Skip to main content
Select Source:

Qi

Qi

Qi is the Chinese name for the vital energy that undergirds the universe, analogous to the Indian prana. Its literal translation is "gas" and hence is similar to the Hebrew concept of spirit which is associated with breath. In China, qi is usually thought of as yaunqi, the original vital energy. Qi is the energy that flows through the body and is the subject of treatment in acupuncture and acupressure. Blockage of the flow of qi is the source of disease and the free natural flow of qi is the underpinning basis of health. The flow of qi, it is believed, can be stimulated by the practice of a series of exercises called qigong. Teaching about qi reaches into ancient China and much of the traditional Chinese understanding of the universe is based upon a belief in its existence. It is integral to Chinese medicine, including the understanding of the power of herbs, and basic to a vital sexual life.

Common throughout China were a wide range of practices designed to raise qi and hence invigorate the body and serve as a system of preventive medicine. These wide-ranging techniques are generally grouped under the name qigong, and include practices known elsewhere as meditation and exercise. Some form of qigong was integrated into Chinese religious practices, especially Buddhism and Taoism.

Working with qi was greatly affected by the Chinese Revolution in the mid-twentieth century, and especially during the brief period known as the Cultural Revolution. Religious institutions and practices were heavily suppressed and the secret books that held the teachings on qi were either destroyed or placed in government archives. Following the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiao Peng went about rebuilding China's past, but in the light of the Communist present. Most importantly, he promoted traditional Chinese medicinal practice and the revival of qigong. In the meantime, people knowledgeable of qi migrated to the West and began to talk openly about traditional Chinese practices, thus creating a demand from the West for more information. The flow of material on qi began with President Nixon's trip to China in 1972 and the American govern-ment's support for a new scientific look at acupuncture. Acu-puncture has subsequently become a popular alternative medical practice, though its use by Western physicians remains limited.

In China in the 1980s and 1990s, extensive experimentation has proceeded aimed at gathering scientific data on the existence and beneficent effects of qi. These experiments parallel Western attempts to measure the effects of spiritual/psychic healing. Using the EEG and related instruments, Chinese scientists believe that they have documented the existence of qi and in a wide range of experiments have documented the power of qi in the treatment of different diseases. It has, for example, appeared helpful in curing cancer in experiments involving the progress of carcinoma cells and leukemia in mice. These experiments are now being offered to Western scientists for duplication and verification.

Meanwhile, the promotion of qigong among the population has proved a two-edged sword for the Chinese. In the late 1990s, it was discovered that qigong had become the basis of the creation of new unofficial religious groups built around the mental and spiritual effects of the experience of qi. The most successful, a Buddhist movement named Falun Gong, now has followers in the millions and has become very popular in many countries with Chinese expatriate communities. In 1998, the Chinese government began an effort to suppress the movement in China.

Sources:

He, Hong-Zhen, et al. "A 'Stress Meter' Asessment of the Degree of Relaxation in Qigong vs. Non-Qigong Meditation." Frontier Perspectives 8, no.1 (Spring 1999): 37-42.

Lee, Richard E. Scientific Investigations in Chinese Qigong. San Clemente, Calif.: China Healthways Institute, 1999.

Peisheng, Wang, and Chen Guanhua. Relax and Calming Qi-gong. Hong Kong: Peace Book Co., 1986.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Qi." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Qi." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/qi

"Qi." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/qi

Chi

Ch'i (Chin., ‘air, breath, strength’). The vital energy (in Chinese religion, medicine and philosophy) which pervades and enables all things. ‘Nourishing the life spirit’ (yang ch'i) by a variety of exercises, including diet, breath control, and sexual control, became pervasive. It is thus closely associated with yüan-ch'i and nei-ch'i. It is gathered in the human body in the ‘ocean of breath’ (ch'i-hai) just below the navel, where it must be carefully fostered, especially through breathing practices, above all hsing-ch'i, which allows the breath/energy to permeate the whole body, by imagining the breath as a visible line or lines moving through the body; or t'ai-hsi which reverts one's breathing to that of an embryo or foetus in the womb, and which, by transferring ordinary breathing (outer ch'i or wai-ch'i) to dependent but directed breathing, is powerful in leading to cures and immortality (see ALCHEMY). Medically, ch'i was developed into the exercises of ch'i-kung, also known as outer exercises (wai-kung). See also FUCH'I; LIEN-CH'I; T'IAO-CH'I; YEN CH'I.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Chi." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Chi." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chi

"Chi." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chi

Ch'i

Ch'i

A Chinese term for life energy or spirit (Japanese ki ), comparable with the Hindu yoga term prana. Although deriving from the breath, ch'i, like prana, is transformed by the metabolism into subtle vitality that follows certain channels in the body, and it is related to the state of health of an individual. In the recently revived ancient Chinese systems of acupuncture and acupressure, these subtle energy flows are modified by inserting needles or by specific pressures at certain body points, resulting in improved health or the alleviation of physical disorders.

In the Asian system of martial arts, ch'i is directed by will-power to specific points of the body, resulting in apparently paranormal feats of strength and control.

(See also breathing )

Sources:

Palos, Stephan. The Chinese Art of Healing. New York: Herde-rand Herder, 1971.

Tohei, Koichi. The Book of Ki: Coordinating Mind and Body in Daily Life. San Francisco: Japan Publications, 1978.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Ch'i." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Ch'i." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chi

"Ch'i." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/chi

Prana

Prana

According to Hindu yoga teachings, a subtle vitality contained in the air, modified by the human body to govern essential functions. In hatha yoga training, this vitality is enhanced by special yoga exercises known as pranayama. A combination of hatha yoga exercises and pranayama techniques created a latent force called kundalini in the body. Reportedly Kundalini usually supplies energy for sexual activity, but when fully aroused can be conducted up the human spine to a center in the head, resulting in higher consciousness or transcendental states.

Many writers have noted the similarity of teachings on prana and other teachings concerning subtle energies such as od or orgone.

Sources:

Kuvalayananda, Swami. Pranayama. Bombay, India: Popular Prakashan, 1966.

Prasad, Rama. The Science of Breath and the Philosophy of the Tattvas. 3rd ed., rev. London: Theosophical Publishing Society,1897.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Prana." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Prana." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/prana

"Prana." Encyclopedia of Occultism and Parapsychology. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/prana

chi

chi1 / / • n. the twenty-second letter of the Greek alphabet (Χ, χ), transliterated in the traditional Latin style as ‘ch’ (as in Christ) or in the modern style as ‘kh’ (as in Khaniá and in the etymologies of this dictionary). ∎  (Chi) [followed by Latin genitive] Astron. the twenty-second star in a constellation: Chi Ophiuchi. chi2 / chē/ (also qi or ki) • n. variant spelling of qi.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"chi." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"chi." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chi-1

"chi." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chi-1

Prāṇa

Prāṇa (Skt., ‘breath’). In Hinduism, the vital force which differentiates the living from the dead. By the breath from his mouth, Prajāpati created the gods. The essential characteristic of breath as life-bestowing, was eventually identified with Brahman present as ātman. See PRĀṆĀYĀMA.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Prāṇa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Prāṇa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/prana

"Prāṇa." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/prana

chi

chially, Altai, apply, assai, awry, ay, aye, Baha'i, belie, bi, Bligh, buy, by, bye, bye-bye, chi, Chiangmai, Ciskei, comply, cry, Cy, Dai, defy, deny, Di, die, do-or-die, dry, Dubai, dye, espy, eye, fie, fly, forbye, fry, Frye, goodbye (US goodby), guy, hereby, hi, hie, high, I, imply, I-spy, July, kai, lie, lye, Mackay, misapply, my, nearby, nigh, Nye, outfly, passer-by, phi, pi, pie, ply, pry, psi, Qinghai, rai, rely, rocaille, rye, scry, serai, shanghai, shy, sigh, sky, Skye, sky-high, sly, spin-dry, spry, spy, sty, Sukhotai, supply, Tai, Thai, thereby, thigh, thy, tie, Transkei, try, tumble-dry, underlie, Versailles, Vi, vie, whereby, why, wry, Wye, xi, Xingtai, Yantai

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"chi." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"chi." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chi-0

"chi." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/chi-0

prana

pranaAlana, Anna, bandanna, banner, Branagh, canna, canner, Diana, fanner, Fermanagh, Guyana, Hannah, Havana, hosanna, Indiana, Joanna, lanner, Louisiana, manna, manner, manor, Montana, nana, planner, Pollyanna, Rosanna, savannah, scanner, spanner, Susanna, tanner •Abner • Jaffna • Patna • caravanner •Africana, Afrikaner, Americana, ana, banana, Botswana, bwana, cabana, caragana, Christiana, Dana, darner, Edwardiana, garner, Georgiana, Ghana, Gloriana, Guiana, gymkhana, Haryana, iguana, Lana, lantana, liana, Lipizzaner, Ljubljana, Mahayana, mana, mañana, marijuana, nirvana, Oriana, pacarana, piranha, prana, Purana, Rosh Hashana, Santayana, Setswana, sultana, Tatiana, Tijuana, Tirana, tramontana, Tswana, varna, Victoriana, zenana •Gardner • partner •antenna, Avicenna, duenna, henna, Jenna, Jenner, Morwenna, Ravenna, senna, Siena, sienna, tenner, tenor, Vienna •Edna • interregna • Etna • Pevsner

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"prana." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"prana." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/prana

"prana." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/prana

QI

QI quartz-iodine (in QI lamp)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"QI." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. 17 Aug. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"QI." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 17, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/qi

"QI." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Retrieved August 17, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/qi