The two sides of the Tai Chi symbol are divided by a wavy line. This symbolizes movement: the two sides are constantly interacting with one another. The friction that is created by their interaction is called qi. Qi is one thing and everything. It is life-animating energy or vibration. It is what everything is made of and how everything functions, and it takes many forms.
In Sankhya philosophy, the qi is called prana.
Prana is not just form, it is not just function, it is not just vitality, and it is not just the communicator between cells and individual minds and bodies. It is all of the above.
All things are made of prana, even inanimate objects like dead bodies, but when prana circulates in its vital form, then a being is alive. This vital prana is said to travel along specific pathways in the body called nadis. In Chinese medicine, nadis are called “channels” or “meridians.” Whether meridian or nadi, along these pathways there are intersection points, known as “acupoints” in Chinese medicine or marmani in Ayurveda.
Qi/prana is responsible for vitality in the organism and also for communication between bodily parts such as cells. According to Chinese acupuncture and Ayurvedic marma therapy theory, whenever there is a blockage or disruption in the communication of information between cells, organs, and tissues, there is disease. This disruption manifests as a distortion of qi/prana flow.
The smooth, optimal flow of qi/prana through the mind/body complex is the basis of a peaceful mind and healthy body. That is why it is important to have a strong, flexible body with smooth movement and good respiration and a positive mental attitude where thoughts and emotions flow instead of repeating like a broken record.
Because the connective tissue is a good place for byproducts of cellular metabolism to accumulate during times of injury, sickness, or stress, Eastern types of exercise should be employed. Tai chi, qigong, and therapeutic styles of yoga such as Yin Yoga are the best. If the connective tissue is well hydrated and unobstructed, with good circulation, the qi/prana flows well, communication between and detoxification of tissues is optimized, and life is good.
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Reference: Bridgette Shea. 「Handbook of Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda」