How to Recognize Qi

by HCHC on May 21, 2014

by Chris Hammond M.Ac.,L.Ac.

If you are a new to acupuncture or are new to the concept of a life force energy, Qi – then you may be wondering how you can recognize it.

lightningTo discover Qi requires a different kind of awareness. It’s a little like finding the right frequency on a radio, or fine tuning a car engine. Attention is shifted from seeing outside yourself, to what is happening inside yourself. Begin to notice how you feel. Are you tired, in pain, or always worried? Are you feeling scared, restless, hot and cold, bloated, quick tempered? These are all signs of imbalanced Qi. Are you overweight, or too thin, are you obsessive in your behavior? All of these qualities are expressions of spleen Qi. Are you restless at night, or laugh for no reason? These expressions reflect heart Qi. Do you wear sunglasses on cloudy or rainy days? Are you depressed? Then your liver Qi is said to be out of balance. Coffee, sugar and other addictions, twitches, whistling or humming the same tune over and over, nail biting, shouting, talking very softly – all are different expressions of Qi. Not only can we see qualities of Qi in ourselves , we can also observe them in nature. What makes the leaves rustle in an invisible wind, how do tiny plants push upwards through the soil? What is the energy behind a thunderstorm? All of these are functions of Qi in nature.

Now you have changed your perception of yourself and your environment, learn to feel Qi in your body. Be aware of all your sensations during your daily activites or even during your acupuncture treatments. Each of us feels Qi differently, there is no right or wrong sensation.  Typical sensations include:
•    tingling in hands, feet, arms, legs
•    feeling light or heavy in parts of the body
•    a sense of something flowing
•    a feeling like ants crawling just below the skin’s surface
•    an overall warmth, or coolness
•    a magnetic field between the hands
•    energy moving in your belly
•    a lifting up or pulling down, like a puppet on a string
•    an urge to cry, or a decrease in pain
•    a warmth in your hands as they pass over your face or body
•    a sensation of peace

Everyone has their own unique feeling that they will identify with Qi. You may not even be able to define this special sensation that is beginning to repeat itself, in you, in others, in nature. It just is what it is. Qi.

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