What You Need to Know About Qi

One of the basic foundational theories of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is that vital energy, called qi (pronounced chee), flows through the body. This qi is what fuels the body functions that are necessary to maintain life and health. It also helps carry blood and nourishment to the various organs in the body. In a perfect world, our qi flows uninhibited within us. Unfortunately, there are lots of things that can cause qi flow to become hindered or blocked. In TCM, we call this stagnation of qi. This is where acupuncture comes in.

Acupuncture is the manipulation of qi through the insertion of hair-thin needles into specific spots on the body. When a needle is inserted, it stimulates blocked or stagnant qi to begin flowing as it ideally would. This allows the body to begin healing itself, as it is made to do.

So, what causes qi stagnation?

External trauma

As we navigate life, accidents happen. We may experience falls, car accidents, strains/sprains,  or broken bones. This physical trauma blocks the flow of qi at the site of injury, which then affects the rest of the body as well. Think of water flowing in a river. When a tree branch falls and blocks the water’s flow, this affects the entire body of water, not just the spot where the branch fell. Some areas will receive too much water, and others will not get enough.

Environmental exposure

In today’s world we are exposed to lots of different types of chemicals on a daily basis. Among those that can potentially cause harm are: pesticides, household chemicals, vaccinations, fertilizer, body care products, and cleaning products. We are also exposed to pathogens like viruses and bacteria that can enter our bodies and cause infections, colds, allergies, digestive issues, and more. These invaders can block up our energetic pathways and cause qi to become stuck.


The food we consume has a huge impact on the flow of qi in our bodies. In fact, once food enters the body, it actually BECOMES the qi that fuels us. A diet that lacks proper nutrition will affect the amount and strength of qi/fuel produced, and in turn affects EVERY function of the body. Things like processed foods, sugar, fried/greasy foods, and dairy products can all impact qi in negative ways.


Traditional Chinese Medicine recognizes that emotions have a big impact on health. Emotions like anger, fear, grief, and worry can affect the flow of qi in many ways. When emotional situations occur, feelings are often internalized rather than processed, and become trapped in our “cellular memory” creating a blockage of qi. 

All of the above information applies to children in the same way it applies to adults. The only difference is that treatment usually consists of non-needle techniques like acupressure, laser acupuncture, microstim, or therapeutic meridian massage instead of (or in some cases in conjunction with, needling). Children are much more sensitive, so treatment can be even more simple and subtle than with adults.

Knowing what types of things can cause qi to become blocked in the body helps to understand why acupuncture is so effective when it comes to healing. It also helps you to decide when is the right time to seek acupuncture treatment for health issues you or your child may be experiencing.

If you are experiencing any of the situations described above, ​contact Connected Healing to book an appointment!


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