with energy work as a healing modality, ask us what chi means. We usually give them an abbreviated answer such as, “it’s our vital energy.” Chances are, that satisfies their curiosity and they don’t give it further thought. If you’ve worked with energy as we have, the concept of chi and its influence on our bodies and minds can be quite remarkable. Even more profound is how it affects our reality.


Put simply, chi (qi) is the vibratory force that gives us life and makes us feel alive! Through a universal connection, it forms and animates everything in our reality.

The concept of a life force is embraced by most of the ancient cultures. In China, it is known as chi or qi; in Japan, ki; in India, prana; to Native Americans, the Great Spirit.

Chi can be traced back to Taoism as being a mysterious primal force that creates and sustains matter. Writings around 500 BC link the word to breath and blood. Some might say that chi is comparable to the breath God breathed into the dust to produce Adam.

Chi03For most forms of medicine and healing, this ethereal energy flow has deep and intrinsic value. Taoism teaches that there are spiritual and health benefits to developing and strengthening one’s chi. The intention of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) is the enhancement of chi on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels, primarily through herbs, acupuncture, massage and prayer.

Western philosophy, which traces its roots back to ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, isolates specific symptoms in the body, then uses surgical procedures or administers oral synthetic substances to treat the symptoms, often manifesting dangerous and unpleasant side effects and further dis-ease.

Chi02Various forms of energy modalities, such as massage, acupuncture, reflexology, and reiki to name a few, focus on moving or clearing chi. It is believed that some of the great masters of energy work were able to project chi from their bodies into others to promote healing. Chi was also a healing phenomenon that occurred from the practice known as “laying on of hands.” In many hospitals today, healing touch is offered to patients. Remember how the pain often diminished after a kiss or a touch from mother when we were wounded? Was the magic in the actual touch, or was it in the suggestion? The magic was in both.

The balance and enhancement of chi brings the body and spirit into a state of health and wellbeing. A person with a strong life force, or chi, is vibrant, alert and present rather than sluggish, fatigued and apathetic. The subtle energies of chi affect the health of the body as well as emotions, thought and spiritual outlook. Balanced chi produces smooth and satisfying emotions, while unbalanced or depleted chi results in emotional agitation and distress.

When mental chi becomes more refined it enhances creativity, intellect, perspective, and enjoyment of life at all levels including arts, business, and relationships. Spiritual chi supports higher states of consciousness whereby motive for personal gain is replaced by an awareness of the meaning of existence and an awakening of the spiritual or energetic nature in all things.

Life is a gathering of Chi. The material world is essentially spirit or conscious energy. The denseness and solidity is simply the beautiful dance of spirit and higher consciousness “to crystallize” and occupy space.


Chi embraces all manifestations of energy, from the most material aspects (such as the earth and solar system, material objects, food, plants, animals and people) to the most immaterial aspects (light, movement, heat, nerve impulses, emotion, and belief).

Chi015The world is fluid and changeable. Reality is the result of the transference of chi through thought, emotion and action. As it merges with the flow of ambient energy, it transmits information and continues to alter and change. This can result in different feelings, new thoughts and various experiences. Neither created nor destroyed, chi transforms endlessly, simply transitioning in its manifestation, in a constant exchange of energy.

Chi is what moves us. It’s the thing that makes us tick. Everything about us is chi. It’s just that chi is not typically the focus of our awareness, yet it is our entire existence. It’s life, but it’s more than life; it’s how we mold our lives. It’s the spark of excitement that motivates us to make a decision to move forward, or perhaps slow our pace. Chi makes our days, our nights, our lives, our reality. And, chi is even more wonderful when 2 are moving the chi.


We weave the cloth
Of our every day
By what we do and give
The fabric of our destiny
Is made of how we live.

Author unknown