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Way of the Curious Fist

Chi vs Science – A Definition of Chi in Scientific Terms

in Qigong

Chi can have several different meanings but basically “chi” just means “energy.” Nothing more nothing less.

Does Chi exist in the human body?

Of course! ask any scientist. Just replace the word “chi” with “energy” because they might not know what chi means.

Science talks about several kinds of chi (or energy if you prefer) that can be stored inside our bodies.

“Gravitational potential energy” – potential just means stored (like in a battery) so you could call this “stored gravitational chi.”

This kind of energy is what you get when you take a book and hold it up high. If know the weight of the book and the distance from the floor you can figure out exactly how much “gravitational potential energy” is stored in the book. If you let the book fall then that energy gets used and transferred into the floor on impact.

So basically whenever you are standing upright you have stored in your body “gravitational potential energy” or Chi. One simple way to use this chi would be to hold your hand above your head and then let it fall. When it hits the other guy on the way down you have now used chi to power your hit. Now that hit may be pretty light at first but with a little practice you can get your whole body weight into that hit without any physical effort on your part because you’re letting the chi stored in your body (or gravity in this example) do all the work.

Your hand is now a 170lb sledgehammer. (or whatever you weight)

There is also chemical energy inside you. This is what plants do with sunlight. This is what your stomach does when you eat. I takes the food you ate and breaks it down and stores it as “Chemical Potential Energy.” A calorie is just a measurement of how much energy is stored in your food.

There are other kinds of energy that are stored inside the human body:

  • Electrical Energy
  • Elastic Potential Energy
  • Kinetic energy
  • Sound energy
  • Thermal energy

So if chi is just another word for energy, then why is there all this confusion, debate and mysticism surrounding the word?

Well the debate is really over what can be done with the energy inside the body, but that’s a topic for another day.

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