Qi energy, or life energy from a Western point of view, is a concept in Eastern Medicine that attempts to describe the flow of energy that fuels life itself. It is the underlying force that sustains all living organisms and, of course, the health of the human body. This is the philosophical definition, but by using modern scientific methods, we can begin to understand it as a physical, quantifiable reality.
To understand how qi works, it is important to understand how the body uses electromagnetic energy.
When you think of electricity, you probably think of light bulbs and power lines. If you take it down to its most basic form however, electric current is simply the movement of electrons from one atom to another. This movement of energy is how the cells in your body send messages to one another. Like any other kind of electric current, these activities produce tiny magnetic fields, hence creating electromagnetic energy.
When electromagnetic energy takes place within a living organism, it is often referred to as bioelectromagnetic energy. Your brain uses bioelectromagnetic energy to send messages to your nervous system. It tells your heart to beat, triggers muscle movement, and keeps your lungs breathing. If you can grasp this concept of energy flowing through your body, you can begin to understand the flow of qi.
Qi and Bioelectromagnetics
The Eastern concept of qi was long disregarded by Western science as a purely philosophical concept. Now, researchers are using Western techniques of scientific analysis to put measured data behind the ideology.
Years of research has uncovered the fact that Eastern medical practices, such as acupuncture, could be manipulating bioelectromagnetic impulses within the body. Using extremely sensitive tools that measure electromagnetic energy, scientists have recorded a higher level of electromagnetic activity at acupoints, or acupuncture points.
Meridians, which are considered to be the pathways by which qi travels, show signs of having a polarized charge, making them excellent conductors of electricity. This would suggest that qi is simply the flow of bioelectromagnetic energy through the body.
Along this same line of research, some scientists have also theorized that meridian pathways must be made up of a superconductive material in order to support the efficient flow of energy. This is why some physicists hypothesize that meridians could be made up of stable water clusters, a solid, conductive phase of water that assembles itself into long, polarized strands.
If this theory about qi and bioelectromagnetic energy is correct, then practitioners of Eastern medicine 4,000 years ago may have had a better understanding of the human body that many Western doctors do today. By stimulating acupoints along meridian pathways, they can improve and balance the flow of qi and normalize the overall functioning of the human body.
Disease and sickness disrupt the flow of qi, while holistic medicine attempts to balance it, thus encouraging the flow of energy between body parts. Since health problems are associated with a rise in body temperature, this effect can be illustrated through the use of thermo-imaging technology.
A study published in Acupuncture Today in 2004 examined temperature changes in relation to acupuncture treatment. Figure 1, on the left, shows a human hand that is affected by painful arthritis. The problem areas are higher in temperature, glowing white at the hottest points. When the correct acupoint was stimulated, the white hot areas cooled significantly because the flow of qi energy had been improved. You can see the result on Figure 2, to the right.
Another example is the body temperature change that has been recorded in many patients after consuming Double Helix Water (also known as stable water clusters). Figure 3, on the left, shows the significant change in body temperature of a patient who had just consumed Double Helix Water. The red and orange areas have been cooled to healthier greens and blues. This further supports the theory that meridians are constructed out of strands of stable water clusters and so can be positively affected by their consumption.