Qi is everything. It is all around us. It is the life force in all living things. It is the vital energy circulating in our bodies. Qi is ever changing and shifting. Qi is in your cells, makes up your blood, guides your breath. Qi is in water, that hummingbird in your garden, rose petals, trees, thoughts and emotions. It is sound, temperature, light and movement. It is magical and ethereal. Qi is also found in the more material aspects of energy such as the earth beneath us, your favorite mug, computer and home.
When the qi in our bodies is balanced and flowing smoothly we feel vibrant, healthy and alive. When qi is out of balance we can experience dis-“ease” in our bodies. Symptoms arise to let us know that something is not quite right. We may feel anxious, irritable, depressed or experience pain, insomnia, digestive disorders, allergies, infertility or other symptoms.
Acupuncture can help to re-balance qi in the body to address the root cause of the symptoms. Exercise, cupping, gua sha, massage, Tai Chi and Qi Gong are also ways to move qi. You can help to nourish your qi by eating healthy regular meals. The Spleen Qi transforms the food you eat into qi for the body. By eating regular meals, blood sugar stays balanced and energy is more consistent. The “qi” of your food matters. The more processed your food is the less qi it has. Fresh fruits, vegetables and lean meats are packed with qi and are excellent fuel for your body.
Adequate rest and water are also important. We are not meant to have the “pedal to the metal” all the time. This depletes qi and other essential energies in the body. A 15 -20 minute nap in the afternoon can be a total game changer! Sitting quietly, taking a few deep breaths, noticing your surroundings, and becoming present can be mini rejuvenations peppered throughout the day.
Some wonderful qi boosting foods are:
- All meats in general, especially chicken
- Legumes and lentils
- Oats, rice and quinoa
- Mushrooms, especially wild, shiitake and reishi
- Root vegetables
- Dates, figs and cherries in moderation
- Squash and pumpkin
- Bone broth is a wonderful restorative tonic, especially when made with adaptogenic herbs ( Adaptogens help the body to cope with stress and build qi) Consult your practitioner to see which herbs might be right for you.