Ki to Energy

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Have you ever walked into a room and felt instantly comfortable (or uncomfortable)? Have you gone to a party and felt the high energy vibrations? Some people are more attuned to subtle waves of energy than others, but in general, people tend to agree that there’s a life energy in themselves.

Regardless of its name, though often called ki, chi, qi, or chakra, there is a universal understanding that there is some sort of energy flowing through people.

Many sources, particularly in Chinese medicine, state that this energy can be used for healing purposes.

Physical and mental states are forms of energy, ones that intertwine with each other, because they are energy.

“Physical, mental and spiritual needs overlap because we can’t neatly separate the soul from the body, or even from the mind.”1

This energy can be looked at as vibrations. The human body resonates at a particular frequency. This vibration fluctuates according to health.

When the human body has a cold, or other illness, the resonance drops. Not only that, but each person has their own distinct wave.1

“Every cell, tissue, and organ has its own resonance, on average, a human body vibrates at 62 to 68 megahertz (MHz).”1

However, a cold can drop the vibration to 58 MHz, candida to 55 MHz, Epstein-Barr virus to 52 MHz, as examples. 1

“Healing is a process, not an end point. To be whole then, is to accept what is and to be balanced in body, mind, and spirit.”1

Buddhism, and martial arts, have a very similar concept. Through meditation and physical exercise, the body, speech and mind may be purified or refined.

These elements are put together to achieve awakening, or a purified state.

The system of chakra was developed by Hinduism, but Buddhism utilizes the concept as well. Chakra is not only the energy but the means behind the travel of energy throughout the body. However, the chakra centres have a deeper meaning than that.

“The chakras are points where the soul and body connect with and interpenetrate each other.”2

There are seven primary chakras. These run upward, following the spine. These chakras are commonly known as Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Brow and Crown.

The chakras have different responsibilities in the human body. For example, the Root Chakra sits at the base of the spine and is responsible for the feelings of support and belonging while the Sacral Chakra is about finding balance and sits between the pelvic bone and naval.

The different centres travel through the body using the twelve main channels (meridians or vessels). Chinese medicine practitioners “read”4 the body’s organs and “Essential Substances.”4 By doing this, they are more easily able to control ki’s flow in the body.

The primary channels are Lung, Large Intestine, Stomach, Spleen, Heart, Small Intestine, Bladder, Kidney, Pericardium, Triple Burner, Gallbladder and Liver.4 These channels are connected to organs as well as joints.

If the chakras are blocked then their energy cannot be dispersed, which in turn causes issues within the human body.

“[Qi] protects the body from disease and empowers movement—including physical movement, the movement of the circulatory system, thinking and growth.”4

Specific to Qi Gong (“the Chinese art of exercise/meditation”4) there is a “conscious and systematic development of vital energy.”3

Also, there is Kung Fu (or Gong Fu) meaning “diligent practice of exercises.”3 These exercises are designed “to build up internal Qi.”3

Quite often, when students practice breathing exercises it is more than a way to catch one’s breath. It is the systematic gathering and dispersal of energy.

To describe one such example would be to stand in a deep horse-riding stance, and taking a deep breath, tightening the hands into fists and collecting energy.

From there, you hold your breath, ki-ap (energy cry) and explode your hands wide, concentrating your energy into and through the finger tips.

Still holding your breath, you extend your hands as far forward as possible before turning your finger tips downward and raising them above your head and slowly arching them to the sides of the body (like making a triangle) with a controlled release of your breath.

In other words: martial arts uses ki (exercise and meditation techniques). Many styles have some sort of energy, or ki, development intertwined with their teachings. Training in martial arts is two-fold; time and quality.

As such, “the student’s commitment and persistence in learning how to practice the various forms correctly will determine how effective the practice becomes.”3

“There are 365 pressure points and 12 lines of meridians that circulate ki energy throughout our body,” explains Vince Bucarelli, third degree black belt with KMAC Barrie. “These are the basis of Chinese medicine. Hyungs (our patterns) allow the energy to flow in our bodies, much like tai chi.’

“We can also utilize the pressure points to defend ourselves. We also utilize ki breathing and ki circulation and ki accumulation exercises to allow the energy to flow through our bodies.’

“Our self defence techniques are also consistent with Buddhist ideology insofar as it adopts a defensive posture. Our techniques are in reaction to being attacked. We rarely initiate the attack.”


1. Dupont, C. M. (2014). Deep healing: Cleansing and nourishment for health and peace. Summertown, TN: Books Alive.

2. Kohn, M. H. (2010). A concise dictionary of Buddhism and Zen. Boston, MA: Shambhala Publ.

3. Gao, D. (2013). Traditional Chinese medicine: The complete guide to acupressure, acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, food cures and qi gong. London: Carlton Books.

4. Cohen, M. R., & Doner, K. (1996). The Chinese way to healing: Many paths to wholeness. New York: The Berkley Publishing Group.

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*Originally published in Talent North Magazine* When it comes to being a family there is so much more possible than who has married whom and which cousin is the oldest or how many siblings you have. T