Another philosophy of TCM is that disease is a direct result of a blockage or deficiency of the body’s vital energy, known as “qi” (pronounced “chee”). Qi is the source of all movement and energy within the body. It governs all movements such as running, talking, breathing, your heart beating, and more. There are various types of qi. For example, your wei qi works in a similar manner to your immune system, protecting your body against disease, while your gu qi controls digestive activities.
Qi flows along pathways in the body known as meridians, similar to the concept of blood vessels. There are twelve primary meridians, each corresponding to the major organs of the body. Examples include the lung meridian, the liver meridian, and the kidney meridian. A disturbance or blockage of the flow of qi or blood along these meridians will result in a diseased state.