The Chinese call healing energy Qi — the life force, or vital energy, that flows through all things in the universe. In Japan, the life force is termed Ki, while yoga practitioners refer to the body’s life force as prana or pranic energy. These terms all relate to the same universal healing energy, which exists in our environment and links us to all forms of life. It’s the primordial force of nature.
The movement of the life force can be seen in molecules, elements, the landscape — and within our bodies through channels called meridians. The flow of human energy nourishes and governs all of the systems of the body and gives us the ability to concentrate; it’s the basis of creativity and healing.
Within all living animals are meridian energy pathways. The way energy flows through the meridians dictates wellness, disease and imbalances. Our energy flow reflects our state of mind, how we feel and how we think. As such, negative thoughts can block the meridians from flowing and cause numbness, pressure, spasm and many kinds of aches and pains. An energy blockage affects our stress, the way we eat food and how well it gets digested. Sleep patterns and disorders are also a result of how the meridians flow.
However, positive thoughts can build healing energy and help the life force flow through the meridians in a balanced way, leading to various forms of health and happiness.
For example, the foundations of both martial arts and the healing arts focus on the interplay of two polar opposites — yin and yang — to create a vibratory movement and build healing energy to strengthen their practices.
Martial artists move the life force externally in the form of self-dense and physical power, while the healing arts channel the life force internally for therapeutic purposes.
Both practices benefit from the cultivation of Qi through exercise, diet, and creative and positive visualizations. Once a martial artist masters how to use the life force for self-defense, a skilled warrior will also learn how to use his/her energy to heal an opponent.
Likewise, some of the most powerful massage and energy work rely on the principles of Qi to remove harmful energy blocks. During massage, acupressure points are often used because they have a high electrical conductivity at the surface of the skin and effectively conduct the body’s energy.
Acupressure is an ancient healing art that developed in Asia more than 5,000 years ago. Using the power and sensitivity of the hand, acupressure can relieve stress-related ailments such as depression, anxiety, headaches, backache, insomnia, nausea and carpel tunnel. It can also release tension, reduce pain, increase circulation and help develop vibrant health.
Building human energy, developing its healing potential, and strengthening the flow of the life force have been priorities in the Chinese culture since ancient times. Using special Qi healing exercises and meditations today can help you build healing energy, cultivate the life force and channel it throughout your body. By heightening the life force within your body — through martial art exercises and healing arts — you can help treat yourself and others.