How Much Qi Do I Have?

When patients ask me, “How much Qi do I have?” I tell them it is up to fate. You do know deep inside, nit this information is not readily available to you on a conscious level. TCM believes your life belongs to God but your health belongs to you. These are the restrictions on your own unique energy legacy. Now it’s up to you. What you do with it, how you spend it, and how well you take care of it is your responsibility.

The Qi you are born with—inborn Qi—determines your basic constitution, both physical and mental, and governs your growth and development. We often see that problems with Qi can be passed on to a child if, during the pregnancy, a woman’s nutrition was poor or she was continually sick. For example, a baby born without strong Qi might have a soft spot on the top of her head that takes longer than normal to close; or a toddler might take longer to stand up because he or she doesn’t have enough strength in the knees; or a child’s dental development may be delayed. Each of these seemingly unrelated conditions can be traced back to the Kidney. A premature baby will also have weak or deficient Qi and may experience some of the symptoms above.

All problems related to the bone are controlled by the Kidney—the storehouse of inborn Qi. In working with children or babies with these problems, I always treat their Kidney with an herb tonic or bone soup to strengthen this organ. Bone soup can be made with any kind of bones with marrow. Problems of Inborn Qi in young children can show up in other ways, too. Among them might be bed wetting or delayed menses.

TCM says that the quantity and quality of our inborn Qi also determines how long and well we live. However, it also recognizes that how we manage our allotted time is up to each of us. Everyone has a mission. The nature of your mission may not be readily accessible to you, but when your mission is accomplished, it’s time to leave this earth. Many of us rely far too heavily on our savings account of inborn Qi and use its precious funds wastefully.

Luckily, we have another source from which to pull from —acquired energy. Acquired Qi supports the function of all the organs and helps maintain the body’s ability to regulate and heal itself. Unlike our inborn account, we can make daily deposits to our acquired Qi by eating high-quality foods in the proper amounts at the proper times, ensuring that our organs are functioning well and in harmony, and by learning to manage our Qi. This bank of acquired Qi is dynamic and allows Qi to constantly flow in and out. By generating and managing acquired Qi, we have a daily chance to maximize the power and harmonious functioning of our own body’s system.

Excerpted from Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Woman’s Guide to a Hormone-Free Menopause by Nan Lu, OMD with Ellen Schaplowsky.

Join us Friday to read more. Learn how the way you use your Qi throughout your life translates to menopause.