“When Qi and Blood flow harmoniously, 10,000 diseases will not arise. Once there is constraint, all diseases may arise.”
What this passage is eluding to, is that in order for the body to avoid disease, both the structure and function of its processes, must be clear from blockage and flowing/working properly. Once there is an impediment to this natural working order, disease ensues. To better understand this, one must define Qi. Qi is often translated into English as “energy”, but this is a diluted definition that misses a larger piece of the puzzle. Energy is better understood as one of many definitions of Qi, and Qi is better defined as a relationship/manifestation created by the interaction of two or more things. Huh?! For example, the process by which your body digests and assimilates food in order to give you “energy” is Qi. In fact, it would be called “Food Qi”. In this example, energy is the result of all the things that need to come together in order for your body to perform its various functions, and that hard to articulate relationship that brings all this together is Qi.
Blood is less of a stretch to understand in terms of its importance to health as it is common knowledge the vital role Blood plays in the body by delivering nutrients and oxygen to, and removing CO2 and waste from, various tissues.
All this to say, when all the organs and tissues are communicating and working together properly within their specific functions, and the nutrient and waste circulation system is efficient, health is the result. Therefore blockages/constraint within the body’s systems are responsible for creating disease. There are many ways in which constraint may occur. Some blockages are of a structural nature and may be limitations that people are born with. Others a result of environmental factors, for instance atherosclerosis formed by plaque in blood vessels causing Qi stagnation and Blood stasis, or from traumatic injury causing Blood to pool outside of the vessels (bruising). Another form of blockage is less spoken of and that is blockage caused by emotions. Each emotion, and its lack of or over expression of, will have specific affects on Qi, and thus manifest as disease.
To go back to the original quote, it is now better understood how maintaining the harmonious flow of Qi and Blood promotes health, whereas circumstances that constrain Qi and Blood result in, or define, disease.
Another important concept, is the relationship between Qi and Blood. Blood provides a substance for Qi to exist in (Blood houses Qi), and Qi is the driving force behind the movement of Blood. This is diagnostically important, because if Qi and Blood are not flowing properly, one must decide if it is due to a blockage (as mentioned earlier) or a lack of substance/quality in the Blood itself (Blood deficiency), or a problem in the movement/motility of the Blood (Qi deficiency). Also the systems/organs that are responsible for the creation and movement of Qi and Blood must also be considered.
Fortunately, maintaining the health of these intricate systems is more simple then figuring out all the relationships between them.
A great place to start this fall is by participating in the Acu-Yoga sessions offered at Wildwoods Yoga & Wellness. By combining Yin and Restorative yoga poses with Acupuncture needles in the final Savasana, the intention is promote overall wellness, and support immune function. The needles create added flow by moving Qi and Blood and relaxing emotional blockages by stimulating the Shou Yang Ming meridian (which is abundant in Qi and Blood) along with the Zu Jue Yin (which spreads constricted Qi). A great way to welcome the inward movement of the coming season.
Feel free to sign up for Acu-Yoga at Wild Woods Yoga & Wellness by calling us (250-352-5505), emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or signing up online here: Acu-Yoga with Shannon Sargent and Linsey Rose
Interested in trying TCM? Check out more info and book your appointment on our Traditional Chinese Medicine page.
Shannon Sargent is a registered practitioner of Chinese medicine using her skills in Acupuncture and moxibustion, Chinese herbology, cupping, Tui Na massage and nutrition to offer a holistic approach in this ancient healing tradition. Her method is to meet people where they are at in their healing journey, and to support them in achieving their own optimal health and balance.