Although many types of specialized qi exist in the body, such as those associated with a particular organ, all varieties share some basic functions. These functions are as follows:
- Movement: All movement is accompanied by its own qi, including growth and development and even walking, breathing, and thinking. Qi moves the blood through the vessels, giving rise to the saying, "Qi is the commander of the blood."
- Protection: Qi protects the body from attacks by disease-causing organisms. Therefore, if a person's qi is weak, that person may experience frequent illnesses.
- Retention: Qi keeps the organs in their proper place, keeps blood within the vessels, and keeps body fluids inside the body. Deficiency of qi can lead to sagging organs (prolapse), bleeding disorders, and excessive sweating or urination.
- Warming: The yang aspect of kidney qi keeps the entire body warm; when it is deficient, chronic cold extremities and decreased function in all activities that require warmth, such as digestion, can occur.
The source and function of qi determines the type of qi. Learn about the different types of qi in the next section of this article.
For more about traditional Chinese medicine, treatments, cures, beliefs, and other interesting topics, see:
- How Traditional Chinese Medicine Works
- How to Treat Common Ailments with Traditional Chinese Medicine
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Coughs, Colds, Flu, and Allergies
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for the Digestive System
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Pain Relief
- Traditional Chinese Medicine for Overall Health