“QI” is one of the central concepts in the history of Chinese thinking, and it assumed multiple meanings.
It is usually translated with “life energy”, and according to some authors can be resembled to the sanskrit prana or the greek pneuma.
Its hideogram is composed by a rice grain, at the bottom, from which vapor clouds rise. This image evokes movement-flow; from food and earth (YIN) to vapor and sky (YANG).From different formes of DAI QI (“macrocosmus energy”) both the earth and the sky originated. The Man, in between earth and sky, has intrinsically both manifestations of the DAI QI.
According to chinese medicine, the QI represents together with SHEN (the soul) and the JING (ancestral energy) one of the three treasures the mankind owns. Food and beverages (YONG QI, nutritional energy) and air (ZONG QI, breathing energy) sustain and renew the QI in the posterior sky, that is after birth.