Qi in Shiatsu
Shiatsu is a manual therapy which works not only on a physical level but also on a deeper, energetic and emotional level. The philosophy behind this type of therapy is based on the oriental way of understanding the world and the human body, which comprehends matter and the immaterial as a whole. Qi is, in this context, a universal force behind all forms of life.
The fundamental concept of Shiatsu therapy is allowing Qi to flow freely through the body. The aim is to restore balance by helping the body to unblock any obstructions and to replenish any deficiencies.
"Look, and it can't be seen.
Listen, and it can't be heard.
Reach, and it can't be grasped.
Above, it isn't bright.
Below, it isn't dark.
it returns to the realm of nothing.
Form that includes all forms,
image without an image,
subtle, beyond all conception.
Approach it and there is no beginning;
follow it and there is no end.
You can't know it, but you can be it,
at ease in your own life.
Just realize where you come from:
this is the essence of wisdom."
Tao Te Ching
(translation by Stephen Mitchell, 1995)
Qi can be seen as our life force. Qi is both energy and matter. Qi energy can manifest in many different ways and places; all Vital Substances are manifestations of Qi, from the most etherial to the most substantial.
This energy, which is not associated to any organ, has three possible origins: Prenatal Qi, which we are born with; Grain Qi, derived from food and fluids that we consume; and Air Qi, which comes from the air that we breathe. Qi energy can flow around our body, both inside and outside, and it can warm our bodies and protect them from attacks on both a physical and meta-physical plane.
Qi is a universal force behind all forms of life. It is in a state of continuous flux, transforming endlessly from one aspect of Qi into another. It is neither created nor is it ever destroyed; it simply changes in its manifestation.
Qi embraces all manifestations of energy, from the most material to the most immaterial aspects (light, movement, heat, nerve impulses, thought, and emotion).
Life is a gathering of Qi. A healthy (and happy) human being is a dynamic but harmonious mixture of all the aspects of Qi that make up who we are.